If the Syracuse Orange are serious about making a run at 6-6 and a postseason bowl invitation they will need to do their darnedest Saturday to earn a ACC football road victory at N.C. State (3:30 p.m. ET on MSG-Plus).
Today's game isn't a must-win, but it is as close to one as you can get this early in the season. The Orange (2-3) enter looking to get back to the .500 mark, while the Wolfpack (3-2) want to bounce-back from an embarrassing loss to Wake Forest last week.
N.C. State is expecting the return of starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who is more of a threat to run than backup Pete Thomas, who has started the last four games for the Wolfpack. N.C. State could also be getting back freshmen running back Matt Dayes and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but they will be without safety Jarvis Byrd and, most likely, wide receiver Rashard Smith.
Meanwhile, Syracuse's secondary will need to improve without senior defensive back Keon Lyn, who will miss the remainder of the year with an injury. The Orange will also be without kick returner and third-string running back George Morris.
It sounds like it will be a packed Carter-Finley Stadium, which will provide a good test for sophomore quarterback Terrel Hunt, who has yet to start a game on the road.
Leave all your in-game and post-game comments here. As always, GO ORANGE!!