By defeating Rutgers on the road 13-9 on Nov. 13, the Syracuse University men's football team made a loud statement, entering the bowl picture for the first time in six years. The Orange's turnaround season sparked talk of Doug Marrone earning various Coach-of-the-Year honors.
And the Orange even had the opportunity to rise to a BCS bowl game. As Big East champions - but all that ended a week after the Rutgers win.
At the Carrier Dome on Nov. 20, in front of a season-high crowd of 41,135 disappointed fans, Connecticut (6-4 overall, 3-2 in the Big East) crushed Syracuse 23-6. SU failed to win a game at home against Big East foes in three tries, losing to, in order, Pittsburgh, Louisville and UConn.
Running back Jordan Todman ran 130 yards and scored on two short runs as the Huskies cashed in with 10 points off the SU turnovers.
Todman, who is the nation's second-leading rusher (averaging 147 yards per game), resuscitated a Huskies offense that was dormant at times. Dave Teggart also booted three field goals of 42, 28, and 34 yards en-route to UConn's third straight victory. The Huskies have defeated SU four out of the last five meetings.
The Huskies' Zack Frazer was an efficient 13-for-21 passing for 98 yards, including two important fourth-down conversions. UConn only had a total of 254 yards on offense, but held SU to 235 yards.
In defeat, SU Running back Delone Carter reached a milestone. Carter contributed 67 yards on the ground, surpassing James Mungro for fourth place on SU's all-time list with 2,876. In addition, he has posted 1,005 yards this season.
Ryan Nassib delivered his worst performance of the season. Nassib finished 20-for-36 for 171 yards and never got his team's offense in rhythm.
Of course, Nassib did not get help from his supporting cast, as receivers dropped several passes throughout the contest. Often, Nassib was often under pressure in passing situations by a Huskies defense that sacked him four times.