Coming off its bye, Syracuse could easily have found itself 5-1. But as easy as it is to rue letting the Rutgers game literally slip through its fingers, Syracuse could also count itself lucky that it isn’t 0-5. As it turns out, after a first half of the season that saw three overtime games and two other close calls, the Orange is 4-2, two wins shy of a bowl berth. Syracuse will attempt to get one win closer on Friday night against its highest ranked opponent of the season, West Virginia (#11/14).
Injuries have ravaged the Syracuse defense, as Shamarko Thomas, Olando Fisher and Chandler Jones have all missed multiple games. Because of that, it’s difficult to give an accurate assessment of Syracuse’s true potential on defense. That being said, games are played regardless of who is hurt, and the Orange, which has given up 27.3 points per game (68th in the NCAA), are a far cry from a defense that was ranked No. 7 in the country last year.
The season is halfway over, and the Orange is 4-2. On the plus side, the Orange is two wins away from becoming bowl eligible for a second straight year. The bad news is that SU suffered an incredibly sloppy loss at the hands of Rutgers, and the “Cardiac Cuse” could easily be 0-6 right now with all the close games they’ve played. Midway through the 2011 season, let’s take a look at how the SU offense has been so far.
Cincinnati and Rutgers picked up their fifth wins of the season, while South Florida lost their second-straight Big East game on the road. Connecticut picked itself out of the cellar of the conference, as Louisville took their place. Pittsburgh lost in non-conference play, their fourth loss in the last five games.