Saturday, August 30, 2008

Syracuse Northwestern Live Blog

Let's Go Orange!

The Syracuse football team kicks off its historic 2008-09 football season in Evanston Illinois versus Northwestern.

11:49 Syracuse and Northwestern getting ready in Suburban Chicago - and we're anxiously awaiting the kick on ESPN2
11:58 If you are around stop by and share your views on the Orange or the Wildcats for that matter as they kick off the season
12:00 It will be interesting to see how the Orange and new offensive coordinator Mitch Browning fare today
12:02 Pam Ward and Ray Bentley in the booth for the Orange opener - but you've got me on my couch. The first look at the new SU unis (Pitt fans laughed at me the other night, when we talked about the ever changing SU jerseys
) and I like it
12:02 Cuse gets the kick

12:03 Let's Go Orange and see how this Syracuse Spread (as I'm calling it) works

12:04 Brinkley gets the first call - and it looks a lot like the same on a toss left for 2
12:04 Lavar Lobdell wideopen off the play action for a first down. That is exciting

12:05 Boonah on a big run
12:05 Nice block from Fiammetta - the Orange on the move
12:06 Big third down play

12:07 Donte Davis on the catch for first down yardage. I think Donte can have a big year
12:08 Brinkley becoming a work horse here - interestingly enough Hogue came in on the third down play - and he might be re-entering here as the Orange faces another
12:09 Hogue is in there just short of the first down on the reception - Shadle on for a field goal, I would assume 36 yard attempt
12:09 Where did the rest of Shadle go?

12:09 But I like the new Patrick - he bangs it through and the Orange leads 3-0
12:11 We expected a better offense - and Boonah looks recovered. Hogue ran hard after the catch - which came on a bubble screen. And both Lobdell and Davis provided seperation when called upon

12:12 Now our first look at the defense, I'm scared

12:12 Penn State has scored on Coastal Carolina and Pitt notches a TD against Bowling Green
12:13 Walk on kicker Nico Rebul had to make the tackle after a good kick

12:13 NW out to the 40
12:14 a missed tackle after the catch as NW truly operates a spread formation
12:14 Sutton carries for the first down
12:15 and NW goes hurry up and Syracuse wasn't ready - amazing
12:15 AJ Brown makes the pick as the Orange came on the blitz

12:15 The blitz never really got there but it might have affected how Bacher was thinking
12:17 Daniel Bailey carries on a reverse on second down for not much and the Orange faces a 3rd and semi long 7
12:17 lousy pass from ARob on third down and the Orange will be forced to punt
12:18 great kick from Long but it rolls into the end zone for 72 yards and just trickles in

12:18 but NW will have to work the full field when they get the ball back

12:22 A big run for Sutton on second down and this defense is really struggling
12:22 Northwestern into Syracuse territory

12:23 A screen pass was well defended but poorly tackled - Where have we seen that before?
12:23 Vicenzo Giruzzi makes a nice play to break up a third down pass
12:24 Ryan Howard is our punt returner - he makes the fair catch on the punt and the Orange takes over
12:25 Backed up a bit now - looks like they'll start at the 13 - I'd like to see some more play-action this drive - and maybe more of a spread look
12:26 or maybe that isn't coming
12:27 Hogue gets his first carry for about 10 right up the middle through a good hole
12:29 nice carry on a third and long and hogue ran hard for the first down
12:30 The Orange has to throw it down the field, as NW is anticipating these little bubble screens
12:31 The last one went for a loss to Daniel Bailey - and now its third and 11 and the Orange calls timeout
12:33 Nobody open down field and ARob had to check off to Hogue and he's short of the first down, so Long will have to punt
12:33 Not as strong a punt, but NW starts from the 23

12:34 The Orange has to tackle better -its becoming a problem early
12:35 Peterman was open down the middle but Bacher missed him - a good pass might have been six, there was no safety home
12:36 Mike Holmes makes a good hit on third down, but a good spot gives NW a first down as the first quarter ends

12:37 Syracuse leads 3-0
12:40 Another missed tackle but a hold is going to make it 1-20

12:41 Good tackle that time by McKinnon to limit the yac - in fact its a loss of 2
12:42 NW got some yardage on 2nd down, but its third and 8 now
12:43 Syracuse came with the blitz and it forces an incompletion Bacher had to get rid of it and it forces the punt
12:43 Nice job by the Wildcats on special teams and the Orange starts from the shadow of the goalposts at the 3

12:44 Delone Carter's first carry results in a fumble - I think he was down, but the Orange recovers
12:45 This is going to be a safety as Robinson grounds the ball - Ward says his arm was hit but I'm not so sure

