"The Syracuse Orange football program will host its 123rd season opener Saturday, as the Northwestern Wildcats visit the Carrier Dome for a non-conference showdown (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2). All-time, SU is 78-40-4 in openers and the obvious goal is to improve that record by one victory.
One of the keys to achieving said goal is to get off to a quick start against a young Wildcats' program, and earlier in the week Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone talked about what a perfect beginning the 2012-13 season would be:
"Strategically, you're looking to do things to get yourself going,' said Marrone. "As far as offense, you want to get yourself moving down the field and make sure you have a scoring opportunity. When you look at it from the other end, you're trying to make sure that when you're calling those plays, formulating those plays, its what you expected. (You ask yourself) 'Is there anything different that they're doing?' So, this way can make adjustments."
Marrone continued to talk about a perfect start, as he remembered what it was like in the NFL.
"From my NFL experience, we would have shifts in motions and different formations just to make sure how the other team was aligning and everything was fine. That's where it becomes a strategic game," said Marrone. "Teams that we would face would come in and change early and go back to what they were doing. Putting us at a standpoint of making adjustments on the sideline. Sometimes teams would do what they do, and normally I find those are the better teams."
Another big factor in getting off to a efficient start, said Marrone, is having player handle their nerves -- especially, those first-time starters.
"Those players just need to focus on what their job is," advised Marrone. "A lot of times in this game, you go out there and don't have time to get a feel for how to play, you go out there and play. If its going to take a couple plays to get a feel for what it feels like to be in a game situation, obviously, you can get hurt that way."
"We try to get players to go out there and play with a great sense of focus."