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2008 Syracuse Orange Season

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 4, 2009


2008 Syracuse Orange Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Syracuse Orange

Nov. 29
Cincinnati 30 … Syracuse 10
Cincinnati tore through Syracuse to clinch the Big East title and a BCS berth with Tony Pike throwing two touchdown passes and Jake Rogers hitting three field goals. Syracuse only managed a 33-yard Patrick Shadle field goal until late in the fourth with a six-yard Dan Sheeran touchdown catch. The Bearcats gained 412 yards and held SU to 211.
Player of the game: Cincinnati WR Marshawn Gilyard caught 11 passes for 114 yards
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 6-23, 59 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 16-60. Receiving: Marcus Sales, 2-16
Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 28-44, 272 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: John Goebel, 10-67, 1 TD. Receiving: Marshwan Gilyard, 11-114
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Notre Dame win was obviously the high point to go out on. SU didn’t have a prayer against a pumped up Bearcat team that was looking to close out the Big East season on a big note. The passing game was particularly bad, with Cameron Dantley failing to find any of the spark he had in South Bend. On the plus side, the defense didn’t do a bad job of coming up with stops, forcing field goals instead of touchdowns for a stretch, bit it was still another ugly loss to end the Greg Robinson era.

- 2008 Syracuse Preview
- 2007 Syracuse Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
3-9
2008 Record: 3-9

Aug. 30 at Northwestern L 30-10
Sept. 6 Akron L 42-28
Sept. 13 Penn State L 55-13
Sept. 20 Northeastern W 30-21
Sept. 27 Pitt L 34-24
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 at West Virginia L 17-6
Oct. 18 at South Florida L 45-13
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 Louisville W 28-21
Nov. 8 at Rutgers L 35-17
Nov. 15 Connecticut L 39-14
Nov. 22 at Notre Dame W 24-23
Nov. 29 at Cincinnati L 30-10

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
5-7
2007 Record:
2-10

Aug. 31 Washington L 42-12
Sept.8 at Iowa L 35-0
Sept. 15
Illinois L 41-20
Sept. 22 at Louisville W 38-35
Sept. 29
at Miami Univ. L 17-14
Oct. 6 West Virginia L 55-14
Oct. 13
Rutgers L 38-14
Oct. 20 Buffalo W 20-12
Nov. 3 at Pitt L 20-17
Nov. 10
South Florida L 41-10
Nov. 17 at Connecticut L 30-7
Nov. 24 Cincinnati L 52-31

Nov. 22
Syracuse 24 … Notre Dame 23
Syracuse stunned the Irish with an 11-yard touchdown catch from Donte Davie with 42 seconds to play. Down one, Notre Dame tried a 53-yard field goal as time ran out, but missed. The Irish got a huge day from Golden Tate, who caught touchdown passes from 35 and 36 yards out, but Syracuse came back with two 68-yard scoring drives in the fourth quarter starting with a 26-yard Antwon Bailey dash to get back in the game before the late drive that ended up winning the game. SU outgained SU 170 yards to 41 on the ground.
Player of the game: Syracuse LB Arthur Jones made 15 tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks
Stat Leaders: Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 22-39, 291 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Armando Allen, 17-52. Receiving: Golden Tate, 7-146, 2 TD
Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 13-25, 122 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Antwon Bailey, 16-126, 1 TD. Receiving: Donte Davis, 2-34, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Give the team credit for continuing with the effort. It’s not right to say there’s nothing to play for; beating Notre Dame in South Bend is the type of thing that players will remember forever. Want-to hasn’t been a problem for Syracuse, it’s been the talent level, but for one game, the team showed the heart and the ability to pull off a nice win in the clutch. How bizarre that Notre Dame grad Adrian Dantley’s son ended up beating the Irish? Cameron Dantley came up big when he needed to, and now no matter what happens next week against Cincinnati to end up the Greg Robinson era, the program has had its wow moment.