12:46 first breakdown by the offensive line
Robinson is arguing - but my guess is it isn't going to matter - truly I think the call was right, but we haven't seen a replay yet
it's 3-2
12:48 The replay came - and it shows what I thought - its the correct call
12:49 kick goes out of bounds, that's a sweet 30 yard penalty and NW has it at midfield
12:51 Two Omar Conteh runs and an incomplete pass forces the NW punt team back on the field
12:51 Fitzgerald seems content to play field position for now and Howard fair catches at the 8
12:52 need to do something offensively here and show they are here to play
12:52 There's the play action and Fiammetta open for a first down
12:53 Donte Davis open on a slant for 8 - this looks promising
12:53 here's DC3 for a big gain of 32 - assuming he disn't step out
Welcome Back
12:55 big 3rd and 3

12:55 Carter lost yardage
12:56 so this promising drive leads to a 4th and 3 and Shadle is back out there from 51 bet we punt
12:56 nope skinny Shadle hit the upright with plenty on distance
1:00 two missed tackles lets Brewer get the first down
1:02 another failed third down for NW - and let's hope Fitzgerald keeps being conservative, the punt team is out there
1:02 NW 1-5 on third down
1:02 punt bounces dead left after the punter dropped the snap and goes out of bounds
1:04 first drop of the season as Davis drops it
then an out to Williams is nearly picked - now its 3rd and 10
1:05 ARob 8-14 now
1:05 Not the best punt, but a decent roll and its downed at the NW45
1:07 A quick run by Sutton and then another for Bacher, and NW is back in SU territory
and Sutton is down to the 17 or so - breaking more tackles
1:07 make it the 14 but procedure backs them up to the 19 and makes it 1-15

1:08 Art Jones in the backfield on that play - he's been fairly quiet but he asserts himself there
1:09 Nobody covered Jeremy Ebert on the third and long and NW is on the board

1:10 broken coverage on the blitz and now its 9-3

1:10 3:20 left before the half, Syracuse needs to refocus and try to get something going before the intermission
1:10 Remember NW gets the ball after the break - so SU has to be aggressive here

1:13 it was just a zone blitz and blown coverage
1:13 Max gives us decent field position at the 33 - better than inside the 10
1:13 let's see what we can do
1:15 That was a pathetic offensive series when we needed something more
1:16 and there is time left for NW to go for the jugular - and they do just that and call timeout
1:18 NW could score here before the half and to start the second half and it would be all over

1:18 we just called Timeout

1:19 if they get a first down Gross should fire Robinson on the way to the locker room

1:21 there's the first down

1:21 they were willing to goto the locker room up only 9-3 and now we've given them a chance to blow this wide open
1:22 It will be 23-3 before 2:00

1:23 ok they screwed up on third down again and Howard returned his first punt
1:24 There is Ernie Davis
1:24 should we really have Jim Brown as a spokesperson
1:24 [Be Right Back Countdown] 10 minutes
1:36 A little halftime analysis
1:36 You can't be disappointed with the defensive points allowed
1:36 but the tackling has been shaky - and the pressure has been non-existent
1:37 some inefficiency from NW on third down has kept the Orange in this
1:38 However....that defense has led to the Orange having poor field position

1:39 Somebody needs to teach Jesse Palmer how to tie a tie - or just tie it for him

1:39 I was pleased with the way the Orange ran the ball - it was fairly efficient and got several big runs

1:39 B
1:40 oth Brinkley and Carter had a long runs - but there are still too many 2 yard runs
1:41 All this talk about things being different this year - and I haven't really seen anything that didn't look very much like what we've run in the past
1:41 Seriously
1:41 I'm hoping we open things up a bit more in the second half
1:42 and I'm hoping ARob looks more like a second-year starting QB then he exhibited the first half
1:42 and I'd like to see one or two passes down the field
1:43 Both Davis and Lobdell - who were concerns to drop a few balls this year - did just that late in the half, and Bruce Williams isn't going to be anything more than a possession receiver, but we knew that
1:44 But we've got to get some guys down the field, so those bubbles to open field runners like Bailey and Hogue actually give them some open field to run in

1:46 NW does have 242 yards of offense - and a 100 yard rusher already - so even though the points are only 9 (and 2 on the safety) its hard to get excited about what the defense did that half
1:46 But we'll have to rely on them to get us the ball back after the start of the second half

1:47 They are underway as the kick went through the end zone

1:47 Big play as Giruzzi recovers a fumble inside the 10

1:48 Kimmel forced it in the backfield

1:48 Boonah on the pitch inside the five
1:49 Fiammetta gets it to about the two
1:50 Boonah breaks away and gets into the end zone -- all of a sudden we're in the lead - well we need the extra point
1:50 no problem
1:50 all of a sudden, I'm getting a better feeling
1:51 I always talk about teams not taking advantage of the half they controlled - maybe that is what happened to NW and its going to bite them
1:51 Certainly they could have led by more than 6 at the half
1:53 don't forget to give Bruce Williams some credit on that play - his block allowed Brinkley to get to the corner - after he was dead to rights in the backfield
1:53 [Poll] Can the Orange hold on? View
1:54 Now the defense needs to make a play again
1:55 There's Derrell Smith on the tackle
1:55 NW gets a first down, but McKinnon made a big hit
1:56 big third down play coming up here
1:56 need a stop
1:57 nice screen play from NW and the big guy Art Jones runs Sutton down from behind - great play
1:57 but NW is in SU territory
1:58 Another first down for NW
1:59 pressure and Kevyn Scott got beat across the field, and NW is to the 11

