Tag:Syracuse
Posted on: December 27, 2010 2:15 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 2:15 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Pinstripe Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli as part of the blog's Bowl Bonanza series.  Read our preview for today's Independence Bowl here.

The Basics: Kansas State (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5), Dec. 30, 3:20pm EST

Why You Should Watch: Because don't you want to be able to tell your children and grandchildren someday that you were there, at home, to watch the first ever New Era Pinstripe Bowl inside the legendary two-year old -- it may be 22 years old by then -- Yankee Stadium?  Who could pass that opportunity up?  Plus, given the latest weather patterns to hit New York this week, the game could be played under two feet of snow.

Keys to Victory for Kansas State: It seems pretty generic to say it, but it's true.  In order for Kansas State to beat Syracuse the Wildcats are going to have to win the battle up front on offense.  Syracuse has a strong defensive line anchored by defensive tackles Bud Tribbey and Andrew Lewis.  The interior of KSU's line, which has been strong all season, will have to neutralize those two and get to the second level and take linebackers Derrell Smith and Doug Hogue out of the equation.

This will be a key for Daniel Thomas to find room, and the more successful that Daniel Thomas is, the more successful Kansas State generally is.  

It's likely that Kansas State will also feature backup QB Collin Klein a bit in this game as well.  He saw a lot more playing time towards the end of the season, and he's more athletic and elusive than Carson Coffman is, and at times looked unstoppable.  It will be important for Kansas State to be successful on the ground because its passing attack has been suspect this season, and Syracuse is strong in pass coverage.

Keys to Victory for Syracuse: It's not exactly a secret that Syracuse's strength is its defense.  The Orange are ranked only 99th in the country with 21.0 points per game, but are ranked 13th in the nation on defense, allowing only 18.1 points per game.

That formula shouldn't change in this game, but Syracuse does have a chance to be a bit more successful on offense.  Particularly in the rushing game, as Kansas State has been pretty underwhelming against the run on defense this season.  So Syracuse's best bet would be to feed the ball to Delone Carter and Antwon Bailey and pound the Wildcats defense into submission.

There may be room for Syracuse to throw the ball a bit better than they have this season, but Ryan Nassib doesn't have many options around him and he can be a bit slow in making a decision. So Syracuse would be better served to pick its spots in the passing game, and let Carter and Bailey carry the load.

The Pinstripe Bowl is like: an actual baseball game at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and Red Sox.  Not because this is such a strong rivalry, or because the stands will be packed, but because the final score is likely going to be 14-13 and the game will take over four hours.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 5:20 pm
 

Syracuse punter Rob Long to have tumor removed

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In a college football season that's already seen Eric LeGrand paralyzed at Rutgers and Mississippi State defensive end Nick Bell pass away at age 20 after battling cancer, maybe we should be thankful the terrible news today regarding Syracuse punter Rob Long isn't worse already:
[Long] will not participate in the 2010 New Era Pinstripe Bowl due to surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Long notified the Syracuse University sports medicine staff that he had been experiencing headaches for the past several weeks. An MRI performed on December 2, 2010 revealed the benign tumor that will require imminent surgery.
Long will, obviously, miss the practices leading up to the bowl as well, and as a senior, his Orange career has come to an end. One of the many shames in this situation is that he will not be able to participate in what would have been the only bowl game of his and his fellow Syracuse seniors' careers. And however badly he'll be missed on the punting unit -- at 43.3 yards an attempt, he will go down ranked second in school history in punting average -- his absence will be felt even moreso in the locker room, where Long is a captain, popular teammate, and longtime 'Cuse fan favorite. (Syracuse blogger Sean Keeley writes that there's "probably some truth " to the idea that Long has been the team's MVP over the past few years.)

But clearly nothing football-related matters a bit next to a full recovery for Long from his upcoming surgery. The College Football Blog 's thoughts go with him as we wish him the speediest recovery possible.


Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:14 pm
 

Bieniemy in line for Colorado job?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We know now who the new Colorado head coach won't be, namely, Troy Calhoun . We also know that the Buffs appear set on making a run at Les Miles that has as much chance of succeeding as a run at Ralphie-powered space travel. But what we don't know yet is who the Buffs might actually hire.

According to the Denver Post , though, we know who's edged into pole position : former Colorado great and current Minnesota Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy . Why?
Ex-CU players are putting a great deal of pressure on athletic director Mike Bohn to hire the former Buffs tailback, who had a good interview Saturday. The committee was impressed with the potential staff Bieniemy said he could put together.
In one sense, Bieniemy would be an uninspiring hire. The track record of NFL position coaches as college head coaches isn't a strong one (just ask Tim Brewster and Sylvester Croom ) and Bieniemy has never been a coordinator at any level. Well-meaning as the former Buffs may be, Bieniemy's hire would also only reinforce the impression -- first created by the school's flirtation with 70-year-old Colorado legend Bill McCartney -- that the program is simply trying to recreate their late-'80s-early-'90s heyday rather than living in the present.

But if Bieniemy does indeed have a pair of inspiring choices in mind to help him out as coordinators, he could prove a galvanizing choice. Few coaches should be able to sell the Colorado program to recruits as well as a young, (allegedly) charismatic, energetic head man with ties to Boulder as deep as Bieniemy's. That both Bieniemy and McCartney have received as much popular support as they have shows how deep the Buffalo fanbase's respect for the CU glory days runs, and Bieniemy should be able to tap into that optimism in a wa ythat Dan Hawkins never could. And as Doug Marrone 's impressive salvage job at Syracuse shows, NFL assistants coachin on behalf of their alma mater can certainly have success.

None of that guarantees Bieniemy anything at this stage. But if the Buffs are as intent on making a quick hire as the Post article suggests, the other candidates in the Buffs' pool will have to move up the ladder quickly if they don't want to see the job wrapped up.


Posted on: November 28, 2010 3:47 am
Edited on: November 28, 2010 11:41 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Nov. 27)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.) With Win, South Florida Joins The State Elite - While Miami's loss to South Florida certainly jump-started some major program changes in Coral Gables, the Bulls' upset victory marked a significant moment in the USF program, and the career of first-year head coach Skip Holtz. South Florida has only been playing football since 1997, and only in Division I since 2001. The Bulls' victory over Miami gives a good portion of 2010's squad an in-state ACC sweep. A season ago, it was B.J. Daniels who stepped in for injured QB Matt Grothe to lead the Bulls to victory over Florida State in Tallahassee. This year, it was freshman quarterback Bobby Eveld who stepped in for the injured Daniels and led the team to a victory at Miami. Eveld completed only 8 of 15 passes for 120 yards, but managed the game well to help South Florida withstand a furious charge by Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes offense. For Skip Holtz, the win helped bring a good landmark for an otherwise rollercoaster first season as head coach for a BCS program. The struggling passing game did not spoken well for the offensive minded head coach, but Holtz has been able to coach up this squad from a 3-3 start to staring down a potential fifth straight 8+ win season. Accomplishing that will be more difficult than it sounds, with Jordan Todman and Connecticut coming to town playing for the conference title.

2.) Jordan Todman Leading Connecticut Title Surge - At the end of this definitive weekend in college football, South Florida was not the only new addition to make a statement in the Big East. Added to Division I officially in 2002 and the Big East in 2004, Connecticut stands one win from the first BCS bowl berth in program history. The Huskies have caught fire in the second half of the season, conveniently during the backlogged conference schedule. Wins over West Virginia and PIttsburgh has given Connecticut the tie-breaker edge against all the contenders, and now they control their own destiny. Much of the credit on the offensive end has to be credited to running back Jordan Todman. Todman has broken the 100 mark in 9 of his 10 games this season, and averaging 175.6 yards/game in his last three outings. Todman even left Saturday's showdown with Cincinnati and returned to finish with 31 carries on the day. So far there has been no stopping Todman, and if the Huskies can carry this win streak to the Fiesta Bowl Todman will start getting a lot more (deserved) attention from the league.

