Football Friday - Rutgers

The bruised and battered Orange (3-7 overall, 0-5 Big East) plays No. 25 Rutgers (7-2, 2-2) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the final college football game in the Carrier Dome this season. Here’s hoping for more highlights from Delone Carter and fewer from Rob Long.

"Although we've come 'til the end of the road / still I can't let go," sang Boyz II Men. Another SU football season closes.

LONG EXONERATION: SU head coach Doug Marrone started his weekly press conference with another impassioned speech in support of a scrutinized player. This time, holder Rob Long, known in national circles as an All-American candidate at punter, was at the center of the game-deciding play at Louisville last Saturday. Following the game, Marrone said that Long had dropped the snap on the extra-point attempt following Delone Carter’s touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Further evaluation prompted Coach Marrone to change his mind, letting the media know it was the a wild snap by second-string snapper Max Leo, who was forced into action after starter Dalton Phillips was hurt on the previous kickoff. For some happy news on Long (who was involved in more than one crucial special teams play Saturday), check out Donnie Webb’s profile of the punter in the Post-Standard (hint: Long can kick a ball up to the speakers in the Dome).

STUFFED SIDELINE: A total of seven upperclassmen (two current seniors and five going-to-be's) will watch from the Orange bench Saturday. The Grim Reaper infiltrated the Orange roster the last three weeks, picking off defensive tackle Art Jones and, just recently, leading tackler Derrell Smith, ending their seasons via injury. Also cut down were starting strong safety Max Suter, big right tackle Jonathan Meldrum, tight end Cody Catalina (already replacing the injured Nick Provo), Mike Jones, and the aforementioned Phillips.

DIRTY JERZ: This weekend's Dome visitors, the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, have elevated their football program up, up and away, sitting a couple levels higher than the hometown squad. But the pride of the New Jersey state education system is not without its critics, who point to the salary of head coach Greg Schiano and his use of a helicopter for recruiting.

DANCE, DANCE: Halftime Snack is admittedly late to a new dance, the Stanky Legg, made famous by the rap group, GS BOYZ. Highlighted by an awkward knee bend and the reverse Humpty Hump shake, the flair and ingenuity makes us long for football leagues to allow the players a chance to celebrate touchdowns. The emotional release of crossing the goal line is already accelerated by stadium fireworks, music from speakers or a band and full-throated crowds; let the players express join the fun. Might even start a new dance!


            Game: Rutgers 31, Syracuse 10 – Another weekend with no clue where SU touchdowns could come from. The Scarlet Knights can put eight, and even nine, players in the box to stop Delone Carter and the dink-and-dunk SU offense. Let’s just enjoy the band playing the alma mater for one more week and start the countdown to the fall 2010.

            Game of the Week: Kansas at Texas. The Longhorns (10-0) should be kept awake against the Jayhawks—the KU football team dotted publications all over the country in 2008 while Texas is still trying to figure out how it couldn’t get in the Big 12 championship game. Star quarterback Colt McKoy has a chance to add a four-touchdown game to his Heisman Trophy resume. Ol’ Colt won't come up short on this shot at a national title. (Longhorns 42, Kansas 17)

            Campus Quirk: We finally get why all the lovely ladies on campus sport those rubber rain boots. The drainage system along Crouse and University avenues has limited capabilities, creating rivers off each curb that span almost two feet. Halftime Snack was confused, though, by the lack of rubber boots before Thursday’s rain—just more of those fluffy snow boots that will not be named.

            They Said It: ““I’d rather play at the Garden every day. ” —Orange point guard Scoop Jardine, who crossed up the World’s Most Famous Arena Thursday night. It’s nearly impossible for Syracuse to play a better basketball game than it did in a 95-73 win over ranked California. Read the account on

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