In many businesses, the less turnover you have the better off you are. In the sport of football, it is no different.
Coming off of a loss where the defense forced eight punts, brought an earlier series to a close before halftime, and imposed their will for a turnover on downs, allowing Rutgers to score on a mere three of their 13 opportunities, Syracuse Orange head football coach Doug Marrone is feeling the affect of doing things right in one area, but not the others.
“It's disappointing, frustrating for everyone,” said Marrone. “But we gotta brush it off and go, and I feel that we can play good competitive football and we have an excellent
opportunity to win games if we don’t turn the ball over.”
Turnovers. Something that has plagued the Orange throughout Marrone’s four seasons continue to lead the team to the loss column.
“Since I’ve been here, we have 24 losses. We’re minus 30 in the turnover margin [in those losses],” Marrone shared. “And then, [in] our 19 wins, we’re plus 12. I don’t think it’s rocket science.”
Marrone’s frustration with Syracuse turning the ball over this season has been no secret. Asked where his frustration level is right now, Marrone responded, “Extremely high. I’m not gonna lie to ya. My frustration level’s extremely high because it’s really what’s hurting this team. It doesn’t give you a chance.”
No one is getting excused from or solely accused for the turnover virus that has plagued the team.
“It’s not just on a player,” Marrone expressed. “We gotta have a heightened intensity, or whatever the words are, to make sure that we protect that football.”
“Schematically, we have to do things to put our players in position where things are very clean for them,” Marrone said of the offense.
“Defensively, we have to create some turnovers.”
“And special teams, we can’t turn the ball over, and maybe create some turnovers there,” Marrone stated.
“I think it’s all three phases, and all three phases have to help in that category. It’s a team category, turnover margin, and really, for our time here, that’s been the problem.”
Above any other topic brought up as a potential detractor from wins, Marrone stands strong that the team’s problem with turning over the ball is that of most concern.
“People talk about schematics, people talk about players, people talk about coaches. At the end of the day, I think those are the most telling numbers (the turnovers) of this football team,” said Marrone. “I think when we can correct that, I really believe we’ll win a whole lot more than we’ll lose, and I believe that with my heart.”
The Orange will have an opportunity to combat their previous blunders of this season after a short week of practice, when they face the UConn Huskies in a Friday night contest at home in the Carrier Dome, beginning at 8pm Eastern.