FIFTH DOWN: Pasqualoni gone?

I think we have seen the end of the Coach P era, and it's "blowin in the wind." The 24-7 loss to Rutgers is rock bottom, and I believe Jake C. knows he has to make a change or there will be a half empty Dome next season for each game. The ND game next Sat. will be an Irish home game in the Dome.

With the wind at 22 mph gusting to 40 mph on occasion, SU had the wind in the third quarter of a 7-7 game. (The only SU score came on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by Steve Gregory less than two minutes into the game.) R.J. Anderson threw a bad interception returned to the Syracuse 3, and it led to a short run by Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart to make it 14-7.

The ensuing kickoff into the wind died, but was a live ball recovered by Rutgers at the Syracuse 33, and led to short touchdown run by Brian Leonard 1:06 later.

Next kickoff, the same thing happened.

Live ball recovery by Rutgers at the 30 led to two yard touchdown pass, as Hart connected with Tres Moses to make it 21-7 with 58 seconds in the third.

With the wind in the fourth quarter, Rutgers sealed it with a field goal. SU's offense did practically nothing, netting just 37 rushing yards. In the air, Anderson was 14-of-32 for 161 yards and a bad interception. The defense was on the field too long in third quarter, as Rutgers held possession for 10:17 of the 15:00.

"It's a sad day for Syracuse football," Anderson said. "No disrespect intended, but we lost to Rutgers."

At least two Syracuse players, linebacker Rich Scanlon and tailback Walter Reyes, went into the stands afterwards to defend family/friends, right behind the SU bench. NJ State Troopers had to enter to break it up and SU assistants and staff brought the SU players back to the field and tunnel.

Where was Coach Pasqualoni when this happened? Already up the tunnel. He did not see it. The loss of composure you never want to see from your players, going into the stands for crying out loud with state troopers in pursuit. Crouthamel saw it all on the field. He could not have been happy. When asked by Donnie Webb afterwards Pasqualoni said, "I'll investigate that, I wasn't aware of it. I'll look into it. It's the first I've heard about it (right then)." He had to have known what happened from his assistants and staff that broke it up, or he's not delegating properly.

When asked about his future Pasqualoni said: "Here's what I know. I know that we have one more game to go. We're going to focus on the game. Get ready to play Notre Dame at home in the Carrier Dome. We have a great group of kids here. We have a terrific group of kids. It didn't work out for us today, but we got a solid, solid group of people we'll focus on getting ready to play a game."

Asked if he believes he'll be coaching beyond next Saturday Pasqualoni said: "Yeah, absolutely. Donnie (Webb, Syracuse Post-Standard reporter) I can't, you know obviously...looking forward to next week and focusing on that game, win our last home game, senior day."

Asked if he would resign by Webb: Oh, Donnie stop, would you please? Stop it. It was a hard fought football game here today and we lost."

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano on his 5-7 team perhaps matching SU's 5-7 eventual record and the upward movement of his program, and the downward movement of SU in the "new" Big East: "Certainly this victory helps us go in the right direction when we recruit against them (SU and other Big East teams). But really we sell the positive evolution of the season, and I think our five wins, and ending today like we did, is important."

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