When I think about this game and what it represents, I'm not entirely if defining it as a must-win works for not. Is it a must-win for what? To remain competitive? To go to a bowl game? To save Doug Marrone's job? To make good on the potential we've seen? I suppose whatever you think Syracuse needs to win this game to accomplish is what probably makes it feel like a must-win, or least a really-outta-win.
When I think of what makes this game a must-win for me, it's the idea that we need this win to justify the last remaining remnants of hope.
USC-game aside, I've gone into every game feeling like we should win. Every time, I've predicted that Syracuse will put it together and come out the victor in the end. Despite the Northwestern and USC losses, I had hope. The Stony Brook win helped keep that hope alive but the Minnesota loss damn near crushed it beyond repair.
A bye week was good for the fans just as it was good for the team. It allowed us to get away from that loss and hold on to whatever remnants of hope was left that this could turn into a bowl season. However, this Pitt game might be the one to break us. If Syracuse loses and drops to 1-4, I mean, I don't know what the stats say but I'm guessing they don't bode well for turning it all around.
And so, since I still have a little hope left, I'm predicting a Syracuse victory. It's Friday night and we're coming off a bye at home. That worked pretty well last time and the Panthers, despite their recent improvements, aren't that West Virginia team.
I don't think this team has given up. I know for sure that Doug Marrone hasn't given up. And while a lot of fans have stopped caring or showing up, I know there are still some SU fans like me who have a little hope left.
To keep that hope alive, this game is a must-win.
Syracuse 27 - Pitt 20