I don’t know what to say about the SU football team anymore. Such a sloppy display of penalties, dropped passes, and missed defensive assignments…. at home, on national TV, against a previously winless conference opponent. Talk about laying an egg. As high as the peak was three weeks ago beating WVU, we are down in the equivalent valley right now.
The frustrating part is that there isn’t a real talent gap between SU and USF (and UConn and Louisville for that matter). These losses seem to be built from repeated mistakes and failures to execute at critical times. To be fair, as fans we can’t expect a bunch of 20-year-olds to never screw up. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get frustrated when they do. They had basically a “perfect performance” against WVU and we all saw what the team is capable of when they are on their game. But therefore the WVU game raised our expectations of what the team could achieve. It made us discard the less-than-stellar displays against the likes of Tulane and Toledo. We assumed the team had “turned the corner” or “grown up” or “taken the next step”, and that they’d be able to play at or near that level down the stretch of the conference season. But it hasn’t happened that way. They’ve reverted to the same type of team they were early in the year and their record and bowl prospects have both suffered greatly as a result.
A bye week has never come at a better time. The kids seem worn out physically and mentally. In order to salvage the season there needs to be some serious recuperation, followed by seriouser re-dedication to their craft. I know SU only needs one win to be bowl-eligible, but realistically they probably need to win both games in order to get an invite. The Big East very well may have 7 or 8 bowl-eligible teams, but they only have six bowl contracts (well, there are 7 but one slot will go to Notre Dame). So someone may be stuck at home during the holidays. SU needs to give the bowls a reason to choose them over, say, a 6-6 USF or UConn. Finishing 7-5 with wins over Pitt and a ranked Cincinnati could do it. But it’ll take more “perfect” games.
The good news is that basketball starts in 3 1/2 hours.