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Syracuse quarterback concerns Stewart

October 6, 2009
By JOHN WICKLINE, Staff Writer

It's a stark contrast how Syracuse University football coach Doug Marrone and West Virginia University coach Bill Stewart view the same game.

In a 34-20 loss to South Florida, Marrone said his Orange is not good enough to overcome seven turnovers and still win the game. Stewart looks at the game as one Syracuse had a chance at winning despite seven turnovers.

"(Quarterback Greg) Paulus scares me to death," Stewart said. "We're going to have to play tough, solid and conservative. We have to tighten up."

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Paulus won the Syracuse starting quarterback job even though this is his first year in the program. He played out his basketball eligibility as a guard at Duke before deciding to test his football fortunues.

"He's constantly learning," Marrone said. "Two (of his five) interceptions were forced. His arm was hit, the ball popped up in the air and it was an interception. Another was a great play by a defensive back. The other two, he had to move, scramble and you could say (made) a poor decision."

Even though Paulus is a newcomer to the team, Marrone said the quarterback has already made his presence felt.

"He has brought so much to the football team that it will be a part of this team even after he leaves," Marrone said. "People won't appreciate what he is doing until after he leaves the program."

Stewart concedes he enjoys watching talented athletes compete, but said he doesn't necessarily want to see that talent showcased when they are competing against his team.

"As a player, you want to play against the best," Stewart said. "Mike Williams (SU receiver) is a major college football player, as is Paulus. Our guys are excited to play against them."

The two teams kick off at noon Saturday in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. WVU, 3-1 overall, has defeated the Orange seven straight seasons.

Syracuse brings a 2-3 overall record and an 0-1 Big East Conference mark into the game. Marrone, who is in his first year at the helm of Syracuse, said his players are starting to buy into his philosophy after a number of losing seasons.

"They said, 'Tell us what we need to do to win,"' he said. "We looked at what they did last year, looked at what they were good at."

It will be the second straight road game for the Mountaineers in which crowd noise could be a significant factor. Stewart said the game at Auburn helped prepare his players for what they will face, or rather hear, inside the Carrier Dome.

"We just have to make big plays and silence the crowd as best we can," he said.




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