2008 Syracuse Orange football team

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2008 Syracuse Orange football
SyracuseOrange.svg
Conference Big East Conference (1979–2013)
2008 record 3-9 (1-6 Big East)
Head coach Greg Robinson
Offensive coordinator Mitch Browning
Defensive coordinator Derrick Jackson
Home stadium Carrier Dome
(Capacity: 49,262, Field Turf)
Seasons
« 2007 2009 »
2008 Big East football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#17 Cincinnati   6 1         11 3  
Pittsburgh   5 2         9 4  
#23 West Virginia   5 2         9 4  
Rutgers   5 2         8 5  
Connecticut   3 4         8 5  
South Florida   2 5         8 5  
Louisville   1 6         5 7  
Syracuse   1 6         3 9  
† – BCS representative as conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2008 Syracuse Orange football team represented Syracuse University during the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Orange were coached by Greg Robinson and played their home games at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

Before the season[edit]

The Orange lost its leading receiving from the 2007 season, Mike Williams. Williams was suspended from the team due to academic reasons. The most recent report says that Williams is not enrolled in classes for the fall semester.[1] Williams led the team with 60 catches for 837 yards in 2007. He finished the season on a school-record streak of nine games with a touchdown reception. That mark stands nine short of Larry Fitzgerald's record of 18 consecutive games.

Syracuse's number two receiver, Taj Smith, declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Smith was not drafted, but did sign as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers. Smith recorded 44 catches for 822 yards in 2007.

Recruiting[edit]

Syracuse landed the nation's No. 50 recruiting class, which featured three 4-star recruits and five 3-star recruits.[1] The class was headlined by Churchville, NY tailback Averin Collier, Syracuse, NY receiver Marcus Sales and New Berlin defensive end Romale Tucker.[2]

In addition, All State local talent Nick Robinson was recruited in 2011. Nick was the NYS All Upstate Player of the Year and two-year All New York State lineman from Syracuse suburb, Baldwinsville.

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 30 12:00 PM at Northwestern* Ryan FieldEvanston, IL ESPN2 L 10-30   20,015
September 6 3:30 PM Akron* Carrier DomeSyracuse, NY Time Warner Sports L 28-42   31,808
September 13 3:30 PM #17 Penn State* Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY ABC L 13-55   45,745
September 20 3:30 PM Northeastern*dagger Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY Time Warner Sports W 30-21   34,694
September 27 12:00 PM Pittsburgh Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY Big East Network L 24-34   27,549
October 11 12:00 PM at West Virginia Mountaineer FieldMorgantown, WV (Battle for the Schwartzwalder Trophy) ESPNU L 6-17   58,133
October 18 12:00 PM at #19 South Florida Raymond James StadiumTampa, FL Big East Network L 13-45   51,384
November 1 7:00 PM Louisville Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY ESPNU W 28-21   32,917
November 8 12:00 PM at Rutgers Rutgers StadiumPiscataway, NJ ESPNU L 17-35   42,172
November 15 7:00 PM Connecticut Carrier Dome • Syracuse, NY ESPNU L 14-39   28,081
November 22 2:30 PM at Notre Dame* Notre Dame StadiumSouth Bend, IN NBC W 24-23   80,795
November 29 12:00 PM at #16 Cincinnati Nippert StadiumCincinnati, OH Big East Network L 10-30   34,603
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

[3]

Game notes[edit]

Northwestern[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Orange 3 0 7 0 10
Wildcats 0 9 14 7 30

Syracuse opened the 2008 football season with a 30-10 defeat at the hands of Northwestern. The Orange marched the ball 63 yards on its opening drive, settling for a 36 yard field goal. SU's defense kept Northwestern at bay until late in the second quarter, but the offense provided the Wildcats first points. Syracuse quarterback Andrew Robinson was called for intentional grounding in his own end zone, resulting in a safety. Northwestern closed out the first half with 16-yard touchdown pass.

The Orange took advantage of a Tyrell Sutton fumble to open the second half. The ensuing touchdown run from back Curtis Brinkley gave the Orange its second lead of the game 10-9. Brinkley would finish with 49 yards on nine carries. He was joined by Delone Carter and Doug Hogue in the backfield. Neither broke 50 yards, though Carter's long rush of 32 yards was longer than any carry the Orange had in the 2007 season.

