Here are 10 things we learned from Syracuse’s 42-29 loss on Saturday to USC.
1. Syracuse had a fighting chance against the No. 2 team in the country. The Orange were only down 21-16 entering the 4th quarter with the ball and a chance to take the lead.
2. Ah Marron(e)! Coach might be able to give Mitt Romney a run for his money with his conservative play-calling. Down 12 with 12:50 to play you can’t punt on a 4th & 2 from the USC 49.
3. Special teams has a lot of work to do – like learning how to call for a fair catch. *cough* Steve Rene *cough*
4. USC’s running game does exist! A week after managing just 81 yards on the ground against Hawaii, USC put up 258 yards rushing on the Orange. Silas Redd, Curtis McNeal and Robert Woods pounded the right side of Syracuse’s defensive line, including a beautiful 76-yard reverse by Woods that eventually led to the Trojans going up 35-16.
5. Ryan Nassib is human after all. After throwing for 470 yards last week against Northwestern, he looked rattled at times, indecisive at others, misfiring at wide open receivers on more than several occasions. Nassib was also intercepted on the Orange’s opening drives of each half killing any initial momentum.
6. Nobody can clear a stadium faster than the MetLife crew. With severe weather in the area, the crowd was asked to evacuate the lower bowl of the stadium for close to 70 minutes. The concessions people didn’t seem to mind though.
7. Syracuse struggled offensively out of the gate for the second straight week and failed to capitalize on early opportunities. The Orange have been outscored 35-16 in the first two quarters of games this season.
8. USC had little respect for Syracuse’s defense early in this game yet the Orange held the Trojans on a pair of fourth downs in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Nassib and the offense were unable to convert either into points.
9. Despite Matt Barkley’s six touchdowns and Robert Woods’ 200 all-purpose yards, as a collective unit USC did not look like the No. 2 team in the country. That said, Syracuse is not going to win many games giving up 42 points.
10. If Syracuse were to win in any category, it would be for their ability to transform MetLife Stadium. There was enough electronic Syracuse Athletics advertising to last a lifetime, the end zones were marked “Syracuse” and “Orange” and they even brought in Carrier Dome public address announcer Michael Veley. But… there was one thing missing… the pro-Syracuse crowd.