BYU/Cuse Breakdown

With questions raised regarding Syracuse's revamped offensive line and lack of experience on offense, the consensus was that the Orangemen would be lead by their bruising middle linebacker, Clifton Smith, and their defense.

However, the Syracuse defense resembled a cell membrane against BYU on Thursday: everything got through.

Yielding 651 total yards, 397 through the air, sounds more like the Syracuse intramural team played against BYU. Deep plays, short plays, and every play in between seemed to kill the morale of the Syracuse defense.

The cornerbacks, most notably Latroy Oliver, consistently were giving BYU's receivers a ten yard cushion with which to catch the ball. Then, as if BYU was coated with grease, Syracuse repeatedly had trouble making routine tackles.

Despite tallying thirteen tackles, the highly-touted Clifton Smith was slowed in the second half by cramps. In fact, many of the Syracuse players were plagued by cramps due to the high altitude in Provo, Utah.

By the fourth quarter, many of the fatigued Orangemen were moving about as fluidly as the plastic men from the old-school electronic football game. The ESPN commentators explained that BYU gives its players two ounces of pickle juice, yes, pickle juice, before each half to prevent cramping.

Even when things went well for the defense (three turnovers caused by the Orangmen lead to all three of the offense's touchdowns), they could not build on the momentum. BYU just took it to the air, and in turn, took the air out of Syracuse's sails.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. Knowing that, you can bet that the SU coaching staff is working out the mistakes, all 14,752 of them (give or take), to make sure that North Carolina sees the real Syracuse defense on September 7th in the Carrier Dome.

And if the hard work doesn't pay off, maybe Coach Pasqualoni should invest in the almighty pickle juice. Hey, it seemed to work for BYU.

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