Northwestern closed the game on a 21-point run. One of those touchdowns came off an interception. From the opening drive on, the Orange had only one possession that went longer than 40 yards. The drive resulted in a missed field goal, as kicker Patrick Shadle hit the upright from 51 yards out.

The season opening loss was the Orange's fifth straight.

Akron[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Zips 14 14 0 14 42
Orange 0 14 7 7 28

Syracuse lost its fourth straight home opener and second straight game to a MAC opponent with a 42-28 loss to Akron. The Zips set the pace early, taking the ball 65 yards down the field for a touchdown. Akron scored again in the first quarter. The 79-yard drive was capped off with a 35-yard run by Dennis Kennedy.

The Orange found the endzone for the first time in the second quarter. Quarterback Cam Dantley connected with tight end Mike Owen for a 32-yard touchdown pass, his first career TD reception. Akron and Syracuse would then exchange touchdowns on one-yard runs. The Orange's score came from Curtis Brinkley, who set a career-high with 143 yards. The Zips would score again on a one-yard carry heading into halftime.

Syracuse tied the game in the fourth quarter, thanks to two touchdown passes from Dantley. One went for four-yards to Owen; the other was a 15-yard pass to redshirt freshman Nick Provo. Dantley finished 13-of-20 with 135 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. Akron put the game out of reach with back-to-back touchdowns.

Penn State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Nittany Lions 21 17 10 7 55
Orange 0 6 7 0 13

Syracuse renewed its historic rivalry with Penn State with a 55-13 defeat. The teams last played in 1990.

Each of Penn State's three quarterbacks threw touchdown passes. Daryll Clark finished 10 of 21 for 163 yards and two touchdowns, Pat Devlin was 8 of 13 for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and Paul Cianciolo was 2 of 4 for 51 yards and a score. Receivers Jordan Norwood and Deon Butler both had over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns apiece.

The Nittany Lion defense held the Orange offense without a first down until early in the second quarter.[4]

Northeastern[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Huskies 0 7 0 14 21
Orange 10 0 14 6 30

Syracuse defeated Football Championship Subdivision Northeastern, 30-21, behind a combined 245 yards and two touchdowns from tailbacks Doug Hogue and Curtis Brinkley.

Quarterback Cam Dantley completing 14 of 17 passes for 167 yards and one TD in his third straight start for the Orange.[5]

Pittsburgh[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Panthers 3 10 3 18 34
Orange 14 3 7 0 24

Pittsburgh tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Conor Lee kicked four field goals, and Pittsburgh scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally past Syracuse 34-24.[6]

West Virginia[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Orange 3 3 0 0 6
Mountaineers 0 7 0 10 17

Playing without starting quarterback Pat White, West Virginia turned to tailback Noel Devine, who rushed for a career-high 188 yards and a touchdown, in a West Virginia 17-6 win.

Although Syracuse outgained West Virginia 346-268, and SU tailback Curtis Brinkley rushed for 144 yards, the Orange (1-5, 0-2) didn't register a touchdown for the first time in the season.[7]

South Florida[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Orange 3 10 0 0 13
Bulls 14 7 14 10 45

South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as South Florida crushed Syracuse, 45-13. Grothe finished with 72 yards on the ground and went finished 19-for-26 in the air for 248 yards.[8]

Louisville[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Cardinals 7 0 7 7 21
Orange 7 7 7 7 28

Syracuse tailback Curtis Brinkley set a Syracuse single-season record Saturday night with his fifth consecutive 100-yard game as Syracuse upset Louisville for the second year in a row, 28-21.