Nov. 15
Connecticut 39 … Syracuse 14
Syracuse pulled within one late in the first half on a one-yard Curtis Brinkley touchdown run, but Donald Brown put the game away for the Huskies 40 seconds later on a 49-yard scoring dash. The defense and special teams made the game a blowout with Jasper Howard taking a punt 69 yards for a score in the third quarter and 11 seconds later, the next play from scrimmage, Robert McClain took a pick 37 yards for a touchdown. Syracuse scored on a blocked punt in the end zone in the second quarter, but the offense didn’t work gaining just 147 yards with eight first downs.
Player of the game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 22 times for 131 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 4-16, 38 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 21-84, 1 TD. Receiving: Doug Hogue, 3-17
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 7-15, 70 yds
Rushing: Donald Brown, 22-131, 1 TD. Receiving: Kashif Moore, 3-31
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... And that’s it for the Greg Robinson era. His firing wasn’t a shock, but after the way the team struggled so much against Connecticut, it showed just how many problems there have been all the way around. The SU quarterbacks combined to complete 6-of-23 passes for just 51 yards with three interceptions, and the running game couldn’t pick up the slack. When you convert 1-of-14 third down chances, you’re not going to win much. On the plus side, the defense wasn’t bad against the Huskies, especially against the pass. But everything else didn’t work. There are still two dates with Notre Dame and Cincinnati to close things out.
 

Nov. 8
Rutgers 35 … Syracuse 17
Syracuse jumped out to a 14-0 lead on an 82-yard run from Doug Hogue and a blocked punt for a touchdown, but that was it. The SU offense did nothing from then on, finishing with 168 total yards, while the Rutgers offense got two Mike Teel touchdown passes in the second quarter and one in the fourth on Tiquan Underwood’s second scoring grab of the game. Joe Martinek took a direct snap for a 45-yard touchdown in the third to give the Scarlet Knights a comfortable 28-14 lead. Rutgers held the ball for 37:54.
Player of the game: Rutgers RB Kordell Young ran 29 times for 143 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 26-36, 276 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Kordell Young, 29-143, 1 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 9-107, 1 TD
Syracuse - Passing: Cameroun Dantley, 3-12, 19 yds
Rushing: Doug Hogue, 1-82. Receiving: Doug Hogue, 1-12
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Syracuse offense is supposed to be getting better as the season goes on, but instead it’s having more and more problems. The running game had its moments against Rutgers, but the line got destroyed by the Scarlet Knight defensive front. The passing game was non-existent with Cameron Dantley and Andrew Robinson combining to complete 5-of-19 passes for a useless 35 yards. It’s unfortunate the team couldn’t build on the win over Louisville, or the momentum from earlier in the game, but at this point, the Orange will have to fight on a game-by-game basis and it can’t look at the possibilities of the final three games. Just getting one more win from here on would be a major achievement.

Nov. 1
Syracuse 28 … Louisville 21
Curtis Brinkley ran for 100 yards for the fifth time in a row and Cameron Dantley threw two touchdown passes as Syracuse shocked Louisville. Brinkley ran for a two-yard score to answer a nine-yard Victor Anderson touchdown run in the first quarter, and then the Orange jumped ahead on a 38-yard Da’Mon Merkerson catch and a 39-yard Antwon Bailey run. The Cardinals got two Hunter Cantwell touchdown passes in the second half, but they weren’t nearly enough as the offense stalled late. SU outgained the Cardinals 385 to 351.
Player of the game: Curtis Brinkley ran the ball 33 times for 166 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Louisville - Passing: Hunter Cantwell, 23-36, 215 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Vic Anderson, 23-113, 1 TD. Receiving: Johnnie Burns, 4-27
Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 11-22, 178 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 33-166, 1 TD. Receiving: Da’Mon Merkerson, 3-68, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Syracuse didn’t make a slew of major mistakes against Louisville, although there were a few, and the offense took advantage whenever the Cardinals screwed up to get the first win over a FBS team this season. Curtis Brinkley is carrying the offense while Cameron Dantley still tries to find his way. There weren’t a slew of penalties, the passing game came up with a few big plays, and the team looked better than it had in weeks. Next week’s game against Rutgers is winnable if the team keeps playing like this.

