Orange Watch: A Long Day in the Dome Ends in Defeat

Call them the Overtime Orange.

Three out of five games going to overtime to begin this season, something that had never been done in Big East play, and all three occurred in front of the home fans who had to be thinking “not again” as Rutgers rallied in the fourth quarter to send Saturday’s Big East opener into yet another extra session before holding on for a 19-16 win in the second overtime.

Unlike the way the ‘Cuse “found a way” to win in beating future conference mate Wake Forest and a very good Toledo team, the troubling early signs of turnovers and special teams breakdowns caught up to the Orange in its conference opener against a foe that knows it well.

“We’re not good enough yet to overcome those amount of mistakes,” Marrone extolled after some four and half hours of football.  “And when you have five, that’s unacceptable.  And really I look at it as more than five when you have a blocked PAT and blocked FG (along with 3 INTs and 2 fumbles).

***

The announced crowd of 42, 152 was about 5000-6000 off mark, but continues the trend of home games drawing in the high 30,000-low 40,000 range.  Diehard fans on message boards continue to complain about a lack of support from the local base, but unless the program begins a steady rise in the national polls, the immediate goal is to find a way to get those several thousand extra bodies into home games.

It will be interesting to see how any show up for West Virginia on a Friday night.

***

Something needs to be done to speed up college football games.  Even before the overtime Saturday, Syracuse and Rutgers was coming close to four hours.  Halftimes are 25 minutes, some games a few minutes longer if both teams have bands performing.

We’ve advocated not stopping the clock on first downs until the final two minutes of each half.

It’s hard to ask people to put up with four hour games inside the stadium when many tack on additional time in the parking lots enjoying food and beverage before and after.

Said one bowl scout in the press box who requested anonymity, “I work for the game and love the game of college football, but this is getting lengthy,” as he stood up to stretch in the fourth quarter during yet the umpteenth replay review.

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Brad Bierman

About Brad Bierman

Now in his fifth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.
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