Another day where Mike Williams is missed

Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams has been suspended for the Akron game. SU Athletics press release states: "due to a violation of team rules.”

Halftime Snack has been an ardent fan of all things Mike, including the top wide receiver in the Big East Conference Mike Williams, and spent Saturday longing to see M-Dubz. Here’s an account of the rainy day inside the Dome:

1:47 p.m.:  The quarterbacks are the story entering today’s game, with the bubbling SU controversy and the third-string starter for the Zips.  Warming up in sweats t-shirts, the signal callers lob passes to the wide receivers making 25-yard circles, in and out of the end zone.  Halftime Snack searches and searches the field, wondering if Williams cut his hair. Where is he?  Is that him? No, that is Delone Davis in white shoes. M-Dubz likes his shoes black.

2:15:  SU Athletics releases a tight-written press release under 70 words, tweaked by Sue Edson, adjunct professor at the S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications and legendary sports information director at SU. Doors to Carrier Dome have already opened; Halftime Snack considers going home.

3:44:  When the Orange ran the bubble screen for the first time, and Marcus Sales got nine yards. And to think the SU offense was going to try and get the primary receiver involved early.

4:06:  SU fan in blue #44 jersey, with hat backwards and face unshaven, proposes to fiancé on KissCam via Dome video board. Lucky lady nods “yes,” and Halftime Snack thinks of lost love, Mike Williams, and dreams about what could have been. Watch this music video by Justin Timberlake to sum up our feelings.

5:00:  the SU Marching Band broke out songs by another dazzling Mike—Michael Jackson—and performs long-awaited “Thriller Dance” as part of tribute to the late King of Pop. Halftime Snack misses both Michaels.



Otto the Orange


Photo by Mitchell Franz,

5:37: Orange wide receiver Marcus Sales has been running Williams’ routes today.  Sales cashes in third touchdown of season on 11 yard inside screen. Williams is unseen, and Sales was untouched.

6:14: Rumors about cryptic messages posted by Williams on Facebook run rampant in press box (something to the tune of "I hate college, I'll be gone sooner than you know"). New media can be unreliable, but oh so juicy. The post-game press conference should be a battle of questions with no answers.

6:40: Williams' not at post-game press conference, color choice with dapper shirts and ties is missed by all.  Murmurs persist.

6:51: SU head coach Doug Marrone says Williams will be reinstated for next week's Cincinnati game; won't comment further.


AKRON AIR: The “Spirit of Akron” is a high-flying blimp that towers over large-scale sporting events. The needled that popped the Zips’ kicking game took place with 7:50 left in the first half. It started when Akron sideline called time out just before the 51-yard attempt.. The 2009 Akron kicking game is not. Place kicker Broko Rocovic missed two field actual field goals after blimp is burst.  Punter John Stec has a punt tipped, giving SU field position at the Akron 27-yard line.  Two rub salt in Stec’s wound, backup punter Zack Campbell comes in to boom 76-yard punt (third-longest in program history). It was just the fifth kick by Campbell all season.

MIKE JONES:  The No. 2 offensive weapon on SU, gaining over 24.3 yards per kick off return (681 total return yards), is seen limping on the opening kickoff.  Trouble is: he wasn’t. Jones appears again on the first Akron punt, promptly muffing the fair catch, which is recovered by the Zips. Jones more than makes up for the miscue, totaling 59 yards on the day. He showed little hesitation with eight minutes to go in the second quarter, taking an end around up the left side for a 17-yard gain (career-best). Tack on a personal foul for late-hit by the Zips and the play accounted for 32 net yards.

Halftime Snack just finished the second season of “The Wire,” and saw the pride in which dockworkers in Baltimore are thought to approach their tough job, day-in and day-out. Syracuse punter Rob Long exhibits that same attitude. Despite sporting a wrap around his upper leg and knee, Long proved once again to be bright spot for the Orange. Syracuse executed a pooch punt mid-way through the first quarter and Long, the holder, raced past the Akron players to down the ball at the Zips’ five-yard line. His first punt of the day was a 44-yarder, his second punt Long cleanly fielded a one-hop snap and his third pinned the Zips at the 8-yard line.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:  This is a no-brainer with SU running back Delone Carter again dominating a weak opponent.  Carter amassed career-highs in rushing attempts (30), rushing yards (170) while accounting for three touchdowns to boost his career total to TK.  In games against Maine and Akron, Carter has followed the big bodies on the SU offensive line to total 249 yards on 49 attempts with six rushing touchdowns.

JACKS OF ALL TRADES: Akron fifth-year senior Andre Jones became just the second player in the country to play three positions this season. Jones has started three games at cornerback and one at safety before making starting at wide receiver on Saturday. He scored the Zips’ first touchdown, hooking up with quarterback Patrick Nicely on a post pattern from 11 yards out (his first TD of the season and the eighth of his career). 

THEY SAID IT:  “We welcome back Mike Williams, and E.J. Carter (suspended SU linebacker) back, to our team, reinstated immediately after this game.”  – SU head coach Doug Marrone, opening his post-game remarks about suspended players

“Just feeling comfortable again, getting used to having the ball in my hands that much.  I felt that is something I should do all the time.”  SU running back Delone Carter when asked how carrying the ball a career-high 30 times felt.

“Every week, there’s competition. Everyone has to hold their job. It doesn’t matter if it’s the quarterback, the kicker, the right guard, the left tackle, the nose guard… the safety.” – Marrone clarifying any position controversies on the team

“It was difficult, but this is a resilient group,” Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart about having to use different players at different positions

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