Oct. 18
South Florida 45 … Syracuse 13
South Florida got three touchdown passes from Matt Grothe and an 11-yard touchdown run in the blowout win. Syracuse had a good first half, staying alive on two Patrick Shadle field goals and a 24-yard Curtis Brinkley run, but the Bulls went on a 24-0 run in the second half helped by a turnover leading to a one-yard A.J. Love touchdown catch and two long scoring drives. USF held on to the ball for 13:07 of the fourth quarter and 23:20 in the second half.
Player of the game: South Florida QB Matt Grothe completed 19-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns and ran ten times for 72 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 11-27, 129 yds
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 20-112, 1 TD. Receiving: Lavar Lobdell, 4-37
South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 19-26, 248 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 10-72, 1 TD. Receiving: A.J. Love, 4-21, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Syracuse hung around for a while with South Florida, and Curtis Brinkley and the running game had its moments, but the offense was too off in the second half and the defense couldn’t get Matt Grothe and the Bull attack off the field. SU has an inability to make big plays to stop scoring runs, and the defense wears down up front way too quickly.

Oct. 11
West Virginia 17 … Syracuse 6
Pat White was out with a head injury, and Noel Devine took over. The Mountaineer back ran for 188 yards with a 92-yard touchdown with just over four minutes to play to finally put the Orange away. The Mountaineer offense sputtered with Jarrett Brown throwing for just 52 yards, but the defense allowed just two Patrick Shadle field goals. Brown put the Mountaineers up for good in the second quarter on a 12-yard pass to Jock Sanders. .
Player of the game: West Virginia RB Noel Devine ran 18 times for 188 yards and a touchdown, and caught six passes for six yards
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 24-40, 204 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 28-144. Receiving: Donte Davis, 7-62
West Virginia - Passing: Jarrett Brown, 14-20, 52 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Noel Devine, 18-188, 1 TD. Receiving: Noel Devine, 6-6
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Syracuse had a chance to beat West Virginia. It had several chances. But the offense couldn’t convert yards and drives into points, while the defense that had been so strong for the entire game missed on the one big play in the final minutes when Noel Devine tore off his big game-clinching touchdown run. Cameron Dantley will eventually be a strong playmaker, but he needs receiver help.

Sept. 27
Pitt 34 … Syracuse 24
Pitt overcame a sluggish start and a 24-13 deficit to crank out 21 unanswered points with LaRod Stephens-Howling running for two short scores and Conor Lee hitting two field goals. Syracuse started off its scoring by answering a first quarter 40-yard Lee field goal with a 90-yard kickoff return for a score from Michael Holmes. The Orange got two touchdown passes from Cameron Dantley on the way to the lead, but the offense bogged down late and the Pitt running game took over. Pitt outgained SU 407 yards to 263.
Player of the game: Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy ran for 108 yards on 21 carries and had a reception for one yard.
Stat Leaders: Pittsburgh - Passing: Bill Stull, 16-27, 157 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
LeSean McCoy, 21-108. Receiving: Derek Kinder, 8-92
Syracuse
- Passing: Cameron Dantley, 8-12, 131 yds, 2 TDs
Rushing:
Curtis Brinkley, 14-107. Receiving: Lavar Lobdel, 3-52

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Syracuse has to learn how to handle in-game success. It had Pitt in big trouble midway through the third quarter. Cameron Dantley was throwing effectively, the running game was coming up with a few good yards, and the team was up by 11. The defense couldn’t get Pitt off the field, couldn’t come up with a third or fourth down stop, and the offense couldn’t get the momentum back on its side. SU has to control a game on both sides to have any shot of winning, and holding the ball for 21:40 isn’t going to do it. No there’s a week off, but the Orange has to deal with road games at West Virginia and South Florida after.

