- Associated Press - Monday, October 25, 2010

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Doug Marrone’s Syracuse Orange defeated a Top 25 team on the road in one of the most difficult venues in the nation, and one of his players was named national defensive player of the week.

Ho hum.

As befits his style, after the biggest win in his brief tenure at Syracuse, Marrone thanked everyone _ from the equipment people to the team doctors and trainers _ then ate a bologna-and-cheese sandwich when he arrived back home after Saturday’s 19-14 win over West Virginia.

“I’ve been eating that since I was a little kid _ it’s the one thing I actually do look forward to _ and I drank about four Gatorades,” Marrone said Monday with the faintest of smiles. “I tried to spend time with my kids and they’re running all over the place and they don’t want to spend time with daddy. Then I just put the TV on and try to get away for a while because I know the next day, when I wake up, I’ve got to go right back to work.”

Work is probably going to be a little bit more enjoyable this week as the Orange (5-2, 2-1 Big East) prepare for a road trip to Cincinnati (3-4, 1-1). It has to be when you consider: the triumph was Syracuse’s first against a ranked opponent on the road since the Orange shocked No. 18 Louisville 38-35 in 2007; it sent the then-No. 20 Mountaineers out of the Top 25; and Syracuse improved to 3-1 on the road after going 0-4 last season, Marrone’s first at his alma mater.

The Orange’s accomplishments have placed them in heady territory. A team that went 10-37 overall, including 3-25 in the Big East, in four seasons under Greg Robinson (2005-08), received enough votes in this week’s AP poll to rank 29th.

Now, a week after Syracuse was dismantled 45-14 at home by Pittsburgh, the Orange faithful are upbeat again as the team continues to defy preseason expectations. Picked to finish ahead of only Louisville in the Big East, Syracuse sits alone in second place.

“That’s what’s great. People can afford to have those feelings. I’m excited for them,” Marrone said. “But as a football team, we can’t. We’re not there yet. That’s just a fact. But I’m excited for people to believe in the program again. That’s our goal. We’re trying to make them happy.”

Linebacker Doug Hogue was honored Monday as national defensive player of the week. The senior had a team-high 10 tackles, eight for losses, two interceptions and a pass breakup. Hogue helped anchor a defense that kept the Mountaineers off the scoreboard for the final three quarters.

It’s the second time Hogue has won the award. He also received it after notching a school-record 6.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks, and forcing a fumble in Syracuse’s 31-13 win over No. 25 Rutgers in the Carrier Dome last November.

“It’s great for our football team, but we know that when people receive individual awards in this sport, it’s because of what’s going on around them,” Marrone said. “You can’t do it without the help of somebody else, but it’s exciting.”

Marrone said the team emerged from Saturday’s game with no major health issues, save for a few cases of the flu. Tailback Delone Carter, the team’s leading rusher who gained 75 yards on nine carries in just over a quarter against West Virginia, suffered a bruised right hip, but was expected at practice on Monday.

Against the Mountaineers, Antwon Bailey helped take up the slack, gaining 94 yards rushing and 11 receiving.

“I really thought (Carter) was going to have a big day, just the way he was running,” Marrone said. “He just had a look like not one person was going to take him down. When we lost him for the game, then you get concerned because now you’re down to two (tailbacks). I thought Antwon stepped up big time.”

Marrone remains concerned about his roster size, though. He has even toned down practices to prevent injuries. The Orange have lost 10 players for the season and have fewer than 70 healthy scholarship players.

“What’s hurting us is our lack of depth. We have to stay healthy,” Marrone said. “What people have to understand is we lost a heck of a player in (senior wideout) Aaron Weaver (season-ending knee injury). It’s been hard for us to make up where he’s been. There’s a lot of people out there that talk about injuries, but I guarantee you … that we have more injuries than anyone. The difficult part, for us, is we have to manage this football team to get through.”

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