Syracuse football legend and current SNY college football analyst, Don McPherson, joined us on The Juice on the Cuse podcast on Thursday to chat about the Pinstripe Bowl and the recent shooting in Connecticut.
Here are some of the highlights from the interview. Listen to the full podcast here.
The Juice Online: With the recent tragedies in Connecticut, you’ve been very vocal on Twitter about the word ‘Love.’ Can you talk about that?
Don McPherson: I do a lot of work, as you know, on violence prevention, not just domestic violence, but violence in general. The analysis that I take, and the prospective that I take, is that we need to engage men as part of the solution, recognizing that men and boys represent the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of violence, especially with these kinds of massive shootings and that has not been part of the conversation. That is my prospective. There are others who have the prospectives that it should be around gun control, it should be around mental health issues, or it should be around school safety. There’s so many different ways you can look at this, and in these days that follow, I just felt like, getting into arguments and having people take positions on what the next step should be, I believe the first next step should be to teach our children how to love one another, we as adults, and as people who have a public voice, need to take the lead and demonstrate love and do so in the way we haven’t been. It’s not cliche, it’s not romantic love, it is true love for each other and we need to demonstrate that not just in how we treat each other in our relationships but also in how we have conversations about solutions in these horrific events in our society.
TJO: What are your predictions for the Pinstripe Bowl?
DM: I think it’s going to be a wide open game. Obviously, you have two great offenses coming into this game. I think you give the advantage to Syracuse partially because it’s going to be a Syracuse friendly town. They’ve been through this drill before in New York City. It’s a different kind of bowl game because it is New York City and the pace of practice and events is going to be a little different. Syracuse is a much more familiar territory. Again, both offenses are wide open right now. When you look at the way both teams trended, West Virginia started out and Geno Smith, it was his Heisman Trophy to lose back in September. And so it went from Geno Smith in the Heisman conversation to West Virginia barely being able to get into the postseason. Advantage to me goes to Syracuse. 38-35 game with Syracuse taking the lead.
TJO: Do you see Ryan Nassib being an NFL quarterback?
DM: I do. The interesting thing about the transition from the college to the pro level, some guys are better suited for the pro game than the college game and you can see that, like with myself. When I came out, the pro game wasn’t like what it is today. The pro game today is a lot more like what the college game was like when I was in school. So the game at the pro level fits perfectly with Ryan Nassib. He’s got a strong arm, he’s a smart guy, he makes smart decisions, he manages the game well, and the pros aren’t going to ask him to do that he’s been asked to do in the college game. When he’s been focusing on getting rid of the football and letting the play-makers around him make the plays, Ryan Nassib is at his best. People are starting to see his raw skill and raw abilities, knowing he’s that’s a very bright guy, and realizing he’s going to make a pretty good pro.
We also talked to McPherson about the Syracuse defense containing West Virginia and his thoughts on other Orange players in the NFL. Be sure to check out the full interview.