Syracuse Spring Game: White Defeats Blue, 13-7

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Syracuse Football: Spring Game Produces 'So-So' Show

The Syracuse football program and its head coach Doug Marrone will have a lot to break down after the White team defeated the Blue team, 13-7, Saturday afternoon at the annual Spring game at the Carrier Dome. In a game designed to showcase the 2011-'12 squad, Syracuse fans witnessed some good (120 rushing yards from senior running back Antwon Bailey; a handful of 30-plus yard passing plays) and some bad (just one offensive touchdown) in what many would call a "so-so" orange-and-blue performance.

"I’m proud of the kids. I thought they had a good game," said White team head coach Scott Shafer, who will serve as SU's defensive coordinator during the Fall. "We have a lot of work to do, but I think we are in a position where the kids believe we can be better than people on the outside think we can be."

For those looking for a strong showing from projected starting quarterback Ryan Nassib, they didn't get it in the first half, but a second-half turnaround led to a solid 227-yard (on 15-of-24 attempt) performance. On his team's first possession, Nassib was intercepted by Blue's senior cornerback Kevyn Scott, who ran 33 untouched yards into the end zone to help Blue take an early 7-0 advantage. However, as the game wore on, Nassib settled in well and made some great throws to senior tight end Nick Provo (game-best five caches for 50 yards) and junior wide receiver Alec Lemon (three catches for 65 yards).

"Ryan Nassib looked really good on that other side," said opposing head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who will be SU's offensive coordinator during the Fall. "We tried to get him out of his game the whole time. [Nick] Provo looked good, so it was a fun day and we are really excited about where we have to go from here."

However, as fans were eagerly breaking down the play of Nassib, Bailey was the most impressive player on the field, especially in the second half which featured a few dashing and darting runs. The most important run came late in the fourth quarter on a fourth down and long situation, which was converted thanks to an 18-yard dash by Bailey, who moved inside the Blue team's 10-yard line. A few plays later, Bailey leaped over the goal line for the game's only offensive score.

Blue's quarterback Charley Loeb didn't light up the box score (138 passing yards on 11-for-24 attempts), but was clearly the second-best SU QB. White's Johnny Miller and Blue's John Kinder failed to move the ball at all in their limited action.

On defense, White's Chandler Jones (one sack) was a presence on most plays, but Blue's front line, which featured junior Brandon Sharpe (three tackles with one sack) and junior linebacker Siriki Diabate (four tackles with one sack), put a lot of pressure on Nassib, and came up with a few big sacks that stalled possible scoring drives.

The secondary was also solid. Scott had his INT early in the first quarter, while there were a few notable pass breakups -- the most important by White's senior linebacker Dan Vaughan who stepped in and nearly intercepted Loeb's final pass that came during Blue's final drive.

"The kids were very competitive and there was a lot of hitting," said Marrone. "It’s a good way to end Spring. We had the game format back and I know people appreciate that. I did too. We worked a lot more players on the field. We will just keep building it from here."

The disappointing aspect about Saturday's game was the lack of offensive production. Out of all the good that came in the second half, it isn't enough to overshadow how both offenses struggled to put the ball in the end zone. Yes, there were a lot of nice plays, but the inability to put points on the scoreboard -- even though there were three field goals missed despite no defensive rush -- is what haunted SU last year and will be its downfall this year if Marrone can't figure out how to punch it into the end zone.

Check out quarter-by-quarter breakdowns here:

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Syracuse Spring Game Final Score And Stats: White 13, Blue 7

Behind senior running back Antwon Bailey's 118 rushing yards on 20 attempts, which included a one-yard, go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, helped the White team defeat the Blue team, 13-7, Saturday in the Syracuse football program's annual Spring game at the Carrier Dome. White starting quarterback Ryan Nassib finished the game with 227 yards on 15-of-24 attempts.

The Blue team, led by backup quarterback Charley Loeb tried to put together a final-minute, game-winning drive, but it stalled inside at White's 17-yard line after senior linebacker Dan Vaughan broke up a pass intended for Blue's senior wide receiver Marcus Sales on a 4th-and-5 play with less than a minute remaining.

Second-half highlights included (click here for first-half highlights):

  • White's Bailey rushing in from 1-yard out to help his team take a 13-7 lead. On the same drive, Bailey produced an 18-yard run that picked up a first down and moved the ball inside Blue's 10-yard line.
  • A 35-yard pass play from Blue quarterback Loeb to Sales, who finished the day with three catches and 47 yards.
  • White's freshman linebacker Dyshawn Davis made a nice tackle for a seven-yard loss on a Blue running back midway through the fourth quarter.
  • On the very next play, sophomore linebacker Lewellyn Coker made a big hit to stop Blue's drive and force a punt.
  • On White's last possession, Bailey started up the middle, then broke outside and ran for 19-yards before running into senior cornerback Kevyn Scott, who lowered his shoulder and sent No. 29 to the ground. The crowed "ooooooed" and "ahhhhhhed" at the play. 
  • On the Blue's final possession, senior wide receiver Dorian Graham had a 38-yard catch and run from Loeb.

