Olivero: In his signature win with Orange, Marrone’s vision comes to fruition

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm MORGANTOWN, W. Va. –– Standing at the crest of the smoke seeping from the West Virginia tunnel, clenching a sledgehammer seven feet in the air, Joe Madsen wasn’t ready for Doug Marrone. The West Virginia center, the key of the WVU offensive line that Marrone and Syracuse shocked in its 19-14 upset, stood at the front of his team’s brash entrance. To the adoration of 58,122 who had trekked to the stadium, Madsen pumped the sledgehammer in the air. If only they knew. Tunnel vision is a fickle thing. Minutes prior to the start of a loss that sucked the night and the life out of Morgantown, Madsen and West Virginia’s brash entrance proved the perfect metaphor for their tunnel vision. Across the field, Syracuse and Marrone entered void of smoke and antics. Void of a literal haze, anyway. They may have known of the explicit cockiness exhibited directly across Mountaineer Field behind the smoke and mirrors.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text They may have orchestrated their own synchronized taking of the field. Whatever the case, the Syracuse players made their official entrance to Mountaineer Field the same way their coach won the game. The same way their coach is quietly making this program one that is already becoming envied across the Big East: Coming straight at you in the face of what you do, whether it be taking the field or with an ambush of an offensive game plan. Praise from Dave Wannstedt to Bill Stewart in back-to-back weeks in polar situations speaks to that. Prior to Saturday, the envy was mostly because of what was transpiring off the field. Saturday, it was all exhibited on it. A total team. It was a new SU, peeking out of that own figurative haze and peaking as a program in the land of Appalachia. Led by Marrone, of course, for a national audience to familiarize itself with. But more than anything else — more than Doug Hogue’s national defensive Player of the Week accolades and Scott Shafer’s continued ruckus-inducing pressure defense — Saturday was the showcase of Doug Marrone. It was his moment. It was his game. And it was the perfect example of it occurring his way. No masquerading of Hogue at running back. No last ditch experimenting with Cam Dantley at quarterback. And definitely no dancing after his biggest win yet. He already has two Big East road wins, more than Greg Robinson tallied in his entire tenure. No, there would be no dancing for Marrone. There was animation, however: Barking at refs, sprints down the sidelines and many colorful instances chewing out his offensive linemen. But it was all real. As was the win. It felt total, and it was. Saturday, Marrone’s vision swallowed, whole, the tunnel vision that encompassed Morgantown. It’s the same one that included a plan all along to coach at Syracuse. It was one that weeded out the Robinson leftovers that weren’t fit for the kind of total team that played Saturday. One that has maintained every team is the same and every win is the same — West Virginia included. One that says little to the media, and even less after a win the multitude of Saturday’s. All the animation is saved for his team, his guys. But even after the win, there was that little from Marrone. Instead, there was the scene of his players’ own SU kind of ‘Country Roads’ celebration. They had earned it. As they crowded near their tunnel before re-entering it, rejoicing and dancing in front of the sparse Orange fans that had made the trip, Marrone let his players have the spotlight. He stood removed from the stands, behind his players. Still with that stoic, business mindset and emotion draped all over his face. He has said he doesn’t want to make a big deal out of things — and hasn’t. Everything is a small step. But re-entering that tunnel before linebackers coach Dan Conley ran back again to save some of the emotion with one last look and picture of the scoreboard, Marrone had to know what just happened. He perfected a plan for it, after all. After nearly 700 days of coaching in national obscurity, the smoke cloud is gone. There is no more hiding. Doug Marrone is for real. And from now on, everyone will at least try to be ready for him. Now they know. Tony Olivero is an assistant sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected]center_img Commentslast_img

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