The win was just head coach Greg Robinson's third Big East Conference win. After the game, Robinson had accumulated a 3-22 overall in four seasons against the Big East.[9]

Rutgers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Orange 14 0 3 0 17
Scarlet Knights 0 14 14 7 35

Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel threw three touchdown passes and Rutgers overcame a 14-point deficit to beat Syracuse 35-17. The loss made the Orange ineligible to compete in a bowl game for the fourth straight year under coach Robinson.[10]

Connecticut[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Huskies 3 19 17 0 39
Orange 0 14 0 0 14

Connecticut tailback Donald Brown rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, Jasper Howard scored on a 69-yard punt return and Robert McClain delivered a 37-yard interception return for a score as Connecticut defeated Syracuse 39-14. Connecticut broke the game open after struggling to hold on to a 22-14 second half lead.[11]

Notre Dame[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Orange 3 7 0 14 24
Fighting Irish 3 10 10 0 23

A week after Syracuse announced that it was firing its head coach at the conclusion of the season, Syracuse delivered the biggest win under the Robinson era, stunning the Irish in South Bend, 24-23. QB Cameron Dantley's 11-yard touchdown pass to Donte Davis with 42 seconds left proved to be the game winner, as the Irish lost to an eight-loss team in its school's storied history.

The victory allowed Syracuse (3-8) to avoid a third 10-loss season in four years under Robinson.[12]

Cincinnati[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Orange 0 3 0 7 10
Bearcats 7 6 10 7 30

The Greg Robinson era mercifully[neutrality is disputed] came to an end against the Bearcats as the Orange was dominated by the Bearcats. Cincinnati QB Tony Pike threw for 274 yards on 28-of-44 passes while kicker Jake Rogers connected from 45, 38 and 45 yards. Syracuse went 10-47 in coach Greg Robinson’s four seasons, including 3-25 in the Big East.[13]

Rankings[edit]

Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Final
AP -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Coaches -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Harris Not released -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
BCS Not released -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Greg Robinson - Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator
  • Mitch Browning - Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends & Offensive Tackles
  • Derrick Jackson - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
  • Phil Earley - Quarterbacks
  • Dan Conley - Linebackers
  • Jim Salgado - Cornerbacks/Secondary
  • Scott Spencer - Safeties
  • Randy Trivers - Running Backs
  • Chris White - Wide Receivers
  • Chris Wiesehan - Offensive Line

Statistics[edit]

Team[edit]

SU Opp
Scoring 217 392
  Points per Game 18.1 32.7
First Downs 164 270
  Rushing 88 127
  Passing 64 132
  Penalty 12 11
Total Offense 3242 4974
  Avg per Play 4.7 5.9
  Avg per Game 270.2 414.5
Fumbles-Lost 13-9 13-8
Penalties-Yards 54-460 71-649
  Avg per Game 38.3 54.1
SU Opp
Punts-Yards 66-2898 48-1857
  Avg per Punt 43.9 38.7
Time of Possession/Game 27:15 32:45
3rd Down Conversions 45/156 29% 85/166 51%
4th Down Conversions 8/20 40% 9/11 82%
Touchdowns Scored 25 48
Field Goals-Attempts 14/17 82% 17/21 81%
PAT-Attempts 25/25 100% 47/47 100%
Attendance 200,844 287,102
  Games/Avg per Game 33,474 47,850

Scores by quarter[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Syracuse 57 67 52 41 217
Opponents 72 120 99 101 392

Offense[edit]

Note: These lists are not complete. Only the leaders are included.

Rushing[edit]

Name GP-GS Att Gain Loss Net Avg TD Long Avg/G
Curtis Brinkley 12-11 237 1193 29 1164 4.9 7 45 97.0
Doug Hogue 11-2 35 232 0 232 6.6 2 82* 21.1
Antwon Bailey 8-0 33 227 6 221 6.7 2 39 27.6
Delone Carter 4-0 23 141 4 137 6.0 0 32 34.2
Tony Fiammetta 12-10 5 66 0 66 13.2 0 58 5.5
Rob Long 12-0 1 24 0 24 24.0 0 24 2.0
Andrew Robinson 4-1 12 35 28 7 0.6 0 9 1.8
Cam Dantley 11-11 41 98 154 -56 -1.4 0 20 -5.1
Total 12 392 2018 234 1784 4.6 11 82 148.7
Opponents 12 454 2504 231 2273 5.0 18 92 189.4

Passing[edit]

Name GP-GS Effic Att-Cmp-Int Pct Yds TD Lng Avg/G
Cam Dantley 11-11 102.12 121-251-5 48.2 1298 11 38 118.0
Andrew Robinson 4-1 51.31 18-45-3 40.0 132 0 18 33.0
Total 12 94.91 141-299-8 47.2 1458 11 38 121.5
Opponents 12 141.14 242-384-8 63.0 2701 27 55 225.1

Receiving[edit]

Note: This is not a complete list.

