Quarterbacks have to have a short-term memory. Whether that's during a game after an interception, or during the season after a tough loss. The ability of Syracuse quarterback commit Austin Wilson to move on will be tested this week. East Pennsboro suffered their first loss of the season last week, despite a strong performance from Wilson. The next day, Wilson traveled to Metlife Stadium to watch Syracuse face USC. He spoke about both with CuseNation.com.
"We lost 31-26," Wilson recalled. "It was a tough game. We had the lead the majority of the game until the fourth quarter. I think offensively we played pretty good. I went 18 of 24 for 270 yards and three touchdowns. But the defense let West Perry drive the whole way down the field. They took the time up on the clock and went the whole day down. They didn't have to pass much. We ended up missing an extra-point that would've put us up 21-7 so we were only up 20-7. They ended up with two touchdowns and the extra-points. Then they scored again. We had a drive going and got down to the 40-yard line. I threw it to my receiver and he fumbled the ball. And that was the end of the game."
After a loss, there is always some reflection to look at what went wrong and how things can be fixed going forward. Austin Wilson is already looking to fix their mistakes.
"Offensively, I'd say the only weak part of our offense was the running game," he said. "Last week, our first week, it was a lot better. The line was able to make more holes. This week our running back had, I think, 50 yards. He didn't really have anywhere to run. So we stuck to the passing game this week. It was pretty good, but I think our line is going to have to step up for next week. I think they'll be up for the task and hopefully we have a better outcome."
East Pennsboro has implemented some pro-style offensive schemes within their offense to help prepare Wilson for the college game. That includes taking snaps under center, which he had not done in previous years. Ironically, the Syracuse offense this year is taking far fewer snaps from directly under center. However, Wilson is preparing for that nonetheless.
"Actually I connected on a 82-yard touchdown pass from under center this week," he described. "It was a gain to my receiver Sammie Marshall. It was an under center play-action. Straight drop back, five step. I was able to hit him on a streak route to the outside. Other than that, we've been mixing it up a lot more than we have in previous years. It's a lot better for me and I feel like I'm getting a lot more comfortable with it. Coming up and reading the defense, being able to sit in the pocket."
Wilson had another effective outing, passing for three touchdowns. Each was done in a different way, showcasing the different facets of his game.
"My first touchdown was a 30-yard pass to receiver Jake Nieto. It was a streak down the sideline. He had single coverage and I just put it over the top. That was on our first drive. Then I hit Sammie Marshall on the deep one. Then towards the end of the game, our last touchdown was we drove down to the 10. I hit a checkdown and he ran in for a 10-yard touchdown."
Wilson and East Pennsboro look to get back in the win column on Saturday on the road against Kennard-Dale.
After Wilson's loss on Friday, he woke up early on Saturday and traveled to New Jersey to watch Syracuse play USC in Metlife Stadium. He tailgated with Ryan Nassib's family, and enjoyed the experience.
"I thought it was great," Wilson detailed. "Until, you know, the USC players started taking over late in the game, in the fourth quarter. Other than that, I thought their defense looked tremendous. They were stopping Matt Barkley and the running game for the most part. I ended up having to leave, I took off in the third quarter so I had time to get back with the rain delay and all that. I think Nassib played a great game again and I was very impressed.
"I'm very excited to play in the new offense to tell you the truth. I like how much they're passing the ball. Also the variations between the run and the pass. But the up-temponess, I think that's really going to help them out, and help us out when I'm up there. We're just going to wear down teams I think in the fourth quarter. It's great, it's exciting to watch and will be extremely fun to play in.
"I'm going to talk to Coach Hackett tonight since I wasn't able to at the game," Wilson continued. "My family tailgated with Ryan Nassib's family. We brought his brother Carl down from Penn State. He's my brother's roommate there. We ended up with them and I was talking to Augustus Edwards the running back commit. I'm not sure if he was able to make it. I know he had a game on Saturday. Other than that, I just came up with my family and a couple friends.
"They were very impressed by what they saw. They were all very pumped and loved the offense and the defense as well. That's part of my commitment is they all sat down with me and looked at all the options and how I would fit in offensively. Everybody just feels really confident and comfortable with things."