Onion Juice: Syracuse coach Doug Marrone fixes ‘red zone problem’

Editor’s note: “Onion Juice” is Syracuse Athletics’ Finest News Source on Satirical Orange news.

Coming off its worst offensive outputs of the season, Syracuse coach Doug Marrone is ordering his team to stop at the 21 yard line on drives so they don’t have to try to score in the red zone.


Problem solved. You’re welcome.

The move comes after Syracuse was stuffed on four consecutive tries inside the five yard line against Stony Brook and Ryan Nassib was intercepted inside the 10 yard line by Minnesota. The Orange scored just 10 points in a 17-10 loss to Minnesota on Sept. 22.

» More SU football: What Doug Marrone can learn from Chip Kelly

“We’re always looking for ways of getting an edge and improvement our team, so from that standpoint, I think this is going to be a big advantage for us,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said. “We can’t score inside the red zone. So the solution is obviously to stand at the 21 yard line and have Ryan [Nassib] fire away into the end zone. Problem solved.”

As part of implementing this new offensive scheme, Syracuse spent its bye week perfecting this technique.

“Wait, so we’re not going to run a sweep play on second and goal from the 1 yard line?” running back Jerome Smith was overheard asking. “I guess you’re right, that is a better play call.”

If Syracuse advances past the 21 yard at any point, the team has been instructed to commit some kind of penalty to retreat back to the green zone.

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“I’ve been doing that for four weeks already,” a Syracuse offensive lineman said. “I don’t even need to practice committing penalties anymore.”

Another play Syracuse has been practicing for these situations is to take a delay of game penalty.

“I first I thought, let’s sweep it with Jerome Smith to lose the 5 yards,” Marrone said. “But then I realized, we can just take a delay of game and not have to lose the down! That’s coaching.”

Story by Nate Federman and Wesley Cheng.

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The Big Orange was founded in 1992. The publication was one of approximately 50 independent publications devoted to the coverage of its school's athletics programs. The Big Orange was a weekly/bi-weekly print publication until 2002 when it became The Juice, a glossy monthly print magazine which was owned by Fox Sports. The print product ceased publication in June of 2010 and was relaunched as SUJuiceOnline.com in December of 2010.
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