Northeastern vs. Syracuse
Northeastern vs. Syracuse
Really like Syracuse -12 in this situation. A frustrated and angry team taking a considerable step down in class against a subdivision foe inside their noisy dome. Northeastern has played only 2 games and is off an overtime loss and is playing their third road game in a row.
Situation sets up nicely for Syracuse to be a bully and take out their frustration on one of their few inferiors in college football. They'll run it up if they can.
Syracuse faces must-win game
By The Associated Press
SYRACUSE - It's probably too late to say Syracuse coach Greg Robinson is facing a must-win game, but for the Orange players a win at this juncture of the schedule really is a must.
“We just need a win,” senior Orange captain Jake Flaherty said. “It makes things different the whole week (after), especially the first one. To get that win and to get that momentum going into the Big East schedule would be really important.”
Syracuse (0-3), coming off an embarrassing pair of home losses to Akron (42-28) and Penn State (55-13), is ranked nearly last in the nation in offense and defense. So it doesn't matter one bit that Saturday's opponent is Northeastern (0-2), and everybody knows it.
“Teams have proven that they can come any week and beat any team, no matter who they're playing,” said Cam Dantley, who will make his third straight start at quarterback for the Orange. “We've got to look at it as if we were playing Penn State this week.”
“We always feel like we have a shot at winning,” Northeastern coach Rocky Hager said.
“We've always told our players it doesn't matter what level they're playing, they all have to go through the same kind of practice, the same kind of thing that we do. Everybody pulls their pants on the same way. We just have to line up and do our very best.”
Northeastern quarterback Anthony Orio says he's somewhat concerned about the size disadvantage the Huskies will face, but it's not anything they can't overcome.
“It's always a challenge, but you have to be confident in football. If you're walking around the field not being confident, I think you're playing the wrong sport,” Orio said. “We're going up there with confidence that we're going to play a good football game.”
Robinson, in his fourth year as head coach, has a 7-31 record with the Orange and there has been plenty of Internet chatter that he won't be back for 2009. Both Robinson, who has won only two of 21 Big East games, and his players are well aware of all the talk, but prefer to focus on the task at hand.
“It's hard not to be aware of that stuff,” Flaherty said. “I wouldn't say it's a distraction for us. Coach Robinson, I don't think he'd want it to be distracting. He's been through adversity before.
“Last year, we were 0-3 and went down and beat Louisville,” Flaherty said. “We just try to keep stuff like that in our minds and know that anything can happen. For the most part, we have really positive people on our team. Coach Robinson is a positive guy. It comes down to the people we have on our team.”
And they'll have to perform at a high level against the Huskies, who play in the Football Championship Subdivision and lost a week ago in overtime at perennial national power Georgia Southern, which has won six national championships.
“Every team you play is going to be a competitor, no matter if they're I-AA or I-A,” Orange defensive end Anthony Perkins said. “No matter who the competition is, you've got to go out there with the mentality that you have to win. I think we have that mentality. This game is a must-win, and the way I feel right now, the way things are going in practice, we're going to win.”
It will be the third of four straight home games for the Orange, who open conference play next week against Pittsburgh.
“This game is very important for us. Right after this game, we have the Big East coming up,” senior defensive tackle Nick Santiago said. “That's where it all comes down to. Yeah, we lost three games, but if we win the Big East Conference, it kind of changes perspective in people's eyes. I think that's important for us, especially for the program.”
Added Robinson: “There's so much at stake. We need to gain momentum. We need to play well, we need to play well at home, we need to win.”
Notes: Northeastern opened the season with a 48-14 loss at Ball State, which beat Akron 41-24 last week. ... Syracuse junior nose tackle Arthur Jones has four tackles for a loss, which ties him for the top spot in the Big East. He's also tied for ninth all-time at Syracuse with Josh Thomas and Rich Scanlon at 22.5 tackles for a loss.
Re: Northeastern vs. Syracuse
Man, I don't really like Syracuse or the wacky line of 12 in this situation. Something doesn't sound right about this game. I can't really put my finger on it but something stinks to me