BY CHRISTOPHER J. MOGOLLON
BIG EAST INSIDER
As Friday morning rolled along there was a lot of excitement brewing all day on campus for “Friday night lights” – even though the Orange always play under lights. It would be the first time Syracuse was featured in a big night game since they lost to Florida State 2004. Campus was bumping, sporting more orange than usual, it seemed around every corner, there were fraternities, alumni and even faculty getting ready to root on their Orange to a win.
Walking to the Dome there was a there was sense that maybe -- just maybe -- this would be the big win the program was looking for, the one that pushes them out of the cellar. Unfortunately, the team looked worse than their bright retro unis as they laid a giant egg on national television.
This was a battle between two coaches on the hot seat, Greg Robinson (SU) vs. Tyron Willingham (UW) and clearly, Robinson’s team didn’t impress anyone. The halftime score was only 14-6, and it appeared it would be a close game with two teams looking to shake the rust off. Instead, Washington blew the doors off the Dome. The Orange allowed a total 302 yards rushing and they were missing tackles left and right. It seemed as if every Washington player was that much faster.
Running back Louis Rankin rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns averaging 8.6 a carry. Rankin had a 47-yard touchdown run down the sidelines to give Washington a secure lead to open up the second half. Freshman quarterback Jake Locker hurt Syracuse on the ground as well, rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns. He was stable though the air going 14/19 with 142 yards.
The new linebacking crew looked bad, nobody made a big play or any good tackles. Defensive End Jameel McClain could not get any pressure on the quarterback, as his name was not called often. The only thing worse than the play of the linebackers was the play of the Syracuse offensive line. This line gave Robinson zero protection allowing SEVEN sacks, not to mention a ton of hurries.
Robinson made some good throws when he had time but that was so rare that it is extremely hard to even judge the rookies performance. With running back Curtis Brinkley banged up the Orange mixed up their running backs. Brinkley only touched the ball six times for a total of four yards and Syracuse had eight total rushing yards.
The loss was a total team effort, there was nobody on the entire team that stood out and played spectacular or made a game changing play. The Orange D looked slow and in the second half wore down. As fans emptied out the Dome, in the third quarter, there was not much excitement for the rest of the year, instead the talk was how many points West Virginia will score on the Orange, some wondering if the Mountaineers could reach triple digits.
Check below to see how the rest of the Big East fared