In the days leading up to each SU football game, The Juice Online will address questions about the team in “Kickoff Countdown.” Today’s question: Can Ryan Nassib return to form?
Like most teams, Syracuse’s offense goes as its quarterback does.
Through three games, Syracuse was one of the top offenses in the NCAA, thanks to Ryan Nassib. He averaged 379 yards passing a game, and threw nine touchdowns to just three interceptions.
In the three games since, Nassib has fallen well off that pace.
He’s averaging just 256 yards during that time, but even more concerning is that he’s thrown just two touchdowns against five interceptions.
The Orange offense has stalled as a result, and has averaged just 13 points.
“To me to focus in on one player, I wouldn’t be communicating the right message publicly nor to this football team,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said during his weekly teleconference on Monday when asked about Nassib’s struggles. “Every week we’re sitting down with players and making sure we’re correcting their mistakes so they don’t occur again.”
Still, it seems like deja vu compared to Nassib’s junior season.
Last year, Nassib completed 66 percent of his passes in the first seven games when the Orange started 5-2. In the last five games when SU couldn’t become bowl eligible, his completion percentage dropped down to 58 percent.
“When you’re not winning, it’s not just on one player and not necessarily on one play,” Marrone said. “When you’re 2-4, there’s many situations and many things we’re talking to the players about.”
Is Nassib’s struggles the direct result of a weak offensive line? Is he not reading the coverages correctly? Or was the early start just a fluke?