Sept. 20
Syracuse 30 … Northeastern 21
Syracuse to 145 rushing yards from Curtis Brinkley and 100 yards from Doug Hogue, but the defense had to hold on as Northeastern pulled within six late in the fourth on a one-yard Alex Broomfield touchdown run. The Orange finally put it away with a 21-yard Patrick Shadle field goal in the final two minutes. Northeastern turned the ball over twice, but threw for 293 yards highlighted by a 54-yard Chris Plum touchdown catch in the fourth.
Player of the game:
Syracuse RB Curtis Brinkley rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, and had two receptions for 18 yards.
Stat Leaders: Northeastern
- Passing: Anthony Orio, 23-37, 293 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: Anthony Orio, 7-49. Receiving: Tony Lott, 6-65
Syracuse
- Passing: Cameron Dantley, 14-17, 167 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 24-145, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike Owen, 3-29
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Syracuse had two players run for over 100 yards on Northeastern, Cameron Dantley completed 14-of-17 passes and didn’t throw a pick, and still it took everything in the bag to get the win. The defense got picked apart by the Husky passing game, and the offense didn’t take control of the game in the fourth quarter and put it away getting outscored 14-6. Even so, a win is a win, but the offense can’t play much better and it was still close. That’s not good going into the Big East opener against Pitt.

Sept. 13
Penn State 55 … Syracuse 13
Penn State scored 28 points in the first 18 minutes with Jordan Norwood scoring on a 55-yard pass play and Deon Butler catching touchdown passes from 17 and 15 yards out. Norwood added a 24-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Syracuse was never in the game, managing two field goals in the first half and an 11-yard Marcus Sales catch in the third. The Nittany Lions outgained the Orange 560 yards 159 and allowed SU to convert just 2-of-15 third down chances.
Player of the game:
Penn State WR Deon Butler caught seven passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Syracuse
- Passing: Cameron Dantley, 13-32, 110 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 14-21. Receiving: Donte Davis, 3-40
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 10-21, 163 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Evan Royster, 13-101 Receiving: Deon Butler, 7-110, 2 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Penn State might be playing really well, but Syracuse, especially on an emotional homecoming day with several great players from the past being welcomed back, needed to do something on either side of the ball. There wasn’t any running game with just 49 yards, the offensive line got beaten up by the Nittany Lion defensive front, and the passing game did nothing to keep the chains moving. SU converted just 2-of-17 third down chances and held on to the ball for fewer than 25 minutes.

Sept. 6
Akron 42 … Syracuse 28
With the score ties at 28 midway through the fourth quarter, Akron got a 12-yard touchdown catch from Andre Jones for the lead, and with under three minutes to play, got an 18-yard Merce Poindexter scoring catch to put it away. Chris Jacquemain threw three touchdown passes for the Zips and Alex Allen ran for two one-yard scores in the see-saw battle. Syracuse kept pace with Cameron Dantley throwing three touchdowns passes including two in the second half to tie the score. Each team ran for 218 yards.
Player of the game:
 Akron QB Chris Jacquemain completed 20-of-26 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns with an interception
Stat Leaders: Akron - Passing: Chris Jacquemain, 20-26, 260 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Alex Allen, 21-103, 2 TD  Receiving: Jeremy Bruce, 6-49
Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 13-20, 135 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 21-143, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike Owen, 5-59, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Where’s the tackling? Syracuse had a nightmare of a time in the second half against Northwestern, and it couldn’t wrap up against a mediocre Akron running game. While losing to the Zips is a disaster, SU might have found something in Cameron Dantley at quarterback. He didn’t push the ball deep, but he made some decent plays to balance out the running of Curtis Brinkley.

