Nassib earns Big East honors after record-setting game; Lemon questionable for game against USC

first_img Published on September 4, 2012 at 1:22 am Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Syracuse revealed a new up-tempo offensive system Saturday.Quarterback Ryan Nassib thrived in it. Nassib completed 45 of 66 passes for 470 yards against Northwestern, setting single-game program records in all three categories and earning Big East offensive player of the week honors.“I felt comfortable with the system. I really did,” Nassib said after SU’s 42-41 loss to the Wildcats. “I felt like we put up a lot of points. We’ve had success in practice. We were translating into the game but it wasn’t quite enough.”SU head coach Doug Marrone said the plays were all in the playbook last season, only the pace changed. The Orange went no-huddle throughout the game and Nassib directed the unit from the shotgun.It worked as well as Nassib and the SU coaches could’ve hoped. He leads the nation in passing yards after the prolific performance.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn addition to the SU records, he tied the single-game, Big East completions record, and broke the conference single-game pass attempts record.Nassib also showed an ability to make plays with his legs, running a variety of quarterback keepers to finish with 30 yards rushing.“Ryan can handle a lot. I don’t worry about Ryan Nassib being able to handle anything,” Marrone said after the game. “He ran the ball. They did a nice job of changing up their scheme and he ran the ball.“Ball security out of the pocket was better and his footwork was better. He threw the ball really well. I don’t have a lot of issues with Ryan.”SU focused on improving special teamsMental lapses and broken plays on special teams overshadowed an otherwise impressive performance by Syracuse in the season opener against Northwestern.Despite a record day by Nassib, a combined 84 yards rushing by running backs Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley, and 117 yards receiving by Marcus Sales, the Orange fell 42-41 to the Wildcats.“I feel like we are heading in the right direction and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” Marrone said during the Big East coaches’ teleconference Monday. “But we probably have more things to build on now than we’ve had in the past.”Marrone said going into week two after a 37-34 victory over Wake Forest last season, Syracuse had a long way to go. This season, the head coach said it’s time to build on the positives and move forward from the Orange’s disappointing loss.SU faces a daunting task this Saturday when it faces No. 1 Southern California at MetLife Stadium. And, an improved performance on special teams will be crucial against the Trojans.Wildcats running back Venric Mark returned two punts for 134 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown return. The kicks were good, Marrone said. The coverage was another story.“Obviously, we had two very good kicks,” Marrone said. “We had good hang, we kicked it very, very deep. What happened was we lost our contain.”Marrone said the Orange walked through the coverage to make sure the players knew their spots, which is critical for Saturday’s game against USC. The Trojans have a number of good kickoff returners, including Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.Lee took a kick return 100 yards for a touchdown in USC’s 49-10 victory over Hawaii, and Marrone said USC punt returner Nickell Robey is as “dynamic” as Mark.“We’re working on building on the positive,” Marrone said. “And getting ready for an opponent now that is the top-ranked team in the country.”Stevens in, Lemon questionable for USCSyracuse wide receiver Alec Lemon is day-to-day as he recovers from a lower body injury. Marrone said how he performs this week in workouts will determine if he can play against USC.“Alec Lemon, I really don’t know,” Marrone said. “Last week, when we worked him out before the game, we really didn’t feel very comfortable putting him back in that situation.”Wide receiver Adrian Flemming will return to practice and will “work himself in,” but likely won’t play against the Trojans.Marrone said tight end David Stevens, who has been working back from a lower-body injury, should be available to play Saturday. Stevens was in uniform against Northwestern and could’ve played if the team needed him. But Marrone said it was beneficial that he did not have to play since it gave him more rest. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more