Notable Syracuse Spring game stats:

  • Loeb finished with 138 passing yards on 11-for-24 throwing for the Blue team.
  • White's senior tight end Nick Provo had a game-high five catches for 50 yards.
  • Junior wide receiver Alec Lemon tallied three catches for 65 yards for the White squad.
  • Senior cornerback Scott snagged the game's only interception, which was ran back 33 yards for the first half's only TD.
  • Graham compiled three catches for 57 yards for the Blue squad.
  • Croker and freshman cornerback Jaston George lead the White squad with five solo tackles.
  • Junior cornerback Ri'Shard Anderson had six solo tackles for the Blue team.
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Syracuse Spring Game Score: White 13, Blue 7 (End Of Third Quarter)

The Syracuse football Spring Game has reached the end of three quarters and the White team has taken a 13-7 advantage heading into the final quarter at the Carrier Dome. White scored its first touchdown of the day on a one-yard run by senior running back Antwon Bailey with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. Bailey, who also produced a 18-yard run on the go-ahead drive, currently has rushed for 88 yards on 15 carries.

It seems like White quarterback Ryan Nassib is finally finding some rhythm, which is a good thing for SU fans, who have witness some pretty boring football so far. Back up quarterbacks Johnny Miller (White) and John Kinder (Blue) each saw some playing time in the third quarter, but neither could manage to lead a drive that put any new points on the scoreboard.

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Syracuse Football Spring Game Halftime Score: Blue 7, White 6 (Live Blog)

After 24 minutes of play, the Syracuse Blue team leads the White team, 7-6, at halftime of the annual Spring Game at the Carrier Dome. So far, the White team, led by starting quarterback Ryan Nassib, has struggled a bit, but did find a second-quarter rhythm to tally six points (two field goals by kicker Ryan Lichtenstein) while the Blue team has had the most chances to put points on the board.

First-half highlights included:

  • Blue's senior cornerback Kevyn Scott picking off White quarterback Ryan Nassib and running 33 yards into the end zone, which led to an early 7-0 lead for Blue.
  • Nassib connecting with junior wide receiver Alec Lemon on a 39-yard pass, which led to a Lichtenstein missed field goal.
  • Blue team's first possession of the second quarter nearly ended with a TD when quarterback Charley Loeb tried to connect with senior tight end David Stevens in the corner of the end zone. It seemed as if Stevens caught the ball, but it was knocked loose.
  •  White team, led by Nassib, running back Antwon Bailey and tight end Nick Provo, finally found some momentum on the game's next possession. White drove deep into Blue territory, but had its drive stall and finish with a made field goal by Lichtenstein.
  • On White's next possession, Nassib leads a nice drive down into the red zone, but it stalls after two incomplete passes and a sack by junior DE Brandon Sharpe.

White notable stats: Nassib threw for 154 yards on 8-for-12 passing in the first half, while teammate sophomore wide receiver Jarrod West had two receptions for 30 yards. Bailey ran nine times for 44 yards, while Nick Provo caught two passes for 23 yards.

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Syracuse Spring Game First Quarter Score: Blue 7, White 0 (Live Blog)

The first quarter of the Syracuse football Spring game showcased a few big plays on both inner-squad teams, but the Blue team has earned a 7-0 advantage at the Carrier Dome. The Blue team's senior cornerback Kevyn Scott tallied the game's lone touchdown by jumping a screen thrown from the White team's quarterback Ryan Nassib and took it 33 yards to help Blue take an early 7-0 advantage.

On its next possession, the White team used a 39-yard pass play from Nassib to junior wide receiver Alec Lemon to move deep into Blue's territory. However, the drive stalled after two false start penalties and a missed field goal by kicker Ryan Lichtenstein (It most be noted that there's no defense on field goal attempts).

So far, its been an very up-and-down showcase for SU, which has already committed numerous penalties and ran a busted play. However, there are a lot of big hits that led to some "oooooohhhhh" from fans. Blue will start the second quarter at midfield.

(Click here for a brief preview of the Spring game and a rundown of the rosters.)

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Syracuse Football: Spring Game Pre-Game Observations

In about 27 minutes, the Syracuse football annual Spring game will begin and fans will get a brief look at the 2011-'12 squad. The 2011 edition of the glorified inter-squad scrimmage will feature the Blue team vs. the White team in a full 11-on-11 game. In previous seasons, Syracuse used a controlled scrimmage -- which used a point system that reward players points for a tackel, sack, forced fumble, passing plays, touchdowns, ect. -- to showcase the upcoming team, but that won't be the case this year as third-year head coach Doug Marrone has decided to let the boys play.

(Click here for a brief preview of the Spring game and a rundown of the rosters.)

The new format has created some buzz and it's something that I think the fans will enjoy -- at least that's the hope. What SU faithful are looking for today is: A) a lot of points to be piled up (any indication that the same anemic offense of the 2010-'11 squad would be a disappointment); and B) a play-maker to show up out of the blue.

If there was one thing that SU lacked last season was a play-maker, who could stretch the field on offense (senior running back Antwon Bailey?) or take over a game on defense (senior defensive end Chandler Jones?).

Currently, the marching band is playing at the "Syracuse" labeled end zone, fans are slowing trickling in (media, too), the players are stretching and full-contact football is just minutes away.

(Want to the latest up-to-date information on Syracuse's Spring Game? SB Nation New York will run a Live blog from the Carrier Dome Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. We'll keep you updated on which players are doing what, and provide post-game recap and breakdown of the annual event.)

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