1:59 need to hold them to a FG attempt here
2:00 Mike Holmes really does a good job tackling from the CB slot
2:00 huge third down here
2:01 McKinnon got called for PI
2:01 think it was a good call actually - but not sure he'd have caught it

2:02 touchdown Bacher on the option run, but there is a flag and its a hold on NW
2:02 maybe a bit of a makeup on the PI call
2:03 Sutton scores on a little flat route, he beats Mele and now NW is on the board and back in the lead
2:03 A key drive for them
2:04 they kick the extra point and its 16-10

2:04 let's see how our offense responds
2:07 That wasn't Suter was it
2:08 here's a little spread look and we jumped on offense, Chavers
2:08 1-15
2:09 so much for the spread
2:09 Robinson had time for a moment, waited and then got sacked
2:09 this is going downhill fast
2:10 3-25 bet we run

2:10 nope Brinkley on a two yard pass over the middle, he ran into the umpire and gained 9
2:10 punt and we need a good one
2:11 not the best and NW has good field position
2:17 good job on that 3rd and long by the SU defense, good coverage and Bacher tried to run for it, but Smith made the tackle
2:17 Should we get excited when we start with the ball outside the 15?

2:17 If so, get excited now
2:18 1-10 at the 16
2:18 actually I think we were at the 20 - but no gain for Hogue
2:18 it is the 15

2:19 ARob runs the option for 5 - now its 3rd and 5 and we need to move the sticks
2:19 ARob made a terrible throw and NW picked it off and ran it back for a TD
2:20 it's 23-10 - and just about done
2:21 he had a wide open receiver down the field and threw it underneath

2:21 and didn't throw it well
2:22 another fine pass from ARob
2:23 throw the ball down the field
2:23 Nice catch and run by Donte Davis - 18 yard pickup
2:23 out near midfield
2:25 cheap call
2:25 Bartholomew was looking the other way
2:26 now its 3rd and 22 after the penalty and an incompletion
2:26 I think we just got the queen of all makeup calls
2:27 so now we're even
2:27 end of 3 - the Orange trails 23-10 and is across midfield -
2:31 ARob just throws it away since it was a hold

2:31 Chavers still stinks - can't Meldrum play?
2:32 not a bad run for Delone - got back some of the yardage
2:32 if the option is just going to be a quarterback run, its never going to run - very disappointed in the play of ARob today
2:33 3rd and 15 - and we have to burn a TO to save a delay of game
2:34 if we gain yardage here and don't get the first, we have to think about going for it
2:34 of course we didn't get the first - Sales made the catch for 8 - but we'll punt
2:35 so we gain about 20 yards by booting it through the end zone
2:38 Art Jones just made another play - he's good
2:38 NW is really picking on whoever lines up against Mike Mele
2:39 Terrelle Pryor scored
2:39 that's for Ohio State
2:39 Another catch in front of Mele
2:40 he's having a rough half
2:41 NW is driving for the score to complete things
2:42 BTW Pitt (the most overrated team in the country) trails Bowling Green 20-17 as they start the fourth quarter
2:43 There must have been something major there, about six flags spotted it
2:43 its a good think it took away a touchdown
2:44 But Conteh just ran through a big hole and its first and goal - we don't have a way to stop this
2:45 Josh Brooks behind Mike Mele for the touchdown
2:46 so its 30-10 - and we've got 11 more games to look forward to
2:47 I guess if Virginia Tech ended up losing to East Carolina - I could feel better about it all
2:48 but I doubt this is going to happen
2:48 Tech leads by 2 (the two they got for running a blocked XP back) with 3:36 left
2:49 at least if we keep giving up points, Max gets to run kickoffs back
2:55 ARob looks horrible
2:56 his ineffieciency is the biggest disappointment of the day

2:56 Or did I already say that

2:57 Next week's opponent Akron lost at Wisconsin 38-17
2:57 I think we'll be a 2-point favorite
2:58 maybe
2:58 ECU just blocked a punt and returned it for a TD - they lead
2:59 and I think they have the ball back
3:00 Bowling Green leads 20-17 and has the ball at the Pitt 11
3:01 ECU does have the ball with less than 1 minute to play
3:02 Bowling Green scored and leads Pitt 27-17 with 12 minutes left
3:02 Pitt may be the only team in the country that needs a new coach more than we do
3:02 but at least they are not getting torched at Northwestern
3:03 it's a final - ECU has beaten Tech
3:04 at least there is some good in today
3:04 and shockingly Syracuse misses two more tackles
3:06 This was another underprepared Syracuse team - getting slaughtered
3:06 The Daryl Gross Era in Syracuse history continues
3:06 I'm going to see if Pitt can rally, but I'm done here

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