How will Syracuse handle their tough string of losses to date? Will the return from suspension of Johnnie Morant and Latroy Oliver help or hurt? Will kicker Colin Barber bounce back from his day of missed boots?
Whenever a team has a losing streak, the psyche of the players always comes into question. I have no doubts, though, that the Cuse will come to the University City ready to play. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni, who has seemingly been under fire since day one, is an excellent coach, in my opinion. And I'd be surprised if Syracuse doesn't put forth a great effort on Saturday.
Syracuse is 0-4 on fourth down conversions this year. Can we get that situation into the game plan this week?
ANALYSTS TO THEIR SPREADSHEETS, STAT!
A look through the Cuse stat sheet makes it a bit difficult to understand why they are 1-5.
|WVU 1-0, 4-2
SU 0-2, 1-5
|Sat. 10/19 Noon|
|Series: SU 30-19-0|
|TV: ESPN Regional|
|Rank: WVU-57 - SU-92|
|Stats & Trends|
They are scoring 30 points per game. They are only minus one in turnover ratio. They average more yards per rush than their opponents. And they've committed 25 fewer penalties than their foes.
Syracuse could easily be 3-3. Wins over Auburn and Temple were within their grasp, but slipped away. I'm not trying to make excuses in advance, but this team is a heck of a lot better than your typical squad with a winning percentage of .167.
Of course, that's the same statement I applied to the 1992 Mountaineer team, which had some of the worst luck of any WVU team in recent memory.
Remember just a few years ago when there was an outcry for WVU to drop Maryland from the football schedule for a "big-time" team?
Q. What trophy is on the line this week?
A. The Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy
You may now return to you regularly scheduled reading.
BIG EAST RIFF OF THE WEEK
Can someone explain how Temple quarterback/kicker Scoptt Frost got the Big East Special teams player of the week over WVU's Mark Fazzolari?
Fazz, on the other hand, had seven punts, of which five were put inside the twenty, for an average of 34.7 yards. Rutgers returned the other two for a total of four yards.
I have no problem with honoring punters and kickers. Let's just make sure the guy with the best performance gets the award.