KCCD Staff Writer: Adam Simone
Game: Pinstripe Bowl
Date: December 29, 2012
Teams: Syracuse vs West Virgina
Weather: Cold with snow
The weather for this game made it very difficult for scouting purposes. It was snowing the entire game and the field was partially covered in snow. With that said, I still like to watch and see how players perform when conditions aren’t the best. In the NFL your going to be playing into late December and early January, and it’s important to be able to perform in cold weather.
Obviously the Chiefs need a QB, and both Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib are potential 1st round players. Smith has been the higher ranked player most of the season, but Nassib has really risen up the draft boards over the last couple months. In fact, Russ Lande with the National Football Post has Nassib ranked as the No. 1 player on his big board.
Geno Smith finished the game 16-24 with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. A stat that stood out to me was, 15 out of Smith’s 16 completions occurred within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Smith was 1 for 5 in passes 10 yards or more down the field, but that 1 reception was a 29 yard touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey. Smith relied heavily on Bailey breaking tackles at the line of scrimmage and turning short passes into big plays. Smith rarely tried to stretch the field against the Syracuse defense. Smith struggled at times with Syracuse’s pass rush. Smith was sacked 3 times, two of which resulted in safeties. Smith also fumbled the ball 3 times.
Nassib didn’t have a great game but he also didn’t get any help from his receivers. Nassib finished 12-24 with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, but he had 6 passes dropped. Nassib showed his toughness early in the game. He was sacked on a blindside blitz in the first half and took a massive hit from Terence Garvin. Nassib appeared to have the wind knocked out of him and missed one play before returning to the field. On Nassib’s interception, he threw it slightly behind the receiver and right into the hands of the corner. Syracuse didn’t have to throw the ball much because their running game was pretty much unstoppable and they had a big lead most of the game.
The Pinstripe Bowl definitely wasn’t a showcase for either Quarterback and with the weather being less then ideal, I need to sit down and study a few more games from each player. In future games I review, I would like to see Smith throwing the ball down field more. He clearly has a good arm but I still have questions regarding his accuracy on middle to deep range passes. In this game and other games I watched quickly, it appears he relied heavily on Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin making big plays on short receptions. In the NFL he’s going to have to stretch the field more.
I’m also very intrigued by Nassib. I plan on watching his game against Missouri next. Nassib performed very well against the Tigers and, I’m hoping to get a better idea of his potential and to start finalizing my quarterback rankings. If Nassib is selected in the Top 10, I would assume he goes to Buffalo where his college coach, Doug Marrone, is now the head coach. If the Bills pass on Nassib, it’s possible that he falls to the 2nd round.