Football Notebook: SU Hoops steals cheers

The crowd roared, fans screamed at the top of their lungs and the Carrier Dome hit a high note. <br><br> The only problem was, the cheers weren't for the football team, it was for the 2003 National Champion basketball team.

Carmelo Anthony made an appearance, sporting a Syracuse jersey with a Denver Nuggets jersey, his current team, wrapped around his waist. Anthony will make another visit to the dome next month in an NBA exhibition game when the Nuggets play the Detroit Pistons.

After Anthony, the loudest cheers were for Gerry McNamara, Kueth Duany and head coach Jim Boeheim.

More than 38,000 came for the game.

"It was nice to have the fans out there," quarterback RJ Anderson said. "But they came to see the basketball team."




Bumpy Rhodes
Damien Rhodes, who has been playing with a high ankle sprain, tweaked his ankle again and may consider taking time off from practice.

"Damien doesn't have a burst of speed like he did last year," SU offensive coordinator George DeLeone said. "We're going to evaluate what's best for him – rest it or working through it."

So far, Rhodes has chosen the latter, and proved effective today, rushing for 71 yards on 11 carries.

"(Rhodes' ankle) is not getting better," DeLeone said. "It's been two weeks now."




Player of the game: Johnnie Morant.
Morant's eight catches for 141 yards has turned many heads. After four years of under-whelming performances, it seems that the 6-foot-7 Morant is finally cashing in on his wealth of potential.

Said DeLeone: "Johnnie can make plays for his. He made some tough spectacular catches. He's a big play guy that we desperately need."




Quote to note:
Said SU coach Paul Pasqualoni on not blitzing more: "We were not in a mode today where we were in blitzes. You want to get a pass rush, but the QB will get rid of it quickly."




Key Play:
Late in the fourth quarter with the Orangemen still only down by a touchdown, the Cardinals were pinned on the nine-yard line on third down. A stop would mean the Orangemen could've taken over inside Louisville territory with a chance to tie the game.

Instead, Lefors completed a pass to Russell for eight yards for a first down. Louisville eventually converted a field goal, making it 30-20.




This and That: Think Darian Durant and Stefan LeFors were tough? Heisman hopeful Ryan Schneider rolls into town next week, after completing 23-of-35 passes for 203 yards. … Kicker Justin Sujansky did not dress this week because of an injured hip flexor. … DE Josh Thomas (leg) played limited minutes.

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