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Halftime: Syracuse 13, Toledo 13

9/24/2011

Toledo has given Syracuse all it can handle, as the teams are tied headed into halftime. Here are a few first-half observations, and a few keys for Syracuse in the second half:

  • Syracuse has hurt itself in this game. The biggest mistake was on a failed snap in the first quarter. Ryan Nassib was moving up to the line to make a call, but the ball was snapped and Toledo recovered. That led to a 21-yard touchdown run from Morgan Williams to put the Rockets up 10-0.

  • The Orange have had several red-zone opportunities that they failed to cash in. On a third-and-7 from the Toledo 16, Nassib threw incomplete. Ross Krautman came on and made a 33-yard field goal to tie the game. Later in the second quarter, Nassib threw incomplete from the Toledo 14. Krautman made a 31-yard field goal instead.

  • Syracuse is playing without a few of its top players on defense. Starting safety Shamarko Thomas is out, while Chandler Jones and Olando Fisher are out again. Keon Lyn appeared to aggravate a shoulder injury late in the first half, and Ri'Shard Anderson hobbled off as well.

  • Prince-Tyson Gulley has provided a nice spark at running back, with 47 yards on five carries.

Keys for the second half:

  • Get Toledo off the field. The Rockets have held the ball for 7 more minutes and done a nice job converting on third down. The Rockets have had 12 third-down attempts already in one half, and have made eight.

  • Keep an eye on Eric Page. He already has 55 yards receiving in the first half and had a kickoff return called back because of a penalty. Page has been wide-open on several occasions, so he has to be contained.

  • Take advantage of red-zone opportunities. Syracuse has been able to move the ball but then stalls close to the goal line. Can't settle for field goals, even against Toledo.