Syracuse 38, Tulane 20
Terrel Hunt played for most of the Wagner game, so don't expect any pre-game jitters from the newly minted Syracuse starter. The gameplan for SU should be simple with Hunt at QB: Keep pressure off him to minimize mistakes, involve the running game to allow him room to throw and establish an early tempo. Obviously the Orange aren't going to control the game the way they did last Saturday, but if they can get out to an early lead and then just keep things churning from there, Tulane doesn't stand much of a chance. Defensively, things should be simple -- just pressure Nick Montana because the Green Wave don't run the ball all that well. Anything less than a 14-point win will likely be a disappointment (fair or not).
The Invisible Swordsman
Syracuse 34, Tulane 20
Syracuse looked really, really good on both sides of the ball last week which will have done wonders for their confidence. Yeah, it was against a seriously awful Wagner team, but sometimes you just need a patsy in the ring to shake off the rust and get that old swagger back. Tulane brings a better challenge for the Orange but I don't see their offense mustering enough of a consistent threat against the Orange defense to offset our offense's new-found effectiveness...after dropping 54 points, I imagine they are chomping at the bit to get back out on the field. Nick Montana will need to channel his father Joe if The Green Wave are to have a chance, and I just don't see that happening Saturday.
Syracuse 31, Tulane 14
All aboard the Terrel Hunt train. Tulane seems to have a bit of talent, and will be a solid step up from what Syracuse saw in Wagner last week, but with this game at the Dome, and the team rallying behind its new quarterback as they head into the ACC schedule, I expect a solid win this weekend. Tulane may have a bit of success throwing down field, and Syracuse probably won't score on all of its first six drives, but I don't expect too much drama this weekend.
Syracuse 28, Tulane 10
I'm keeping my expectations low simply because I think we all still have no idea what to make of this Syracuse team. And this matchup with the Green Wave is likely to provide more answers. But luckily for the Orange, Tulane is more than winnable and that's all that matters right now. Get to .500, get to the bye week, and then get ready for the onslaught of the ACC. Which, given the potential of Terrel Hunt and the play of the defense, may still provide a path to Belk (Bowl).
Syracuse 27 Tulane 21
I have the benefit of watching everyone's predictions roll in and then reacting to that. And I have to tell you...I think we're being just a wee bit cocky about the state of the Syracuse football program. Yes, we won 54-0 last week. But we beat a friggin' high school team. Yes, Terrel Hunt has looked spectacular so far. But he's played Northwestern's JV team and a team full of guys none of whom would be good enough to make Northwestern's JV team. For the first time this season. Terrel is going to face a defense that game-planned specifically for him. Because we really want to think this team is the one we watched last week and not the one we watched the first two weeks, I think SU fans (and Vegas, apparently) are talking themselves into the Orange being a wee bit better than we are. I expect to win. But I don't expect it to be the cakewalk many others do.
How bout you?