With Syracuse finally in the win column in ACC play, we chatted with former Orange defensive lineman Tyler Marona in this week’s The Juice on the Cuse podcast, presented by SNY.tv.
Despite being down 36-27 with under three minutes to go, Syracuse rallied to a 41-36 win behind a brilliant performance from quarterback Garrett Shrader. He rushed for three touchdowns, and threw for two more, including the game-winner to Damien Alford with 19 seconds left.
The win caught the eye of Marona, who live tweeted his thoughts with the rest of Syracuse fans watching from home.
“When I’m tweeting about the Orange, it means that I’m fully invested,” Marona said. “It’s been so frustrating (…) losing on what should be once a year goof-ups. There were still those in Virginia Tech game, but we overcame it.”
Marona was referring to a blocked extra point that resulted in a two-point conversion for Virginia Tech, as well as a sequence at the end of the first half where the Orange were at the one-yard line but walked away empty-handed after Andre Szymt missed a short field goal.
The win evened SU’s record at 4-4, and kept its bowl hopes alive. It should also greatly improve its morale with four games left in the regular season.
“The thing that cures condition that plagues a team is winning,” Marona said. “You put aside differences and opinions for the winning culture.”
One huge difference is on offense, Marona said. While Tommy DeVito put his name into the transfer portal, that could be addition by subtraction since Shrader can play knowing that a mistake will not result in a benching.
The Orange has also showed a significantly improved offensive line and an emerging wide receiver core led by Alford since the departure of Taj Harris.
He expects momentum that to carry into the final four games, and ultimately to a bowl game, which would be SU’s first since the 2018 Camping World Bowl.
“My wife and I, we’re reserving plans around the holidays to see them whoever they go,” Marona said. “Just know that I’m counting on them being in the postseason.”
We last had Marona on the podcast in mid-2020. Since then, Marona’s gotten married and returned to Houston, Texas. He’s also gotten out of the coaching business and now is an insurance broker.
“I was thinking about making (coaching a) career,” Marona said, “but I think I’m a better fan than coach.”