Orner "Kicks" Syracuse Down to 0-2

OK. So I stand about 5'8'', maybe 5'9'' on a good day. I tip the scales at 170 lbs. Now, you might say that I won't have a future playing college football.

And, you are right. That is, unless you count intramural flag football. This year, I'm out to defend my third-team all-rec league selection from last year.

So, how then, did Dan Orner, North Carolina's 5'7'', 170 lbs. junior, play such a major role in sending Syracuse to its second straight loss to open the season?

Orner did not use his impressive stature against the Orangemen. He was not able to feed off of the miniscule cheering section of the Tar Heels. All Orner had to use was his right foot.

Orner kicked three field goals, all from somewhere around the Rochester area, and split the uprights in the Carrier Dome Saturday night on national television.

His field goals of 51, 52, and 55 yards (the latter being a UNC school record) caused 39,000 simultaneous thuds as everyone's jaws hit the floor on every successful attempt.

Syracuse's still maligned defense made some key stops that seemingly would have forced UNC to punt the ball deep into Syracuse territory.

Not so fast.

That's when the "Man With the Golden Foot" walked on the field and put three more notches on the UNC score with every sweep of his foot.

I haven't seen kicks like that since Ralph Macchio in "The Karate Kid." Oh, if only Orner had used "the crane" to kick field goals. Now, that is talent.

Undoubtedly, Orner was a key part in Syracuse's home-opening loss. Orner's field goals were responsible for nine points. Syracuse lost by eight, 30-22.

But, only if it were that easy for Syracuse to key on that as the only problem.

The Orangemen looked uninspired at times, careless with the ball on offense, and getting beat on deep routes on defense. They had some things to build on for next week. The secondary play of Steve Gregory was very good. The two-headed running back that is Walter Reyes and Damien Rhodes both looked solid again.

So, for the second straight year, Syracuse starts the season 0-2. Whereas last year, it was acceptable to be 0-2 after facing Georgia Tech and Tennessee, this year is different. BYU and UNC are a step below last year's first two foes.

But, we all know what happened last year. Syracuse steamrolled through the season until getting caught in a hurricane in Miami. But, if the Orangemen want to repeat last year's run, Division 1-AA Rhode Island is a good place to start when they play next week in the Carrier Dome.

Which reminds me: maybe I could help the team out. I should go out this week and practice my place kicking.

After all, it seems that I am the perfect size for a college football player.

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