So game number one is in the books as a loss for Syracuse Orange football as they fell to Penn St. 23-17 in The Meadowlands. Both tams had some similarities going down before this game with new coaches (Yes, I know O’Brien is a 2nd year coach, still new) in SU’s Shafer and PSU’s O’Brien, new QB’s, and several other questions heading into the game. At the end of the day, Penn St. had just a little more, maybe just a touch more talent and a series of calls that made zero sense to anyone as SU had its last possession with a chance to win.
For some reason Drew Allen seemed to run the same pass play that ultimately led to the game ending INT and none of those plays looked good at all. The new transfer from Oklahoma either made the wrong throw or the receivers made the wrong cuts, maybe a combo of the two. Who knows but they better get it straight and fast, see they trade Nittany Lions for Wildcats in a week and if any of you bothered to look in on that game, SU has its hands full. Plus, they are on the road. That’s for another day though.
Penn St. had a 5-star, 18-year old kid starting and from all looks, the kid is going to be a hard player to deal with over this and the next few seasons, he has the tools. SU has to get the passing game going somehow, I won’t say that I would have liked to see Hunt in for a series or two just to see if he could move them, but I just did. I like Allen, big talented kid who hasn’t really played meaningful snaps in four years and it showed. Christian Hackenberg is an 18-year old straight out of HS. Look out.
SU’s ‘D’ was good, especially late in the game when they had to force PSU off the field and they did all of that while also seeing those Lions almost abandon the run game. That speaks volumes about the ‘D’ as well as the 4 caused turnovers.
At the end of the day it was a hard fought battle. Just when it looked like PSU was taking over, SU snatched away the momentum. Shafer called a good game and the future looks bright. Not next week bright, but bright for Wagner in the Dome after that game against Northwestern. The refs were pretty horrible and the talking heads questioning a new head coach punting late in the game only added to the ‘How do these guys get paid?’ debate. You call the game and shut your mouth! By the way, Coach Shafer made the correct decision, punting from deep in their own territory and giving it to the D who promptly got the ball back for him.
Good tough game, a loss that won’t look bad at all in a couple months as long as PSU keeps winning and SU stays tough. They will need it. Wildcats are calling and somewhere in the wind up there on The Hill, another cat will be coming soon and will be here for the kill. That would be Clemson, but for now let’s close our eyes and envision that Wagner game instead.