Bits And Bytes - Syracuse

Most onlookers have the Orangemen marked down as candidates for Dr. Melfi's couch or a session with Sigmund Freud after beginning the season at 1-5.


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?


A look through the Cuse stat sheet makes it a bit difficult to understand why they are 1-5.
Game Info
WVU 1-0, 4-2
SU 0-2, 1-5
Sat. 10/19 Noon
Mountaineer Field
Series: SU 30-19-0
TV: ESPN Regional
Rank: WVU-57 - SU-92
Line:WVU -7
Stats & Trends
The defensive totals (492 yards and 31.8 points per game allowed) are the quick indicators, but in almost all other areas Syracuse has racked up comparable, if not better, numbers than their foes.

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.


Can someone explain how Temple quarterback/kicker Scoptt Frost got the Big East Special teams player of the week over WVU's Mark Fazzolari?

I admit that Frost, who is a backup quarterback, did a nice job against Syracuse. He lined up as a punter to keep the Orangemen's super return man, Jamel Riddle, off the field or playing defense. Punting for the first time in his career, he had four punts for a 34.0 yard average, putting all four inside the 30 and two inside the twenty.

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.

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