10-23-2009, 08:50 PM





On Saturday, October 24th at 12 noon, the MAC-East Akron Zips will be hosted by the Big East Syracuse Orangemen at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. This game will be a display of defense prowess with a mixture of offensive fundamentals, and is sure to be a good one.

Akron QB Chris Jacquemain, a three year starter for the Zips, was suspended indefinitely after the Zip's 2nd game of the season, a 41-0 win over Morgan State, for violating undisclosed team rules. It must have been something serious, because he still is not back, and the team has been futilely trying to get some type of composure into the offensive attack. Jacquemain was replaced by Matt Rodgers who started against Indiana and Central Michigan (losses of 21-38 and 21-48) respectively. Two and one half games later Rodgers was injured in the 2nd quarter vs Ohio U(a 9-17 loss), and he was replaced by Patrick Nicely, who saw his first action as a Zip QB. Nicely is now 26 of 57 for 298 yards. This young man is being credited by sportswriters accross the nation as showing an extreme amount of poise for someone being so young. The coaches feel that he can pick a team apart if given the time and opportunity.

But the chips are not falling in Akron's direction. A season ending fibula injury to top WR Deryn Bowser(21 catches for 307 yards) and the loss of starting LB AAron Williams with a broken ankle have just added fuel to this teams misery. Adding in the questionable listing of starting CB Manley Waller with a sprained ankle, and the team is in some disarray.

There is one bright spot of a possitve note, and it is LB Brian Wagner who is in the running for the MAC Freshman of the Year award with 67 tackles in just 6 games.

This game was highlighted on the 2009 Syracuse calendar way back in the second week of the 2008 season, as being a must win revenge game after the Zips embarrassed the Orangemen 42-28 in the Syracuse home opener of 2008. It was oinly the Zip's second win over a BCS conference team.

Syracuse has not had a winning season since 2001, and not in the last 4 year stint coached by Greg Robinson. Robinson has now been replaced by Doug Marrone, who does not take much BS and expects perfection from his players. There was a time in history (it seems so long ago), that teams feared coming to the Carrier Dome to face the Orangemen. How things change over time!

In the 2008 game vs the Zips Chris Jacquemain(now suspended) picked the Orangemen apart with 20 completions on 26 atts for 260 yards. Alex Allen, who still plays for the zips, gained 103 yards on 21 carries and 2 TDs. THe QB for Syracuse was Cameron Dantley and he was 13 of 20 for 135 yards and 3 TDs in only his second career start. Dantley is still with the team but the starting job has been given to Greg Paulus. Paulus has thrown 6 INTs in the past two games vs So Florida and W Virginia, losses of 20-34 and 13-34 respectively. If Paulus can not move the team, we might see backup Ryan Nassib under center. Nassib threw two TDs against W.Va. He is a sophmore.

Syracuse has definitely struggled against fast-paced spread offenses like Akron's. Something that Coach Marrone has promised to address during this past bye week for the team.

Syracuse is 117 nationally in 3rd down conversions and 103rd nationally in turnovers lost. This issue was probably addressed also. The Syracuse defense on the other hand has forcrd 14 turnovers (30th in the nation). Five on INTs and 9 on fumbles(a number tieing them for 8th nationally.)

So, what is the bottom line on this game? The Akron secondary is suspect, so look for a big game from Syracuse WR Mike Williams(118.7 rec yds/game)(7.5 rec/game). The Zips don't run much, so LB Darrell Smith and DE Jared Kimmel will be expected to put pressure on the young Zip QB. Smith is averaging .75 sacks/game(tied for 32nd nationally) and leads the team with 55 tackles.

The fact that Syracuse wants this game so badly, after the players have had to hear about last years loss for a year and a half now.....the fact that they do have the ability to pressure the inexperienced young Zip QB into possible game changing mistakes.......a coach that people say is worth his salt to prepare them mentally and physically....I think the Orangemen beat the -9 point spread. If for some reason these scenarios mentioned above do not take place, it will be a hard fought seesaw ball game right down to the end.

"Everybody plays the fool, sometimes........ there's no exception to the rule."

10-23-2009, 10:45 PM
BOL I also think Cuse rolls