Syracuse Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Syracuse Orange
Big East


Syracuse finished the regular season winning five of their last six games. And those were not easy games. Four of them were on the road and one of the home games was against then undefeated Louisville. The lone loss came at Cincinnati, so this is an Orange squad that beat the likes of Louisville and Missouri during the last month of the season.

2012 Record: 7-5, 5-2
Coach: Doug Marrone
Coach Bowl Record: 1-0

Big Wins: 11/10 Louisville (45-26), 11/17 at Missouri (31-27)
Bad Losses: 9/1 Northwestern (41-42), 9/22 at Minnesota (10-17)

The Orange offense took a huge step up in 2012. Quarterback Ryan Nassib has had a great senior season and he will look to end his collegiate career with another bowl victory. Nassib threw for 3,619 yards and 24 touchdowns while making every throw for the Orange. Wide Receivers Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales have helped make the passing game the best in the Big East. Lemon caught 70 passes for 1,063 yards and seven touchdowns. Sales added 63 catches for 863 yards and eight scores. Jarrod West and tight end Beckett Wales are solid targets for Nassib as well. So is running back Prince-Tyson Gulley, but he will do most of his damage on the ground. Gulley carried the ball 132 times for 617 yards and seven touchdowns. He may reach the end zone quite a bit, but Gulley is not the top rusher on the Orange. That honor goes to junior back Jerome Smith. Smith worked his way into the starting job this season and has rushed for 1,019 yards.

The defense is not all bad by any means. After allowing 42 points to both Northwestern and USC in early September, the Syracuse defense settled down. They have had some relatively poor performances since those early losses, but for the most part the Orange defense has done enough to give the offense a chance to win the game. Shamarko Thomas is a big hitting strong safety who has the ability to create turnovers. If the Orange are involved in a shootout, which is quite likely, creating a turnover or two will be huge. Syracuse has only picked off nine pass and recovered ten fumbles, so this is not a team that has a history of creating turnovers, but Thomas or cornerback Keon Lyn can make big plays. And Coach Doug Marrone will mix up his blitz packages and make sure the opposing quarterback feels the pressure. As long as the Syracuse defense can get consistent pressure, they can keep their momentum going in the bowl.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jerome Smith, RB, 1,019 yards
Passing: Ryan Nassib, QB, 3,619 yards
Receiving: Alec Lemon, WR, 1,063 yards
Tackles: Shamarko Thomas, S, 84
Sacks: Brandon Sharpe, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: Keon Lyn, CB, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 171.83 (52nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 301.58 (21, 1)
Total Offense: 473.58 (22, 1)
Scoring Offense: 29.33 (59, 3)
Rushing Defense: 148.17 (48, 5)
Pass Defense: 236.92 (62, 6)
Total Defense: 385.08 (49, 6)
Scoring Defense: 25.67 (52, 6)
Turnover Margin: -.08 (61, 5)
Sacks: 2.00 (9, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.17 (20, 2)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2010    Pinstripe Bowl    Kansas State (36-34)
2004    Champs Sports Bowl    Georgia Tech (14-51)
2001    Insight Bowl        Kansas State (26-3)
1999    Music City Bowl    Kentucky (20-13)
1998    Orange Bowl        Florida (10-31)

*all team stats through 11/24


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