With past in mind, Marrone preps SU for South Florida

first_img Published on October 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Delving into his weekly pregame routine, Doug Marrone began analyzing SU’s numbers against South Florida over the past five years. A few numbers stood out. USF’s additional 163 yards on the ground and 209 yards of total offense per game, offensively. The 3.4 more sacks and the difference of 24.2 points per game for the Bulls, culminating in a 5-0 record against the Orange. As Marrone began rambling off those numbers, the sheer dominance of SU’s five-year series with the Bulls came to light. It’s what Marrone argues has been SU’s most devastating opponent over the past five years. ‘Everyone understands that since South Florida has joined the Big East, you could argue that they pretty much have dominated us,’ Marrone said Monday at his weekly press conference. ‘They’ve got a new coach in Coach (Skip) Holtz, who is coming off back-to-back Conference USA championships, so he knows how to win, knows how to get his team ready to go.’ Despite some new faces at South Florida, both on the field and on the sidelines, Marrone still sees this year’s USF squad as one capable of dominance. Still, as Syracuse travels to Tampa, Fla., to take on the Bulls Saturday (noon, Big East Network), Marrone and the Orange will make the necessary preparations to collect a win in their Big East opener. At Monday’s press conference, Marrone said he planned to enlighten his players of the recent history of SU’s series with the Bulls. But the reality is, as Marrone said, ‘they know what has gone on here, probably better than I have. We have players who have been here since 2005.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Some of them may even remember the 27-0 beatdown the Bulls put on the Orange at the Carrier Dome in 2005. Or the 45-13 walloping SU took down in Tampa during its last trip to Raymond James Stadium in 2008. Regardless, Marrone plans to make sure those memories stir up some emotion this week. Marrone said his squad resumed practicing and his staff began reviewing film Thursday, Friday and Saturday during its bye week. Through USF’s first four games, Marrone still sees that dominance as present as ever. ‘I look at a team that has been to four straight bowl games and a team that knows how to win,’ Marrone said. ‘Then you go ahead and implement a coach that has won (conference) championships, and it’s a pretty good recipe for success.’ Added Marrone: ‘I do see them, and it’s not any disrespect to their coaches last year, but they are running to the football, and they are technically doing a lot of good things.’ And coming off a bye week in which SU was able to heal from some of its ‘nicks and bruises,’ a road trip against South Florida could be the toughest test of the season for the Orange. The Bulls outscored their opponents 114-29 in their three wins, with its only loss coming at then-No. 8 Florida. The Bulls also sit in the top five in the conference in total defense (third), scoring defense (fourth) and scoring offense (third). And to Marrone, USF is only getting better each week. ‘Probably, from their standpoint, they’re coming off probably their most complete game against Florida Atlantic,’ Marrone said. ‘They played well on offense, defense and special teams. They’re playing better than they did a year ago.’ As the Orange prepares for what could be its most daunting task of the season to date, the sheer dominance of the Bulls in recent years puts SU in a similar situation during its trip to Seattle to face Washington. For just the second time this season, the Orange isn’t the favorite. And based upon that recent history, it could be an uphill battle. Not exactly Akron, Maine and Colgate. ‘We’re faced with a great challenge going down there, and it’s one we’re looking forward to,’ Marrone said. ‘We know we’ve got a tough road going down there to South Florida.’ Smith out for season Freshman running back Jerome Smith will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an injury to his left shoulder, according to a press release issued by the Syracuse athletic department. The injury was sustained on Oct. 1, and an MRI performed on Monday revealed an injury to the shoulder joint that will require surgery. Smith, a native of Bear, Del., contributed primarily on special teams in the Orange’s two most recent games against Maine and Colgate. He is one of 15 freshmen who have seen playing time for SU this season. aljohn@syr.edulast_img

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