Syracuse Player Of The Game: Ryan Nassib, And It’s Not Even Close
Despite a 42-41 loss for Syracuse in its home opener against Northwestern, fifth-year senior quarterback Ryan Nassib put up career numbers.
Nassib showed up in the second half with hopes of pulling off another opening weekend comeback win at the Carrier Dome. Last year in the first game against Wake Forest, Nassib led his team down field late for 15 fourth quarter points to give the Orange a 36-29 win. Unfortunately for Nassib and the Orange, a miracle comeback win was just out of reach after Demetrius Field caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian with 44 seconds remaining in the game to tie the score at 41. Jeff Budzien tacked on the extra point that ultimately decided the game in Northwestern’s favor.
Nassib should not be disappointed with his masterful performance. He completed 44 of his 65 (!) passes and tossed for 470 yards, including four touchdowns, all in the second half, and only threw one interception.
A concern coming into this game for the Orange was the absence (leg injury) of top wide receiver Alec Lemon, who caught 68 passes last season for 834 receiving yards and six touchdowns. However, Nassib and the Orange welcomed the return of wide receiver Marcus Sales, who caught a touchdown pass late in the third quarter; his first touchdown reception in two years.
Nassib took advantage of his new and returning targets, which helped the offense put up 41 points. If Nassib can put the loss in the past and focus on playing every game as well as he did Saturday, a loss against No. 1 ranked USC next Saturday may not be so automatic.