One quote can sum up Syracuse's 31-9 loss to Rutgers at the dome this past Saturday. "There were just too many fumbles," junior punter Brendan Carney said.

When it was all said and done, Syracuse put the ball on the carpet nine times against the Scarlet Knights. The Orange lost five of those balls.

"Nine times. That's ridiculous," Orange coach Greg Robinson said. "That's bad coaching, it really is. I really can't tell you anything other than that. Is it disappointing? Heck yeah."

Four of the fumbles were registered by senior tailback Damien Rhodes, 2 of them on botched handoffs from sophomore quarterback Joe fields. Fields is right-handed while Syracuse's starting quarterback Perry Patterson is a lefty.

"I've been playing football for a while," Fields said. "So I can't use the excuse that I'm a not a lefty and Damien's not used to that. I just have to hand the ball off into his stomach or chest. So I put that on my shoulders."

Rhodes had a different perspective.

"The problem was concentration," Rhodes said. "I was trying to do too much, and not focusing on the little things like securing the ball. I take responsibility for today."

The turnovers we're the last thing an already struggling Syracuse offense needed. The Orange is last in the Big East in scoring.

"It was really frustrating," tackle Quinn Ojinnaka said. "You turn around, you have your guy on the ground and you see Rutgers players and fans jumping around because we fumbled."

Although coach Robinson took blame and responsibility for the turnovers and the loss, senior guard Steve Franklin a coach can only do so much.

"The coaches are doing a heck of a job," Franklin said. "Right now it's just the players. We have to put it together. We all need to come together and play a full game together. And if we do that, we will win games."

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