Aug. 30
Northwestern 30 ... Syracuse 10
Syracuse held a 10-9 lead midway through the third quarter thanks to a 36-yard Patrick Shadle field goal and a two-yard touchdown run from Curtis Brinkley, and then Northwestern took over with 21 unanswered points on a 12-yard Tyrell Sutton touchdown catch, a 26-yard interception return for a score from Brendan Smith, and a two-yard Josh Rooks scoring grab. In all, C.J. Bacher threw three touchdown passes for the Wildcats, but it was Sutton and a running game that rumbled for 269 yards and controlled the game.
Player of the game: Northwestern RB Tyrell Sutton ran 21 times for 144 yards and caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Andrew Robinson, 14-28, 103 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 9-49, 1 TD. Receiving: Donte Davis, 4-38
Northwestern - Passing: C.J. Bacher, 23-35, 215 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: Tyrell Sutton, 21-144, 1 TD. Receiving: Andrew Brewer, 6-48
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Even though it wasn't exactly hitting on all cylinders, for a little more than a half the Orange looked like it might upset Northwestern. And then reality set in. Syracuse ran out of steam, playing like the same inept program that’s won just seven games over the last three years, and got beaten up on the defensive front by the NU ground game. On a positive note, the defense did its job for roughly 40 minutes and the returns of backs Delone Carter and Curtis Brinkley will pay dividends to the running game. However, the clock keeps ticking for Greg Robinson who’ll need a miracle to save his job with a few more games like this.  

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Averin Collier RB 5-10 200 Churchville, N.Y., Churchville-Chili HS
Enrolled January 2008 … High School: 2007 SuperPrep All-American … 2007 Prep Star Top 135 Dream Team selection … Rated as the 24th-best athlete by Rivals.com … Rated 21st-best in the East by Scout.com … Ranked the 12th-best running back by Scout.com … Selected to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Team … 2007 Football NYSSWA All-State Class AA First-Team Offense selection … Monroe County All-Star … As a senior, registered 1,170 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 95 carries … Named Rochester area 2006 Player of the Year after gaining 1,547 yards on 193 carries and scoring 20 touchdowns

Potential Instant Impact Players

Romale Tucker LB 6-4 225 Washington, D.C./Frank W. Ballou HS/Milford Academy
Milford Academy: 2007 Prep Star All-East Region selection  … Rated the 27th-best strongside linebacker by Scout.com  … Registered 18 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery in 2007 … Coach: William Chaplick … Attended same prep school as current SU football student-athlete Jermaine Pierce and Darnell Pratt … High School: Earned 2006 Prep Star All-Atlantic accolades after posting 92 tackles, including 65 solo stops, 10 sacks and one interception … Also named to the Washington Post DCIAA All-League Team … Recorded 30 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles, 15 sacks and one fumble recovery as a junior

Mikhail Marinovich DE 6-4 222 San Clemente, Calif./JSerra Catholic HS/Milford Academy
Enrolled January 2008 … Milford Academy: 2007 Prep Star Prep School All-American … Ranked 46th on Scout.com Prep School Top 50 list … Made 33 tackles, including 20 solo, forced two fumbles, had 11 tackles of loss and set school record with 15 sacks … Coach: William Chaplick … Attended same prep school as current SU football student-athlete Jermaine Pierce and Darnell Pratt … High School: 2006 Max Emfinger All-American after recording in 45 receptions for 727 yards and five touchdowns as a tight end … First-team all-league … Set school record with six sacks in one game … Team MVP for two seasons


