FB : Cohen: Marrone leads unprepared team, outcoached for 3rd time

first_img Comments LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s time to take Doug Marrone seriously. After Saturday’s disappointing 27-10 loss to Louisville on the heels of the program’s most impressive win in nearly a decade, let’s really examine what the Syracuse head coach had to say.‘We made a lot of penalties early on in the game, which is uncharacteristic of our team this year,’ Marrone said. ‘So I have to do a better job making sure we understand and not have those type of penalties that put you in tough situations, which that’s what happened here in the first half.’So I have to do a better job … that sounds familiar. It seems I’ve heard that phrase before.Ah, right. It’s Marrone’s go-to response following every SU loss in 2011.After SU’s blowout defeat at the hands of Southern California, Marrone said he has to do a better job preparing the young players to play. After Syracuse gave the game away to Rutgers, Marrone said he has to do a better job coaching the special teams.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLet me translate these three mirror-image postgame messages for you, it’s really quite simple: Marrone was outcoached. That’s what each of SU’s first two losses looked like, and Saturday was no different.First, it was Lane Kiffin’s offense obliterating the Syracuse defense one secondary member at a time for 501 yards. Next, it was Greg Schiano’s defense bullying the Orange offense into five turnovers. And on Saturday, it was Charlie Strong beating SU with a true-freshman quarterback and a stellar defensive line to relentlessly pressure Nassib.That’s why Marrone took his usual spiel one step further after the loss to Louisville. It seems he’s realized the role his ineptness has played in each Syracuse loss.‘I’ve got to take a good look at myself in the mirror and make sure that I can come back and figure out a way to put our players in position to win football games and play Syracuse football,’ Marrone said.Does that mean Marrone didn’t put his players in a good position to win on Saturday? What about at USC or against Rutgers?I’m starting to think so.The Louisville defense that limited the Orange to 155 passing yards and registered three sacks of Nassib in 2010 was the exact same scheme used to hold the Orange to 162 passing yards and tallied four sacks in 2011.‘You’ve got remember it’s the 15th-ranked defense, so they’re not going to do something different,’ Marrone said.‘They did what the film said they were going to do,’ SU running back Antwon Bailey added. ‘They were going to pressure, and they were going to come after us, which they did. And we struggled.’In essence, Marrone and his staff had ample time to prepare for this game against the Cardinals and still couldn’t come up with a plan to beat Strong’s defense.Outcoached. That’s all there is to it.But don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to say Marrone is a bad coach. Not by any means.Though he immediately deflected the credit away from himself following his team’s phenomenal 49-23 rout of West Virginia, it doesn’t take a special eye to see how brilliant the game plan was.Marrone and his staff identified a weakness in the Mountaineer defense that allowed SU’s tight ends to break free in the red zone. The result was pure exploitation as Nassib found Nick Provo for three touchdowns.‘The story probably isn’t here,’ Marrone said following the West Virginia game. ‘Even with me, I don’t know how many answers I can give you. We made plays, the kids executed. … The story lies within those players.’There are plenty who will argue this is exactly what a coach should say after a huge win. It’s not his job to take the credit all for himself, he should credit the players. Trust me, I’m with you.But that doesn’t mean the coach can’t acknowledge an effective game plan or talk about how a particular scheme worked well. And Marrone didn’t do that.If he’s not shy to say he screwed up — as he has three times this season — he can’t keep deflecting credit where credit is due. It sends the wrong message by saying he does nothing to help this team — win or lose.At this point in the season, Marrone has claimed failure in three of eight games. If I claim failure in three of eight classes, I lose my scholarship. So does Marrone lose part of his salary? No.And that’s why he needs to be better.Sure, this team can’t be expected to win every game and cruise into the national championship game at a cool 12-0.If the ball doesn’t roll your way come Saturday, so be it. But it’s not unreasonable for SU fans to expect their head coach to prepare his team properly each and every week.Michael Cohen is the sports editor at The Daily Orange where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Michael_Cohen13. Published on October 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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