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Syracuse Preview: Upstate, Down Times

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Who Shot Who In The What, Now?  Penn State (2-0) at Syracuse (0-2).  The Orange lost to Akron last week by two touchdowns.  That followed a 20-point loss at Northwestern.  Penn State, as you may have heard, obliterated Oregon State last week, 45-14.  Kickoff at 3:30 p.m.  The teams have not played since 1990.  Penn State leads the all-time series 40-23-5.  They met every year between 1922 and 1990. 

Dubious Statistical Achievements.  The Syracuse Athletics page notes that RB Curtis Brinkley led Syracuse last year in rushing with 371 yards on 111 carries.  He's a good player, however, and clearly Syracuse's best offensive weapon.  He also majors in communications and rhetorical studies.  Does an Orange rot if it's not properly handled for six years?

So, You Enjoy Weird Sports Trivia?  Syracuse will start Cameron Dantley at quarterback against Penn State.  He's the son of former NBA star Adrian Dantley, which leads us to the following trivia.  The rookies of the year in 1977 in the NBA, MLB, and NFL all had initials of A.D.  Adrian Dantley is one of them.  Who are the others?  Answers to be provided whenever you Google them.

Before Donovan, Don.  Some Syracuse relevance from the late 80's:


Encouraging!  Through two games in 2008, Syracuse ranks 112th nationally (out of 118 teams) in rushing defense.  This should work well for them on Saturday, because Penn State never runs the ball.  And yes, Syracuse's first game was against traditionally pass-happy Northwestern.

The Disembowlment Will Be Televised.  ABC for most of you in the northeast.  Coverage map may be found herrrre.

A Fool And His Money.  Penn State is roughly a 27-point favorite.

While You Wait.  Not that this item is automatically going to be a Black Heart Gold Pants link every week, but you could bring the JoePa Chronicles to your own PSU tailgate with this lovely shirt.  Then again, it being 9/11 and all, you could always go with The Leman.

No, But Seriously, This Game Is Going To Suck.  Let's not kid ourselves.  This game is essentially target practice, but could conceivably reap mild benefits for Penn State.  It's a road game.  Penn State doesn't play well in road games, a trend which generally persists regardless of the opponent.  So putting on those obnoxiously plain white uniforms and stomping a team in their own building isn't necessarily a bad thing.  You'll probably see plenty of Pat Devlin handing the ball off to Brent Carter in the second half.  On a more intriguing note, take particular notice of the defensive substitutions once the game is out of hand.  How much action will Nate Stupar, Mike Mauti, and Chris Colasanti get at linebacker?  Will James Terry or Brandon Ware get reps at defensive tackle?  They're both a bit too, uh, puffy for Joe Paterno's liking right now, but given the attrition along the defensive line, Paterno's hand may be forced into giving them a little playing time.  We shall see.