Northwestern vs. Syracuse football: Sean Keeley talks Drew Allen, Scott Schafer, and Orange-Wildcats

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

We asked the crew over at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician to discuss important things, like the walk-on basketball player at Syracuse that I worked at summer camp with.

Have you looked at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician? It is hilarious and excellent in so many ways in addition to the fact its name is TROY NUNES IS AN ABSOLUTE MAGICIAN.

Because all our content will henceforth be provided by other people, we asked Sean Keeley to answer some dumb questions about Syracuse football and one question about Syracuse basketball. Since we both agree that Syracuse and Northwestern should hate each other, the transcript of this email conversation has been edited to avoid several moments when Sean and I rose from our e-seats and began viciously attacking each other.

Take it away, Mr. Keeley!

1. For the second straight week, Northwestern faces a team with a new coach and new starting QB. Why did you and Cal conspire together to make gameplanning as difficult as possible for Northwestern?

Well, we did trade with Stanford to get that @SUAthletics Twitter account we never use. We figured while we were there, the least we could do was conspire to give our shared 2013 football opponent a tough time planning for one another. That age-old long con.


2. Cuse also loses its top two wide receivers and two important members of the offensive line. Name one person who is affiliated with Syracuse football that was affiliated with Syracuse football when Northwestern played Syracuse last year (besides yourself.)


Well, technically, head coach Scott Shafer was there, but he was mild-mannered defensive coordinator Scott Shafer at the time. Of all the folks you might remember, I'll go with Jeremiah Kobena, who scored two TDs in that one. He didn't get much PT last week but the coaches have mentioned getting him more involved in the offense this week. Be afraid. Or don't. It's entirely up to you.


3. About that new QB: 16-for-37 with two picks and no touchdowns in Game 1. Ummm.....


Yeah, not that great. Here's my soft sell...he's basically an old freshman who started his first football game in five years and his first college game ever and he did it against a solid Penn State defense. So, take that for what it's worth. My guess (or maybe it's hope) is that Drew Allen improves over time. He's got all the tools and he's a prototype quarterback who probably would have been a starter had he attended any other school than Oklahoma when he did.


4. Despite that statline, the Orange kept it close against Penn State. What went right for Syracuse Week 1?


The defense played pretty well, all things considered. We discovered that defensive lineman Robert Welsh is a quality player and the annual SU Defensive Lineman Who Comes Out Of Nowhere & Becomes A Solid Player. And we got some decent spot play from the defensive backfield, which has always been a sore subject for Orange fans.


5. 'Cuse decided to stay in-house with Scott Shafer. How has that hire been received? Has he done anything schematically different than Doug Marrone?


Pretty well so far. The players love Shafer and he's revealed himself to be an animated, fun guy who likes to curse and has a bunch of catchphrases. The big things now is...can we win ballgames. Or at least keep SU where Doug Marrone got it to? Schematically, the defense should be extremely similar to last year's but the offense is bit a of a work in progress. We just don't have the talent we had last year and we really don't know what this offense under OC George McDonald is supposed to look like just yet.


6. About which, are 'Cuse fans salty about losing Marrone? Would you trade your QB situation for the Bills'?


We kinda were for a while, mostly because it came as such a surprise. Marrone talked about SU as being his dream job and one doesn't usually leave their dream job after four years. But, to paraphrase Ghostbusters, "Ray, when the NFL asks you to be a head coach, you say yes." He struck while the iron was hot and you can't blame him for that, especially after repairing SU football following GERG's reign of terror.


No, I would not trade our QB situation for the Bills. Good luck with that, Douglas. (Editor's note: I honestly for a solid second thought this was a reference tolast year when I mentioned prominently that my middle name was Douglas in our Q-and-A.

7. . How is the ACC? Are they treating you nicely? How prominently is your BIG EAST 2012 FOUR-WAY CO-CHAMPS banner displayed in the Dome?


So far they've been really nice. We're still learning all the cheers and slang and Duke said hi one day so that was neat. 
HEY, don't judge the four-way Big East Championship. It helped keep Rutgers from getting better things. That's what you need to think about now.


8. After a trip to the Final Four, how will 'Cuse's basketball team respond to the loss of my former camp co-counselor Griffin Hoffmann, who scored .1 points per game last year for the Orange? Who is in line to replace his role as the guy at the end of the handshake line?


You honestly think we can replace all of this? My money is on Russ DeRemer to be our No. 1 bench animal. He sure eats like it.


9. How hard-nosed are you guys?


How hard-nosed do you like it?


10. What's the goal for Syracuse this year? A bowl game? And what are you expecting out of this Northwestern game?


We went around the room before the season and the predictions ranged from 5-7 to 7-5. So I'd say bowl game is the basic requirement. I know, we're Syracuse and the ACC is a step up (2 the streetz) and we have both Florida State and Clemson on the schedule, but, we still think six wins are out there. At least we hope so. We hate it when we meet people's low expectations for us.
As for this game, it's in the expected loss category. But, we'd at least like to see our offense look competent and put some fear into you guys for as long as we can. We're not much for moral victories but that would be nice.

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