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Syracuse vs. Villanova: TNIAAM Score Predictions & Poll

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The Syracuse Orange host the Villanova Wildcats in the first game of the 2014 football season. How did we get here already? No time to waste, let's find out whether or not the TNIAAM crew expects the Orange to win their season-opener or if we're in for a loooooong Autumn.

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Matt McClusky

Syracuse 42 - Villanova 10

A hot start, literally and figuratively, helps Syracuse coast to a blowout win over the undermanned and overwhelming Wildcats. A lot of running-back-by-committee along with Terrel Hunt should let Syracuse get some easy scores and the defense, specifically the secondary, will show up in a big way.

Still, while everything will look good, this win won't really be a gauge as to how good this Orange team can be this season.

Sean Farrell

Syracuse 34 - Villanova 17

Alas, the long offseason is finally over. On paper, Syracuse has quite a few advantages over Villanova. On the field, barring any major surprises, I expect to see it playing out that way. This could be a close fight for a little while if Nova QB John Robertson is able to expose a defense without its top pass rusher – Jay Bromley and linebacker – Marquis Spruill. But ultimately, Syracuse’s depth at running back will be too much to handle, even for one of the better rush defenses in the FCS. It’ll also be interesting to see if Terrel Hunt can showcase the maturity and development we’ve heard so much about. If so, we could see the first of many high scoring games for George McDonald’s offense this year.

John Cassillo

Syracuse 45 - Villanova 17

Syracuse's front-seven gets a great push on Villanova's offensive line, putting a ton of pressure on QB John Robertson right from the get-go. The Orange are able to force turnovers and get their (key) tackles for loss, dictating the pace for the entire game. On offense, Terrel Hunt shows great growth in the newer, more fast-paced offense, and the team's one-time scoring problems appear to vanish for at least an evening. The starters are all out by the end of the third quarter, giving SU's extensive stable a capable playmakers plenty of time on the field. Orange cruise.

Ben Norowski

Syracuse 42 - Villanova 14

Hunt plays an encouraging three quarters and then gives way to some backup minutes. Brisly returns a kick for a TD. The defense is swarming and relentless. Shafer throws his visor only once.

The Invisible Swordsman

Syracuse 37 - Villanova 17

The first game of every season is often an uneven crap shoot, as most teams shake off the rust and try out new schemes for the first time at game speed. Scott Shafer's Syracuse Orange are not "most teams"...we start strong, build a comfortable lead heading into halftime, and coast into our ridiculously-placed bye week with a three-TD win.

Dan Lyons

Syracuse 38 - Villanova 14

As we've heard ad nauseum over the last few weeks, Villanova is probably the strongest FCS program that Syracuse has faced in years. Luckily, this should be one of the strongest Syracuse teams in that time period as well. Even when the offense was still figuring itself out and the coaches and players were very much in development last season, this team proved that it could overpower a weaker opponent, even one like Tulane that actually proved that it was a decent group of five program. While SU might not drop 50 like it did to Wagner and Tulane, I still fully expect a comfortable win, and hopefully we'll get to see some of the young guys get some snaps. That'd be nice, for once. Start warming up that arm, Austin Wilson.

Jared Smith

Syracuse 34 - Villanova 10

In the past Syracuse has had some issues with FCS teams (even when Ryan Nassib was a quarterback). However, I got a really good feeling about this team and where it can go. I am not worried about Terrel Hunt over thinking things or try to force the issues because he didn't do that in last year's romp of Wagner. I am not worried too much about the defense giving up huge plays that could keep the Wildcats in the game. Hopefully, a few drives into the game there's not too much to worry about and we can all just focus on the rest of the college football slate.

Sean Keeley

Syracuse 28 - Villanova 13

I know, I'm the Debbie Downer with the closer-than-it-should-be score. But as good as Syracuse might be, something tells me that they're going to need a game or two to get it all together. There's a lot of new faces, injuries and new offensive formations to deal with. I think SU gets it together in the end, but it might be a bit of a slog for a quarter or two.

No big deal, you're used to that, right?

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