2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 4 - Toledo at Syracuse
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Sept. 24 at Syracuse 33 … Toledo 30 OT
CFN Analysis: Syracuse might have gotten a mega-break on the missed call on an extra point that shouldn't have counted in the final minutes, but even with all the defensive issues, and even with all the problems for an offense that saw too many drives end in a field goal instead of a touchdown, it was still an overtime win over a dangerous team. Toledo has firepower, and going forward, the defense has to do more to come up with stops on third downs and has to get more production out of a secondary that's struggling to come up with stops. There might have been two overtimes so far, but 3-1 is a nice start going into a final season in the Big East.
Toledo had its chances in overtime. It might have gotten hosed on the missed extra point call that would've made Ryan Casano's 20-yard field goal at the end of regulation for the win, but the defense only allowed a field goal and Austin Dantin, who was great all day long, didn't need to force the throw into the end zone that got picked off to end the game. Dantin and Terrence Owens were both terrific, combining to throw for 300 yards, and the offense did a nice job of keeping the chains moving, but for a team that came so close to Ohio State and got blown away by Boise State, it would've been nice to have pulled this out before going off to face a Temple team that blew away Maryland.
(AP) SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse cornerback Kevyn Scott made an interception in the end zone on the first play of overtime, Ross Krautman kicked four field goals, including the 27-yard winner, and the Orange held off Toledo 33-30 on Saturday.
It was the third straight loss to a BCS team for Toledo (1-3) and the third straight home win for Syracuse (3-1), which beat Wake Forest in overtime in the season-opener.
Syracuse gained a 30-27 lead on Ryan Nassib's 18-yard lob to Alec Lemon at the back of the end zone with 2:07 left in the fourth. Officials reviewed the extra point by Krautman, which appeared on a replay to be wide but was allowed to stand.
Ryan Casano's 20-yard field goal on the final play of regulation sent the game into the extra period.
The Rockets were burned when they gambled on first down and Scott wrestled quarterback Austin Dantin's pass away from the intended receiver in the right corner of the end zone.
Both teams were hurting physically. Toledo lost leading tailback Adonis Thomas in the first quarter and was missing four starters on defense. Neither team gave in a close game that featured five lead changes.
Toledo wideout Eric Page didn't score, but he made Syracuse defenders dizzy with 13 catches for a career-high 158 yards.
Nassib finished 16 of 24 for 213 yards, and tight end Nick Provo had three catches for 54 yards and one touchdown for the Orange.
Dantin played most of the game and finished 22 of 32 for 258 yards passing and gained 42 yards rushing. The interception was the only turnover of the game for the Rockets, who nearly upset Ohio State on the road and a week ago gave No. 4 Boise State a tough game before falling.
The Orange took a 23-20 lead on Krautman's 29-yard field goal with 12:37 left in the fourth, but the Rockets quickly rallied to regain the lead. Dantin hit Page over the middle for 32 yards, gained another 12 on a keeper, and Morgan Williams scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 61-yard drive that took just four plays and gave the Rockets a 27-23 lead with 10:54 left.
Williams also scored on a 21-yard run in the first quarter to give Toledo a 10-0 lead and David Fluellen caught a 29-yard scoring pass late in the third that gave the Rockets a 20-13 lead.
Syracuse tied it in four plays. Nassib hit Jarrod West for a 39-yard completion over the middle on a third-and-11 play. It was West's first career reception and Antwon Bailey scored on a 29-yard run on the next play.
Provo caught a 25-yard touchdown pass for Syracuse and Krautman had field goals of 33 and 31 yards to give the Orange a 13-10 lead late in the second.
With one chance to tie it before the break, the Rockets did just that on freshman Jeremiah Detmer's 52-yard field goal as time expired. It was his first field-goal attempt of the season and just 3 yards shy of the school record set in 2001 by Todd France.
Toledo (1-2) at Syracuse (2-1) Sept. 24, 12:00, Big East Network
Here's The Deal … Syracuse and Toledo both took a swing for the fences in Week 3, but ended up whiffing. The Orange traveled out to Los Angeles to face USC with an opportunity to make a national splash. Instead, it drowned in a sea of Trojans touchdown passes, 38-17. Doug Marrone's kids have not looked sharp this month, lacking execution in wins over Wake Forest and Rhode Island, and need to straighten out before Big East play starts a week from now. Even in losing its last two games, Toledo has impressed many observers.
The Rockets put a scare into Ohio State the week before hanging with Boise State for a half. After coming so close in Columbus, they're hoping to break through in order to run its streak of seasons with a win over a BCS school to six. Syracuse has had an unusually busy week of media attention after announcing it was relocating to the ACC.
Why Toledo Might Win: The Rockets offense can be explosive, especially now that the level of competition is about to subside. The key parts are in place for success, led by RB Adonis Thomas and receivers Eric Page and Bernard Reedy. Page is a Big Ten-caliber playmaker who has already caught 25 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Syracuse is having a tough time stopping quality opponents so far this season. The Orange, which ranks 101st nationally against the pass, allowed eight combined touchdown passes to Wake Forest's Tanner Price and USC's Matt Barkley.
Why Syracuse Might Win: Using its edge in size and physicality, the Orange should be able to control the line of scrimmage and finally begin asserting itself on the ground. Syracuse has not had much success running the ball, which will further motivate Marrone to set the tone up front. He'll line up and slug it out behind LT Justin Pugh, freeing up RB Antwon Bailey to get into the Toledo secondary. When the Rockets start to inch up, the Orange will counter with play-action passes from Ryan Nassib to TE Nick Provo and receivers Alec Lemon and Van Chew. After playing so poorly to begin the season, Syracuse will be on a mission this weekend.
What To Watch Out For: While the Orange defense has been less than stellar this fall, that's not an indictment of each player. In fact, there have been a few surprises in the mix. Senior NT Deon Goggins, for instance. Now in his second year removed from junior-college, the 6-1, 286-pounder has used his immense strength and quickness to beat opponents into the backfield. He's already made 17 tackles and four stops for loss, and figures to be one of Toledo's biggest nuisances when trying to get the ground game going.
What Will Happen: Syracuse is going to play this game with a sense of purpose. It'll need to in order to fend off the challenge of a plucky Toledo visitor. The Orange will give a few big plays on defense, but compensate with a physical, unrelenting approach when it has the ball. Nassib will play well, but Bailey will earn the game MVP. He'll play much bigger than his size, turning 25 carries into 125 yards and two touchdowns.
CFN Prediction: Syracuse 28 … Toledo 23
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Syracuse -2.5 O/U: 54.5
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