The Syracuse Orange (3-7) take on the Pittsburgh Panthers (4-6) at Heinz Field on Saturday. For the Orange, it's all about pride and showcasing future talent. For the Panthers, it's a chance to stay alive for a bowl bid. Does SU have it in them to pull out the win? Let's see what the TNIAAM folks (and you) think.
Pitt 28 - Syracuse 16
With the news from Tim Lester that A.J. Long will be starting on Saturday, I’m a little more optimistic about this game now than I was at the beginning of the week. But I still can’t envision Syracuse going into Pittsburgh and winning. I don’t doubt that the Orange will give it their all, but the Panthers are a slightly better team and certainly have more to play for. In the end, James Conner and Tyler Boyd will prove too much for the SU defense, and, as per usual, the offense will struggle throughout the day to get into a consistent rhythm.
Pitt 24 - Syracuse 14
Without AJ Long, SU probably loses by 17. With AJ Long, SU probably only loses by 10. Pitt isn’t very good but SU isn’t scoring much and, as usual, the defense likely gets worn down by the end of the game with the offense struggling to stay on the field. Pitt has some solid weapons on offense that should keep it on the field and that should be the difference.
Syracuse 17 - Pitt 13
My brain tells me that Syracuse loses this game because Pitt is probably more healthy than SU and has a battering ram-type running back in James Conner that resembles many of the rushers that have given Scott Shafer's defense fits over the years. However, I've seen this Pitt team play, and boy, they can be a train wreck. A Syracuse team that is in shambles ending Pitt's bowl hopes by winning at Heinz Field for the first time in forever seems like the most #goacc thing possible here, so that is the outcome I'm betting on.
Pittsburgh 24 - Syracuse 17
Pitt's James Conner controls things for the Panthers and they run all over Syracuse for a half. While A.J. Long and the Orange manage to mount a small comeback in the second half, their lack of red zone execution is the death of them once again. The Panthers stave off bowl in-eligibility for another week, while SU further buries themselves. Though Long does nothing to solidify his place as starting QB, he does nothing to really lose the job either. Another week of questions are due, unfortunately.
Pitt 27 - Syracuse 17
Blah, blah, blah. Syracuse couldn't beat N.C. State or Duke at home, so I'm not so sure why it could beat the Panthers on the road. Although, this does seem like a classic "random win" spot for the Orange. Still, I think the Panthers, still fighting for a bowl berth, do just enough against a still-hurting SU squad.
Syracuse 16 - Pitt 13
One of two things will happen. Either Pitt will be Good Pitt and they will blow us out, or, they will be Bad Pitt and they will come down to our level, allowing us to somehow win this game. There is almost certainly no in-between here. Pitt should win on all accounts...they're home, they're bowl eligible, we have nothing to play for and our QBs are all over the place. And yet, that would be such a Pitt thing to do to lose this game. And I have faith in Pitt to be Bad Pitt. I always do.
How about you?