SU works to become Maine event

Trip to Gerry McNamera's hometown reveals something other than Orange football game.

The search for Syracuse fans watching from afar fell flat; Halftime Snack went to Scranton, Pa. and couldn't even find a piece of Dunder Mifflin paper.

DRIVER BEWARE:  The double reverse by SU was a bad play call at the end of the first half.  Maine is already staying in lanes, looking to limit the big-play touchdown. Why would Syracuse need to go for a big play?  Did the Orange leadership miss the risk-reward discussion with Bob Lloyd on Friday morning? Big loss on the end around leads to a field goal attempt and plenty of time for Maine to explore its offense.

STICKY SPREAD:  Cuse takes the lead with 87-yard drive using two simple things:  wide receiver Mike Williams and running back Delone Carter.  Carter finished off the drive with dodge over the rightside, Big East line plows over CAA line. Why the spread, Coach Marrone?  Hiding successful formations from South Florida and West Virginia? Please go back to one running back and the end-around fakes; the formation keeps defenses in their base, and opens lanes for the offensive stalwarts.

FOUR SCORE AND ONE GAME AGO:  Carter’s emergence into the 1,000-yard club at SU was overshadowed last Saturday by the thrilling win over Northwestern. Yesterday against Maine, Carter certified top billing with a four-touchdown day as the Orange defeated the Bears, 41-24.  The second quartet of his career cemented Carter’s legacy among other talented SU backs.

WHISTLE ON THE PLAY:  Halftime Snack had the perfect plan lined up for a weekend trip south to Philadelphia.  We found a sports bar in Scranton, Pa., Whistles, that guaranteed to have the Syracuse/Maine game on.  This is the hometown of legendary SU guard Gerry McNamara, after all.  It was a promising start; the waitress went to "order the game in the back."  After an order of jerk-flavored chicken wings arrived (not tasting like jerk chicken), the bad news arrived:  Scranton was Comcast Country, and the Time Warner broadcast of SU football would just not mix.  Adding salt to the wound was a large collection of Penn State fans with their game on every TV in the place.  Scrambling for an SU connection, I got my picture with an NFL jersey of a former SU player and Scranton-native Ismail.  Wrong Ismail – I tried to find Qadry and got the Rocket.  Blast! In a pinch, SU All-Access brought game coverage.  That’s a plug—but that is the reality: Division I to Division III, colleges are turning into media engines with money to be made (I paid $6 to watch the Maine game, come see Bob Costas talk about this very issue on Friday).

Maine was 4-for-4 in the trick-kick situations, pulling off two fake punts while recovering a pair of onside kicks. SU assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Bob Casullo has put together a strong unit this season, and seeing how to pull the plays off will help the Orange sometime down the road.

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