3.) Home Struggles Stain Otherwise Successful Season for Syracuse - The Orange have had one of their best seasons in nearly half a decade, but still something seems sour as Syracuse closed 2010 against Boston College on Saturday. After all, a team that hadn't seen a bowl game since 2004 should be excited about a seven win season. Right? Unfortunately, Syracuse fans will be asking the "What If's" for a long time after watching their team finish the season losing three home games in the last month of the season. At the end of October, Syracuse was 6-2 with a 3-1 conference record that had them in the early conference title talks. But the late season collapse that has been characterized by a stagnant offense has demoted the Orange to the middle of the pack in the Big East, simply playing for a bowl with better swag. As a former offensive assistant coach, those questions will have to be answered by Doug Marrone. However, it should be stated that Syracuse has done a great job turning the program around from their recent struggles. But when it comes time for season ticket renewals, don't be surprised if a 2-4 home record (0-4 against FBS teams) keeps ticket sales down in the Carrier Dome.

4.) The Backyard Brawl Could Have Two New Faces In 2011 - Heading into Friday's 103rd meeting of Pittsburgh and West Virginia, Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that the losing coach might find themselves in danger of becoming unemployed. After all the dust cleared in West Virginia's 35-10 manhandling of the Panthers, there is a chance that both schools could be looking for new head coaches for 2011. Predictably, the late-season struggles of the Panthers have Dave Wannstedt on the hot seat in Pittsburgh, but recent reports suggest that West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart may be considering retirement. Both teams have been perennially competitive for the better part of five years, but neither squad has been able to capitalize on their fast starts in 2010. Stewart fell into his position after Rodriguez departed for Michigan, and Wannstedt was brought in to bring the Panthers to the "next level." Trips to the Meineke Car Care Bowl do not exactly count as "next level," and Wannstedt might want to think about taking some pens home from work.

Posted on: November 27, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2010 4:12 pm
 

Syracuse home woes continue against BC

Posted by Chip Patterson

One month ago, Syracuse was 6-2 and in the midst of what appeared to be a special season for Orange football.  Head coach Doug Marrone was showered with praises for his job turning around a program that had not seen more than four wins since 2004.  With only one loss in conference play, the Orange were staring down a shot at the Big East title.  

One odd aspect of Syracuse's special season has been their struggles at home.  With their 16-7 loss to Boston College, Syracuse fell to 2-4 in the Carrier Dome.  Each of the Orange's conference losses came at home, and falling to the Eagles on Senior Day was the icing on the cake.  Syracuse will still go bowling, but Orange fans have to look at the three-team race for the title and wonder what could have been.  Marrone's job this season is certainly commendable, but he will have to answer for an offense that only scored 26 points in the last three games combined.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 2:24 pm
 

Connecticut capitalizing on opportunity so far

Posted by Chip Patterson

When West Virginia toppled Pittsburgh in the 103rd Backyard Brawl, Connecticut suddenly had a reason to extra thankful this weekend.  The Panthers loss opened up the Big East conference championship race to the Huskies and Mountaineers, with the prize of a BCS bowl berth at the finish line.  Connecticut has been on a tear since starting the conference season 0-2.  They have knocked off West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on their climb up the standings.  Now with two weeks left, the Huskies own the tie breaker against the top teams in the conference and control their own destiny.  Connecticut has seized the opportunity so far against Cincinnati, leading 24-10 at half.  

