Disappointing finish from Syracuse

Here is the best news for Syracuse: Its next game definitely won't be at home.

The Orange wrapped up one of the oddest seasons in recent memory with Saturday's 16-7 loss against Boston College. They managed a huge program turnaround by making a bowl game for the first time in 2004, improving three wins from last year to finish 7-5. Yet they did it despite not beating a single FBS team at the Carrier Dome.

In fact, in some ways you could almost consider 7-5 disappointing since Syracuse lost three of its final four games, all at home, after a great start. The offense has to take the burden for that.

The Orange simply couldn't score enough points to keep up late in the year. On Saturday, their only score against the Eagles came on a solid drive to start the second half. They were held to under 240 total yards. Otherwise, it was all BC and all Andre Williams.

Starting in place of injured running back Montel Harris, Williams ran a whopping 43 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. Whenever Syracuse absolutely needed a stop, it just couldn't get one. In their last three losses -- UConn and Louisville were the others -- the Orange defense showed it had trouble against teams that went big and pounded the ball down their throats. That's something to watch for whenever Syracuse finds out its bowl opponent.

Still, the defense did hold Boston College to 16 points, which should be good enough to win. Doug Marrone has got to figure out what's wrong with this offense, especially since he is officially the team's offensive coordinator as well as the head coach. It's an issue that could plague this team into next year as well.

At the end of the day, losing to Boston College can't damper what has been an excellent, breakthrough season for Syracuse. But Orange fans can also be excused for feeling like the season should have ended on a much better note.