Rest of the Class

Ian Allport OL 6-4 300 Pulaski, N.Y./Pulaski Central HS
Antwon Bailey ATH 5-8 196 Landover, Md./Saint Johns College HS
Cory Boatman DE 6-2 260 Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel HS
Van Chew WR 6-1 165 Manassas, Va./Centreville HS
Averin Collier RB 5-10 200 Rochester, N.Y./Churchville-Chili HS
Carl Cutler TE 6-1 234 Norwich, Vt./Hanover (NH) HS
Trey Fairchild WR 5-11 185 Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS
Dorian Graham CB 5-11 185 Plantation, Fla./St Thomas Aquinas
Jeremiah Harden RB 5-9 188 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St Thomas Aquinas
Tyrell Harris CB 6-1 190 Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt HS
Michael Kay OL 6-1 280 Capitol Heights, Md./C.H. Flowers HS
Shane Kimmel LB 6-1 238 Ivyland, Pa./Council Rock HS
Nick Lepak OT 6-4 318 Auburn, N.Y./Auburn HS
Jarel Lowery DT 6-3 285 Paterson, N.J./Paterson Catholic HS
Grant Mayes CB 5-10 180 Roselle, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
Ryan Nassib QB 6-3 215 West Chester, Pa./Malvern Prep
DeAndre Preaster WR 6-3 200 Utica, N.Y./Proctor HS
David Stevens TE 6-4 220 Short Hills, N.J./Milburn HS
Dan Vaughan DE 6-2 221 Gibsonia, Pa./Pitt. Central Catholic HS
Austin Wallis K 5-10 170 Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North HS

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: Will all the experience finally turn into production? The Greg Robinson era has been an unmitigated disaster, but he's being given one more shot with seven starters returning on offense, eight back on defense, and both kickers. Andrew Robinson is considered a potentially big-time quarterback prospect, and he has a burgeoning star receiver in Mike Williams to throw to. The running game should get a huge boost with Curtis Brinkley (broken leg) and Delone Carter (hip) expected to be back this spring after getting knocked out last year.
Why to be grouchy: Do you really believe in Greg Robinson? The hope and prayer is for a Rich Brooks-like situation at Kentucky where everything comes together at once after years of building, but that's a big hope for a team that rarely showed signs of being competent. Yeah, there were injuries, and several players needed experience, but the offense was still abysmal scoring fewer than 17 points or fewer in eight games.
The number one thing to work on is: Line play. The O line got no push whatsoever for the nation's second-worst running game and allowed 54 sacks, the second most in the country. Robinson is supposed to be a defensive coach, yet the Orange were dead last in the Big East in scoring, passing, rushing and total D. SU was 118th in the nation in sacks generating just nine. Nine.
Biggest offensive loss: WR Taj Smith
Biggest defensive loss: S Joe Fields
Best returning offensive player: WR Mike Williams, Jr.
Best returning defensive player:
NT Arthur Jones, Jr.

2007 Recap
Recap: The Orange maintained, even enhanced, its growing reputation as the worst program in the Big East, going 2-10 and winning just a single league game.  There was very little to cheer about at Syracuse, which lost 10 games for the second time in three years, and was routinely abused at the point of attack on both sides of the ball.  For Orange fans hoping to see a head or two roll in December, even that didn’t go their way, as beleaguered head coach Greg Robinson was given another year to get the program back to respectability.    

Offensive Player of the Year: WR Mike Williams

Defensive Player of the Year: NT Arthur Jones

Biggest Surprise: The Orange sure weaved a doozy of an upset on Sept. 22, flooring heavily-favored Louisville in one of the biggest upsets in Big East history.  Syracuse nabbed its first win of the season behind sophomore QB Andrew Robinson, who turned 17 completions into 423 yards and four touchdown passes.

Biggest Disappointment: The Orange’s encore to picking off Louisville?  Losing to Miami University, 17-14, the following weekend in a listless effort that encapsulated why the program is in such a state of disrepair.  Syracuse got out gained 436 to 302, fumbling an opportunity to build on the school’s flashiest win this decade.

Looking Ahead: Well, on a positive note, Robinson’s return for 2008 means the players won’t have to spend a chunk of the offseason, learning a new staff, a new offense, and new terminology.  Although the Orange is a mess in the trenches, the skill position players offer a hint of hope, especially if touted RB Delone Carter can make it all the way back from a dislocated hip.     

 

  

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