"Spark" Costs Fields a Year

The Orange was on its way to loss number four Friday as Head Coach Greg Robinson looked to backup quarterback Joe Fields for help. The sophomore entered the game against Connecticut with 13:05 remaining in the third quarter and the Orange down 6-0. Fields entered Rentschler Field simply to offer Syracuse a change of pace.

"Joe's a talented kid," Robinson said. "We'll continue to use him. We need to find as much spark as we can. For a short period of time, he gave us that spark. That was the intent."

Fields proved to be far more mobile than Patterson had been, briefly changing the pace of the game. His spark was the 31 rushing yards he managed on two naked bootlegs. But, his passing abilities were much less effective than his feet. Fields attempted three total passes, completing only one, to the wrong team. He threw the interception to Connecticut's Dahna Deleston. The quarterback's short-lived spark did not help the Orange's cause, but it did cost Fields his redshirt for the 2005 season.

Robinson approached Fields prior to Friday's game about his participation in the contest. He felt that Fields could bring something extra to the table for the Orange but knew also that he'd have to give up a year of eligibility for it.

"I was kind of on the fence," Fields said. "It's hard to say ‘no' when somebody tells you they feel like you can help the team. Ultimately this is a team game; you can't let that get in the way."

Robinson said Fields will continue to see playing time, though junior Perry Patterson will remain the team's starter. Fields noted that Robinson made it very clear to him that the quarterback job is Patterson's.

Fields provides a quickness and athleticism within the position that Patterson lacks. Patterson had only scrambled once for 11 yards prior to Fields entering the game.

Both quarterbacks struggled to hit open receivers on Friday night. Patterson ended the game having completed less than one third of his pass attempts (31-10). He added to Fields' interception with one of his own.

"Perry is our starting quarterback," Robinson said. "We're going to find out how to use Joe to the best of his abilities."


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