2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 5 - Rutgers at Syracuse
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Oct. 1 Rutgers 19 … at Syracuse 16 OT
CFN Analysis: The offense was a disaster at times. There wasn't any running game, finishing with just five net yards, and the offensive line couldn't protect the Scarlet Knight passers, but San San Te was terrific hitting four field goals and Gary Nova came up with the short touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu needed to force overtime. The ground game will be a problem all season long, but the team came into the game second in the nation in turnover margin and came up with five takeaways to offset the four turnovers and 13 penalties. It wasn't pretty, it took some luck and fortunate plays from the D, but helped by a huge day from Logan Ryan, who made nine tackles with a tackle for loss with four broken up passes, and with 11 tackles from Khaseem Greene, RU is 3-1 going into the showdown against Pitt.
Syracuse finally lost an overtime game. With five turnovers, eight penalties, and no long drives in the fourth quarter, the team was hardly sharp. The run defense was excellent, the pass rush was strong, and Dan Vaughn came up with 15 tackles and Dyshawn Davis was terrific with six tackles, two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The team has been getting by with little offensive production and not enough from its secondary, but playing Tulane next week should be a good break before getting two weeks off to prepare for West Virginia.
(AP) SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- San San Te kicked a 47-yard field goal in the second overtime and seconds later the Rutgers defense recovered a fumble by Syracuse's Antwon Bailey, giving the Scarlet Knights a 19-16 victory Saturday in the Big East opener for both teams.
Bailey began the game by losing a fumble and ended it just seconds after defensive back Khaseem Greene limped off the field with an injury. He was replaced by Edmond Laryea, who forced Bailey's fumble.
Bailey appeared to be down on a television replay, but the ruling on the field was upheld, sending the Scarlet Knights (3-1, 1-0 Big East) into a frenzy after they had huddled along their sideline waiting.
Syracuse (3-2, 1-0) had overtime wins over Wake Forest and Toledo and set a Big East standard with its third in five games. Pitt had three overtime games in its first eight games in 2004.
In the first overtime, both teams faced fourth-and-1 inside the 5-yard line and opted to kick field goals, with Ross Krautman converting from 19 yards for the Orange and Te from 27.
It was fitting the game ended on a mistake. There were nine turnovers overall, including three lost fumbles and an interception by Rutgers, the teams combined to miss five field goals, and Krautman had an extra point blocked.
Rutgers had more than one chance to end it in regulation after blocking Krautman's 44-yard field-goal attempt. Marcus Cooper returned the kick 60 yards for a touchdown, but a personal foul allowed Syracuse to survive for the moment.
Trailing 13-6 with time winding down in regulation, the Scarlet Knights gambled on fourth-and-9 from the Syracuse 33 and Gary Nova hit a falling Quron Pratt for 13 yards on the right side. Jawan Jamison gained 17 yards on three carries and Nova hit Mohamed Sanu for a 3-yard touchdown pass to tie it with 2:09 left.
Ryan Nassib then threw his third interception of the game, and Steve Beauharnais returned it 44 yards to the Syracuse 34. But Te missed a 44-yard field goal with 6 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Sanu, who had a conference-record 16 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-26 win over Ohio last week, had seven catches for 65 yards and one score.
After Krautman missed a 39-yard field goal for the Orange midway through the third quarter, Rutgers got a huge break when Syracuse was called for roughing the kicker on a fourth-and-22 play. That drive ended with Nova trying to throw while falling backward and fumbling. Marquis Spruill recovered for Syracuse at the Rutgers 16.
Not to be outdone, the Orange gave it right back when Nassib's pass at the goal line ricocheted in the air and was intercepted by David Rowe, who returned it 27 yards.
Rutgers entered the game with a plus-10 turnover margin after forcing 13 in three games, and the Scarlet Knights kept the trend going, recovering their ninth fumble on the game's first play from scrimmage.
Bailey had a nice 8-yard gain over left tackle but lost the ball when Jamal Merrell swooped in for the tackle. Merrell's helmet sent the ball flying out of Bailey's arms, and Merrell recovered at the Syracuse 30.
