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Syracuse offense optimistic at media day despite disappointing 2011 season

first_imgNEWPORT, R.I. – Alec Lemon can see the difference.Ryan Nassib is more confident, more aware of what he and his teammates are doing on the field. With two full years as a starter under his belt, and the Syracuse quarterback often tells offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett what the unit needs to do, rather than the other way around.“Being in that system for three years, he sees the small things, the things the coaches don’t see being on the field,” wide receiver Alec Lemon said. “We take that into consideration. And most of the time he’s right. He’s just taken that leadership step.”Speaking at the Big East’s annual football media day Tuesday at the Hotel Viking, Lemon said Nassib is more tuned in to the finer details that he might’ve missed in the past. Last season, the Orange fell apart, losing its final five games to finish 5-7. SU was picked to finish seventh in the Big East in its last season in the conference, ahead of newcomer Temple.With plenty of weapons in the Orange’s offense entering this season, Nassib and Syracuse are looking to bounce back from their disappointing 2011 campaign. Lemon said he feels 100 percent after suffering a shoulder injury in the spring. The return of Marcus Sales, star of the Pinstripe Bowl two years ago, complements him ideally. Sales finished with 26 receptions for 414 yards receiving in 2010, but he missed last season after being arrested on felony drug charges that were dropped last October.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWithout Sales last year, the Orange’s offense struggled.“Marcus has done a good job, he’s made big plays for us before so he’s played well. We’re excited,” head coach Doug Marrone said. “He looks good, the best I’ve seen him. I’m excited to see him back on the on the field.”Last season, Syracuse’s offense underachieved, finishing seventh in the Big East in scoring despite Nassib putting up single-season program records in completions with 259 and passing yards with 2,685. It wasn’t a lack of production from Nassib that held the Orange back, but ultimately a shortage of timely, clutch plays from his teammates surrounding him.Dropped catches. Fumbles. All forgettable plays that sent Syracuse’s season in a downward spiral.Marrone has mentioned the “big play” since the spring, and it’s a constant – yet so far elusive – goal.“That’s where we haven’t been as consistent is making plays, especially our wide receivers, quarterbacks, running backs, making those big plays,” Marrone said. “We’re trying to create greater opportunities for these guys to do that, but I feel good.”And for the Orange, once again, it’s another year, another tailback.Syracuse is deep at the running back position, with Jerome Smith, Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Ameen-Moore all giving Marrone formidable options to put into the backfield.But the running game could suffer from having an offensive line that’ll be completely revamped on the right side due to the graduations of Michael Hay and Andrew Tiller. And with senior left tackle Justin Pugh will be out until at least until mid-September.SU has a streak of four straight seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher after Antwon Bailey accomplished the feat in 2011. But the growth of the offensive line, particularly likely starters Lou Alexander and Ivan Foy, will be crucial for the team to duplicate that success.“We’re going on our fourth year trying to have a 1,000-yard rusher and I think we’ve been pretty successful when we’ve run the ball well,” guard Zach Chibane said. “That’s the type of team we are, we take pride in the way we run the football, and it’s a big loss not having Andrew and not having Michael there.”As far as Lemon sees it, Syracuse has talented players ready to go surrounding Nassib.Ashton Broyld has the ability to line up at quarterback and in the backfield. Marrone said he won’t pinpoint a position for him until seeing what he can handle in training camp.“We’ve got a lot of explosive and athletic players coming in,” Lemon said. “It’s just finding those spots to put those athletes on the field. We’ve got a lot of great players and not a lot of spots to put everybody.”After a five-game losing streak to end last season, the offense needs an upgrade. Now mostly healthy, and soon-to-be fully healthy, the unit is looking to move past the team’s late-season collapse in 2011.“Coming off that five-game losing streak, it’s not something we wanted to do, but it’s in the past. We’ll keep it in the past,” Lemon said. “It’s a new team, new players, so we’ll keep it back there and we’ll start fresh in 2012.” Comments Published on July 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more


first_imgBritain and Ireland’s Next Top Model runner-up Sarah Kennedy will be the special guest at the Donegal Youth Council LGBT “Chalk It up” event this Saturday 8th March.Sarah KennedyThe event runs from 2-4pm in the Diamond in Donegal town and is in support of LGBT Stand Up week, a national campaign which is co-ordinated by Belong To.The Chalk It Up events were developed here locally by the BreakOUT Donegal LGBT support service, who have organised events over the last two years, and give people the opportunity to write positive chalk messages of support for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in prominent locations. Breakout will also be holding a Chalk It Up event this year in Letterkenny at the Market Square this Saturday from 2-4pm. The Stand Up campaign was launched nationally in 2012 and aims to raise awareness and tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying, transphobia and transphobic bullying and help to create positive understanding and support for LGBT people.Next week schools and youth services across the country will organise fun and educational activities to encourage young people to take part in the event.Portnoo native Sarah Kennedy, says she is really happy to be able to support the Stand Up campaign. “I know only too well what bullying can do from my own personal experiences so if I can help out in anyway in this particular campaign to encourage others to take a stand and stop bullying then I am only delighted to be involved”.Donegal Youth Councilors identified homophobic bullying as a major issue to work on this year and they are also working to involve their schools in LGBT awareness projects. Seven secondary schools in the county have already agreed to run a Chalk It Up event on the 14th of March. Chairperson of the Donegal Regional group of the Donegal Youth Council Sharon McNern explains why the Youth Council wanted to show their support for the campaign this year.“As stand up week was approaching, we felt that this was a topic that we needed to raise awareness on as homophobic bullying is a continuing problem. We felt we needed to let LGBT young people in the county know that they have support and are not alone. Come on down on Saturday to see us and write your positive message of support.”Donegal Youth Council is funded by Donegal County Council, HSE Health Promotion and the Dept of Children and Youth Affairs and is co-ordinated at local level by the Donegal Youth Service.Stand Up LGBT Awareness runs all the week from 10th-14th March. For more information on events in your area see www.belongto.org or contact the Breakout LGBT project on 085-7411607 . You can contact Donegal Youth Council on 087-6806676 or email youthcouncil@donegalyouthservice.ie TOP MODEL TO BE SPECIAL GUEST AT YOUTH COUNCIL ‘CHALK IT UP’ EVENT was last modified: March 5th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal TownDonegal Youth CouncilSarah Kennedylast_img read more