Name GP-GS No. Yds Avg TD Long Avg/G
Donte Davis 12-10 29 312 10.8 2 34 26.0
Mike Owen 12-11 19 175 9.2 2 32 14.6
Tony Fiammetta 12-10 16 127 7.9 1 19 10.6
Marcus Sales 11-0 14 160 11.4 1 28 14.5
Curtis Brinkley 12-11 14 81 5.8 0 17 6.8
Lavar Lobdell 12-10 13 165 12.7 0 26 13.8
Doug Hogue 11-2 11 108 9.8 1 37 9.8
Da'Mon Merkerson 12-0 6 95 15.8 1 38 7.9
Nick Provo 7-0 4 70 17.5 1 27 10.0
Van Chew 12-0 4 56 14.0 1 36 4.7
Chaz Cervino 11-1 3 37 12.3 0 23 3.4
Dan Sheeran 2-0 2 31 15.5 1 25 15.5
Grant Mayes 10-2 1 26 26.0 0 26 2.6
Total 12 141 1458 10.3 11 38 121.5
Opponents 12 242 2701 11.2 27 55 225.1

Defensive Leaders[edit]

Note: This list includes only defensive leaders. Click [2] for a complete list.

Name GP-GS Tackles Sacks Pass Defense Interceptions Fumbles Blkd
Kick
Solo Ast Total TFL-Yds No-Yds BrUp QBH No.-Yds Avg TD Long Rcv-Yds FF
Jake Flaherty 12-12 44 37 81 4.0-9 1.0-5 1 4 1-2 2 0 2 -- 1 --
Derrell Smith 12-12 36 37 73 5.0-23 1.0-9 2 1 1-4 4 0 4 -- 1 --
Mike Mele 4-4 10 16 26 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Mike Holmes 4-4 16 5 21 -- -- 1 -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 --
Derrell Smith 4-4 9 12 21 1.5-6 -- 1 -- 1-4 4.0 0 4 -- 1 --
A.J. Brown 4-2 9 7 16 -- -- -- -- 1-1 1.0 0 1 -- -- --
Art Jones 4-4 6 7 13 4.0-17 1.0-7 1 -- -- -- -- -- 1-0 -- --
Randy McKinnon 3-3 8 5 13 1.5-4 -- 1 -- 1-0 0.0 0 0 -- -- --
Bruce Williams 4-3 8 4 12 0.5-1 -- -- -- 1-9 9.0 0 9 1-0 1 --
Nick Santiago 4-4 5 4 9 2.5-8 1.5-7 -- 1 -- -- -- -- -- 1 --
Anthony Perkins 4-0 6 3 9 2.5-16 1.0-10 2 1 -- -- -- -- 1-0 -- --
Total 4 161 136 297 19-69 4-25 8 3 4-14 3.5 0 9 4-4 5 0
Opponents 4 148 108 256 12-57 5-34 8 6 3-26 8.7 1 -- 3-0 4 0

Special teams[edit]

Name Punting Kickoffs
No. Yds Avg Long TB FC I20 Blkd No. Yds Avg TB OB
Rob Long 66 2898 43.9 72 5 16 15 0 1 43 43.0 0 1
Nico Rechul -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 50 3255 65.1 3 0
Patrick Shadle -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 40 40.0 0 0
Total 66 2898 43.9 72 5 16 15 0 52 3338 64.2 3 1
Opponents 48 1857 38.7 59 2 22 26 2 76 4745 62.4 2 1
Name Punt Returns Kick Returns
No. Yds Avg TD Long No. Yds Avg TD Long
Mike Holmes -- -- -- -- -- 41 941 23.0 1 90
Max Suter 1 9 9.0 0 9 26 547 21.0 0 38
Ryan Howard 7 5 0.7 0 4 2 55 27.5 0 29
Bruce Williams 2 12 6.0 0 12 -- -- -- -- --
Total 11 49 4.5 2 12 73 1609 22.0 1 90
Opponents 31 328 10.6 1 69 47 1171 24.9 0 69

References[edit]