Jordan Todman has continued his impressive performance on the ground, creeping up on the 100 yard mark in the first half.  Todman has broken the 100 yard mark in every game except a 26-0 shutout loss to Louisville, and is averaging 155 yards per game in the Huskies current win streak.  It is awfully impressive to think that a team that just joined Division I is on the verge of a potential BCS Bowl game, and a huge credit to head coach Randy Edsall for getting them to this point. 
Posted on: November 22, 2010 2:15 pm
 

BC's Montel Harris has knee surgery

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been a tale of two seasons for Boston College in 2010.  The team started off 2-5 and 0-4 in the ACC while playing musical chairs with its quarterback throughout.  Really, the only constant for Boston College through the first two months of the schedule was running back Montel Harris, who game in and game out was the best player on offense.  Well, not much has changed for Harris, but his team finally caught up with him over the last month, as BC has won four straight conference games and are now 6-5 going into the season's final game against Syracuse.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they're not going to have Harris for the game.  Harris tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee during BC's 17-13 victory over Virginia on Saturday, and had to have arthroscopic surgery to repair it on Monday morning.  

Now, there is a chance that Harris will be able to return in time for a bowl game, though that all depends on where Boston College ends up, and how much time he'll have off to recover.  Odds are that Harris will do everything he can to play in the bowl game, as he's a senior and it would be the final game of his career.  Plus, he has a chance to rush his way into the Boston College record books.

Harris moved past Mike Cloud to take over second place on BC's all-time rushing list before being injured on Saturday, and finds himself with 3,600 yards in his career.  Which is only 125 yards shy of Boston College's all-time leading rusher Derrick Knight.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 11:55 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2010 12:01 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Nov. 20)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. It doesn't have to be pretty, Pittsburgh just found a way to win - It took almost three quarters, but the Panthers offense finally caught stride in the second half. A touchdown-less game saw back-to-back-to-back touchdown drives across a 12 minute span that put Pittsburgh up for good 17-10. Tito Sunseri efficiently led the way on the scoring drives, completing 8 of 9 passes in the second half. Dion Lewis was undoubtedly the Panthers' feature back, rushing 22 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. Avoiding a loss keeps Pittsburgh alone atop the Big East standings, as we creep closer to the end of the season and crowning of a conference champion. With only two other two-loss teams left, all eyes will be on the 103rd Backyard Brawl against West Virginia next week. A Panthers win would eliminate all other contenders except Connecticut, a West Virginia victory blows the race wide open with a week left.

2. At 7-3, West Virginia can thank their defense for success - While many teams fear the power and potential of West Virginia's offense, their success in the 2010 season can be credited mostly to their defense. The Mountaineer defense is among the top five in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 12.9 points per game. No team has scored more than 21 points on West Virginia, Saturday's 17-10 victory over Louisville was another example of Bill Stewart's defensive unit closing out a game, pitching a second half shutout against a Cardinals rushing attack that entered the Saturday averaging 192.3 yards per game -- best in the conference.

3. Connecticut poses the biggest threat as a dark horse - On a three game winning streak, one of the conference's hottest teams is Connecticut. The Huskies have moved from winless and sub-.500 to one of three teams competing for a BCS Bowl birth in late November. The Huskies 3-2 conference record is good enough for second place, and with wins over West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse, they own the tie-breaker against the conference's best teams. If Connecticut wins against Cincinnati and South Florida, all they need is one loss from Pittsburgh and the Huskies will find themselves bowling in January. It would be quite an accomplishment for a program that just joined Division I-A in 2002.

4. Learning the scenarios for the Big East title contenders -
For Pittsburgh to win the Big East - Simply - win both of their remaining games. Can also clinch the division with a win over West Virginia paired with a Connecticut loss. Losing to West Virginia would blow the title hunt wide open with Connecticut taking a slight advantage by owning both tiebreakers.

For West Virginia to win the Big East - West Virginia needs to win the Backyard Brawl and defeat Rutgers in the season finale. They also will need a Connecticut loss in order to avoid losing the conference championship to the Huskies in a tiebreaker.

For Connecticut to win the Big East - The Huskies need a Panthers loss in order to get a shot, but victories over the Panthers and Mountaineers have given Connecticut protection in the event of any ties. However, the Huskies would need to win out as well, and after watching Cincinnati hang 69 points on Rutgers, there are no guarantees in the Big East.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com