Syracuse football midseason report card – Offense

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:

Ryan Nassib: With the exception of SU’s loss to Rutgers, Nassib has been steady—if not spectacular—so far. Nassib’s completion rate is up to 64 percent (compared to 56 percent from last year), and his quarterback rating is 135.9. He’s also been reliable on his reads, throwing just four picks to 11 touchdowns this season. GRADE: A-

Antwon Bailey: Bailey’s rushed for 553 yards and five touchdowns, and is well on his way to 1,000 yards for the season. After sluggish performances against Rhode Island and USC, he’s become one of the main reasons for SU’s 4-2 start, averaging 116.3 yards and a touchdown in his last three games. GRADE: B+

Receivers: Nassib’s three main workhorses—Alec Lemon, Van Chew and Nick Provo—have all been productive so far, combining for 73 receptions, 886 yards and eight touchdowns. Still, you’d like to see SU try to stretch opposing defenses a little more downfield. Only Chew has had a reception of 35 yards or more. GRADE: B

Offensive Line: SU’s most experienced returning unit has struggled at various times throughout the year. The most glaring game was against Rhode Island, where the Rams defensive line completely shut down SU’s running game to the tune of 36 yards. Nassib has also been sacked 12 times this year. GRADE: C+

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]