Here are 10 things we learned from Syracuse’s 17-10 loss on Saturday to Minnesota.
1. Syracuse has now lost eight straight games to BCS opponents, their last win coming against No. 14 West Virginia on October 21 of last year. A daunting task, the Orange need to go 5-3 just to make a bowl game. If Marrone’s seat as head coach isn’t hot, its certainly starting to warm up.
2. For as much Coach Marrone preaches discipline, this team is anything but. The Orange were flagged 10 times for 79 yards, including a costly 15-yard personal foul on Jay Bromley with Minnesota backed up inside their own 3-yard line. And if you’re keeping score at home, that’s now 35 penalties for 271 yards through four games this season.
3. Sneak it! What in the world was Doug Marrone calling on 2nd & Goal from the Minnesota 1-yard line? A pitch to Jerome Smith resulted in a three-yard loss before Nassib was intercepted on the following play. Bad play-calling stalled an impressive 15 play 83-yard drive by Nassib and the offense that should have pulled the Orange within four after Minnesota opened the second half with a scoring drive of their own.
4. After four straight games of more than 100 yards receiving, Marcus Sales didn’t have a catch until the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.
5. Credit the Minnesota defense, who forced four turnovers and sacked Nassib three times. The Golden Gophers held a team averaging 379.7 passing yards and 33 points per game to just 228 and 10, respectively.
6. The Big 10 Network announcers… Honestly, the network should be embarrassed they have this level of talent calling a college football game. In case you missed it, here is a list of gaffes courtesy of Nunes Magician. My personal favorite was that Syracuse has a short turnaround when they travel to Pitt on Friday night. Only problem is, Syracuse doesn’t play Pitt until October 5 and the game is at the Carrier Dome.
7. Alec Lemon who had nine catches for 106 yards passed Scott Schwedes to become the all-time receptions leader in Syracuse history with 145.
8. Can anyone block on special teams for Syracuse? They’re Golden Gophers not Cheetahs, but it seemed there were at least three or four Minnesota players down field on every Orange kick/punt return.
9. Syracuse fans should take note from Minnesota. Despite three straight losing seasons with a 12-25 record in that span, the Golden Gophers still turned out a crowd of 50,805 at TCF Bank Stadium.
10. And if it’s any consolation, Syracuse has lost to teams this season with a combined 11-1 record.