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DOG POUND: SU defense helpless against Locker and Co. in blowout loss to Huskies

first_img Published on September 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img SEATTLE — If one player was going to beat Syracuse Saturday, it sure wasn’t going to be Jake Locker. The SU defense made a point of saying as much all week. But with the focus on Heisman candidate all week, the rest of the Washington offense made the most of an opportunity to blindside of SU defense. And the Huskies did just that.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and running back Chris Polk each took turns torching the Syracuse defense time and time again, ultimately leading Washington to a decisive 41-20 victory in front of a crowd of 62,418 Saturday at Husky Stadium. When the final seconds finally ticked off the clock, whether it was thru the air or on the ground, the pair had abused the proud SU defense to the tune of 298 yards and four touchdowns. Adding salt to an open wound, Locker still got his. Though the defense properly neutralized his ability to run the ball, he finished the game 22-for-33 for 289 yards and four touchdowns. ‘They did a nice job, ‘ SU head coach Doug Marrone said after the dust had settled. ‘They made plays and I thought their quarterback played well. We gave up some big plays and missed tackles.’ Early on, it appeared as though Syracuse would pick up where it left off last weekend at Akron. Quarterback Ryan Nassib led the Orange to two scoring drives to open the game and the defense kept Locker and Co. pinned back against their own goal line. Just when the Orange appeared to have control of the game, things started to slip. And once it slipped, it began unraveling out of control. The momentum shifted on UW’s first scoring drive, and the Orange was unable to get it back for the entirety of the game. ‘Defensively, I thought we were aggressive,’ Marrone said. ‘But when we were in the position to make plays, we didn’t make (them).’ Leading up to the matchup against the Huskies, Syracuse strong safety Max Suter referred to the pass defense as ‘lights out’ when it didn’t allow a single touchdown pass a week earlier against Akron. It was the first time in over a year that the Orange had accomplished the feat. But Saturday, the tables were turned. This time, it was the defensive secondary’s inability to stop the big play that served as the weak link in a defense that looked much different that it did just a week earlier. ‘The wide receivers did a good job,’ SU defensive end Chandler Jones said. ‘They did a good job of getting yards after the catch and that’s what hurt us the most.’ Then the defense did have opportunities, it just wasn’t able to take advantage of them. Whether it was Shamarko Thomas and Mike Holmes both going after what could have been an easy interception or letting Polk slip away for a 52-yard touchdown run after being pinned in the backfield, Syracuse’s defense made a mess of a game that probably should have been closer than it actually was. For a squad entering the game with so much pride and optimism, it was a disappointing performance. ‘I thought they came out with a good game plan for us,’ SU linebacker Doug Houge said. ‘A lot of times out there we shot ourselves in the foot.’ Once the Washington defense started making stops, the offense followed. As the Husky defense perked up they it allowed the game’s first 10 points, Locker’s group kept the SU defense on the field for long, demoralizing scoring drives. Facing a 10-0 deficit in the first quarter, Washington scored 27 unanswered points and cruised to victory. But the time the Orange finally scored again, in the fourth quarter, half the stadium had already started heading for the exits. The game was over. With so much promise coming into the game, Marrone was visibly distraught with the outcome. But after letting off some postgame steam, the Syracuse coach is still able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. ‘I think we’re going to be a good football team this year,’ Marrone said. ‘…We’re going to need to fight and scratch everyday in practice, and we’ll fight and scratch everyday in a game and we’ll be fine.’ [email protected]last_img read more