Posted on: November 10, 2009 12:00 am
I took a little field trip this weekend to the Syracuse football game against 14 Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Before I even get to the game, let me tell you that it was a fantastic trip, even though we got blown out of the water. Heinz Field is a neat place. I mean, they have their Lombardi trophies on display out in the concourse. How cool is that? Either way, it was a great trip and I'd definitely do it again.
Now for the game.
The first half opened up great for the Orange. Carter had a pretty nice run that got into the Panthers' red zone, but they couldn't find a reciever in the end zone and had to settle for a field goal. Syracuse gave up 2 field goals, so with about 2:00 left in the first half, the score is 6-3 Pitt which is probably about 17 points closer than we were anticipating. It was a very defensive game in the first half. So here we are with about 1:30 left in the first half, and Syracuse is driving. If we could just hold on to the ball at worst we could go into half 6-3, still very much in the game. That couldn't have possibly happened? No, Greg Paulus decides to throw almost over his reciever's head on a WR screen pass and it tips right into the hands of the Pitt defenseman who proceeded to run it into the endzone, making the score going into half 13-3 for Pittsburgh. I know it's only one half, but there's the game right there.
Paulus, once again, throws a pick at a crucial point in the game. We can look all the way back to game number one where he threw an interception in OT against Minnesota, allowing Minnesota to just take their time and set up the game-winning FG in the first OT. Time and time again, Paulus has proven that his decision making abilities are non-existent. He looks like he is just incapable of making those split-second decisions that great quarterbacks can make. He isn't all that elusive in the pocket, and doesn't know when to step up and deliver the ball. And even then, he doesn't have that great of an arm so defenses don't have to worry about the long ball threat.
Ryan Nassib, the backup quarterback, has shown glimpses of promise for Syracuse. He didn't perform all that well this past weekend, but his only INT this week was on a deep pass that hit of the Syracuse reciever, a pass that should have been caught. Nassib shows that he can run with the ball, and can throw it deep. He still has some learning and growing to do, but I think Syracuse is much better off with Nassib in there full time. I know that it is Paulus's only year of eligibility, but at this point as a coach you need to think about what is best for the team, and not what is best for the washed-up hometown hero who literally throws away football games.
On a side note, one of the Syracuse fans came up with a hilarious little equation to make ourselves feel better. I like to call it the "Transitive Property of Idiocy." Here's how it works:
Syracuse beat/is better than Northwestern
Northwestern beat/is better than 8 Iowa
8 Iowa beat/is better than 19 Penn State
19 Penn State beat/is better than Syracuse
So even though Syracuse lost to 19 Penn State earlier this year, by the Transitive Property of Idiocy Syracuse is better than 19 Penn State.
Posted on: March 8, 2009 4:19 pm
Great weekend of basketball this weekend, from the Duke/UNC matchup to the Syracuse/Marquette game to the Pitt/UConn game all the way down to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship between Illinois State and Northern Iowa. The Big East Tournament is all set, the 16 seeds are locked, so it's time to look at the matchups and see who is going to be able to make a run to the top.
The Tuesday games in the first round should be no brainers, at least I think.
9 Cincinatti vs. 16 Depaul - 12PM - Depaul has not won a conference game this year, don't expect that to change, although Cincy has been slipping all over the place lately
12 Georgetown vs. 13 St. Johns - 2PM - This one should be interesting. St. John's is playing at home, coming off of a win over Georgetown last week, but expect the Hoyas to give the Red Storm enough trouble to win that game.
10 Notre Dame vs. 15 Rutgers - 7PM - Be careful of Notre Dame. If they can shoot the ball over 40 percent they could be very dangerous.
11 Seton Hall vs. 14 South Florida - 9PM - There is no reason why Seton Hall should lose this game. We shall see.
This would put 9 Cincy vs. 8 Providence, 5 Marquette vs. 12 Georgetown, 7 West Virginia vs. 10 Notre Dame, and 6 Syracuse vs. 11 Seton Hall. I like Providence, Marquette, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. (Notre Dame is my upset team for this tournament)
In the third round, we have then 1 Louisville vs. 8 Providence, 4 Villanova vs. 5 Marquette, 2 Pittsburgh vs. 10 Notre Dame, and 3 UConn vs. 6 Syracuse. I have Louisville, Pitt, Nova, and UConn all winning here, but don't be suprised at all if Marquette and Syracuse advance to the semifinals.
In the Semis, Louisville vs. Nova and Pitt vs. UConn. Pitt clearly will beat UConn again and I like Villanova over Louisville. Pittsburgh should win the whole thing somewhat easily, with their toughest test coming vs. UConn in the semis. I say that Marquette could upset Villanova, and this is true, but if Villanova wins that game then I think they could beat Louisville if they play well and play defense.
Another thing, if you did not watch the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, you missed one heck of a basketball game. Northern Iowa got off to an early lead in the first half, only to see Illinois State claw its way back into the game through halftime. The entire second half was back and forth trading of leads, and absolute slugfest. The Illinois State run was led by Osiris Eldrich, hitting three circus-type threes in a row to give the Redbirds the lead. Northern Iowa is a higher seed despite Ill. St. having a better overall record. Ill. St. got the last possession of regulation, tied up at 48, and forced up a terrible-looking three which sent the game into overtime. Northern Iowa eventually won it in a shootout-type overtime period - but it goes to show you that when you're playing for a tournament berth the games are just going to get better and better.