Piscataway, N.J. – A quick take on Syracuse’s 23-15 loss against Rutgers in front of 48,011 on a beautiful fall football afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium:
WHAT HAPPENED: Rutgers (6-0/3-0) broke open a 7-7 game at halftime with a blocked FG returned for a 75-yard touchdown by Duron Harmon, and its own FG off a SU fumble on the subsequent series four minutes into the third quarter to never look back. The sudden 10 points seemingly broke the will of the Orange (2-4/1-1) players, even though SU scored eight late points.
Steve Rene’s subsequent fumble of a punt on the first play of the 4th quarter led to another Scarlet Knights TD, and essentially ended any hopes for an Orange comeback. Since 2009, Rutgers has more blocked kicks (27) than any other FBS team.
ANALYSIS: Special teams continue to plague the Orange with the blocked FG the game changer against Rutgers. It’s readily apparent the program could use a special teams coach instead of having head coach Doug Marrone handle those duties, and it’s been two seasons since there was an individual special teams coach. The unit is simply too important not to have a position coach.
HERO: Rutgers QB Gary Nova calmly took what the Orange defense gave him in guiding his offense and taking advantage of the Orange miscues. Nova finished 14 for 23 passing with 152 yards and a TD throwing to six different receivers.
ZERO: A tie between SU’s special teams, and offensive line. The line run blocked fairly well, but had trouble giving QB Ryan Nassib time to throw, and was ripped on the bench by a livid Coach Marrone on the blocked FG that turned the game upside down.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will face former coach Paul Pasqualoni when they host Connecticut on Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:00 p.m. TV: ESPN.