After an incompletion, the Orange returned the favor as freshman linebacker Dyshawn Davis made a crushing hit on Jamison as soon as he took the handoff in the backfield. The ball bounced right to Syracuse cornerback Ri'Shard Anderson, and he returned the fumble 66 yards for a touchdown less than a minute into the game for a 7-0 lead.
Bailey, held to 20 yards on seven carries in the first half, broke a 36-yard run around the left side on Syracuse's first possession of the second half to set up his own 3-yard touchdown run. But Merrell blocked the extra point for Rutgers, and that proved pivotal in the end.
Bailey finished with 124 yards on 23 carries, while Nassib was 15 of 32 for 169 yards and three interceptions and was sacked twice. Nova was 14 of 24 for 122 yards and one TD for Rutgers.
Nassib also was intercepted by defensive tackle Justin Francis, which set up Te's 27-yard field goal midway through the second.
Rutgers left the field at halftime trailing 7-3 despite holding the ball for nearly twice as long as the Orange and holding them to only two first downs and 88 total yards offensively on 20 plays.
Rutgers (2-1) at Syracuse (3-1) Oct. 1, 12:00, SNY
Here's The Deal … While neither Rutgers nor Syracuse is expected to compete for a Big East crown in 2011, both are pining for a shot at a December postseason game. This week's meeting in the Carrier Dome could go a long way to determining who becomes bowl-eligible and who has an extended offseason. Both schools are coming off victories over visitors from the Mid-American Conference.
The Orange survived a wild game with Toledo, 33-30, which is becoming a trend for the never-say-die program. It used overtime to win a pair of games in September, and had to rally in the fourth quarter to shake loose from Rhode Island in Week 2. The Scarlet Knights' triumph wasn't quite as dramatic, 38-26 over Ohio, but no less meaningful to their long-term goals. It was an important step for Rutgers, which exited its bye week determined to rebound from a tough loss to North Carolina.
Why Rutgers Might Win: After delivering their best offensive performance of the young season, the Scarlet Knights get a crack at a banged-up and outnumbered Syracuse defense. In the win over the Bobcats, Rutgers got a workmanlike effort out of RB Jawan Jamison between the tackles to complement the heroics of WR Mohamed Sanu. The junior caught a Big East-record 16 passes from Chas Dodd for 176 yards and two touchdowns. He'll have another monster game against an Orange secondary that unsuccessfully chased Toledo's Eric Page all over the field last Saturday. The Knights' concerns up front will be diminished this Saturday versus a Syracuse pass rush that's having problems getting to the quarterback with any regularity.
Why Syracuse Might Win: The Orange will look to go up top in order to exploit a Rutgers defensive backfield that was victimized by Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton for 339 yards and three touchdown passes over the weekend. Ryan Nassib was sharp throughout the month of September, throwing nine scoring strikes and just a single pick. He's surrounded by three capable pass-catchers, wide receivers Van Chew and Alec Lemon, and TE Nick Provo. Syracuse also boasts the most reliable running back in this game, veteran Antwon Bailey, who has already rushed for 114 yards in a game twice this season.
What To Watch Out For: In a game between relatively equal programs, turnovers tend to be a difference-maker. Advantage, Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were opportunistic through the first three games, forcing eight fumbles and picking off five passes. Syracuse will need to pay particular attention to the Rutgers defensive backs, which have been persistent ball-hawks. CB Logan Ryan has forced two fumbles, S Duron Harmon has picked off three passes and S David Rowe has recovered a pair of fumbles. The Knights may be giving up yards through the air, but they're compensating with a spate of big plays.
What Will Happen: It seems as if Syracuse is destined to play weekly nail-biters, so why should the conference opener be any different? The Orange and the Scarlet Knight will trade blows—and the lead—for 60 minutes, with the separation between the two never growing into the double-digits. In the end, it'll come down to Dodd vs. Nassib in a pivotal competition between the quarterbacks. With one extra touchdown flip than his counterpart, Nassib will provide the margin of victory in yet another frenetic finish for the Orange.
CFN Prediction: Syracuse 28 … Rutgers 24
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Syracuse -3 O/U: 50
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