Here are three highlights from Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone’s Big East teleconference call on Monday:
Syracuse’s 49-23 win over No. 11 West Virginia was the highest ranked opponent that SU defeated since the 2002 season. But for all of the credit that Syracuse has gotten over the weekend for the win (Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel has Syracuse projected in the Orange Bowl now), Marrone will spend the week preaching to his players to move on, and focus on the Orange’s game against Louisville on Saturday.
“As coaches, we have to manage losses well, but we also have to manage success well. Our players, when we start working on this, we have to turn the page where people don’t want to. Sometimes the people that love you the most hurt you the most when they start telling you how good you are. We still have a long way to go.”
Chandler Jones returned from a five game absence from injury against West Virginia. In his first game back, the senior defensive end recorded six tackles, two sacks and one deflected pass. Marrone talked about how Jones was able to have such an impact on the game.
“Arguably he might be our best player on defense, if not the best. We were fortunate enough to have the bye week, because when he first came back, he was rusty. But I give Chandler credit, our trainers credit and our weight coaches credit that they were able to get him, as he was getting ready to come back, to keep his weight at a proper level, to keep his conditioning going. That shows you the discipline that Chandler Jones has.”
With 125 yards on Friday, Antwon Bailey has had four straight games of 100 yards or more this season. Bailey struggled against Rhode Island and USC, combining for just 90 yards in those two games. While many have praised the offensive line, Marrone was quick to point out that credit should be given to a broader group.
“It’s really a lot of people involved with the tight ends and the fullbacks and obviously the way the backs are running because they’re doing a much better job running north and south now. I remember early on in Friday’s game, we run a play and West Virignia has great safeties, and a safety came down to make a tackle and Jarrod West showed up out of nowhere and hit the safety which enabled us to get another three or four yards. When you talk about the line, and they’re doing a nice job, but it’s really everyone. I really give a lot of credit to the receivers. The big plays come from when the receivers are doing their job.”