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Syracuse Football: How Did Orange Opponents Fare in Week 3?

A quick glance at how Syracuse's upcoming opponents fared in week three as we start to get ready for Maryland.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously we're all still pretty psyched about Saturday's victory over Central Michigan. But the Chippewas are one of 12 teams on the schedule, and those other opponents -- both past and future -- also played this weekend, which helps us continue to evaluate Syracuse's chances in the upcoming weeks. A quick glance around the college football scoreboard to see how those teams did, and whether or not our outlook (on paper) or overall feelings about opponents have changed:

Villanova (Bye Week)

'Nova had a bye in week three, but the Wildcats are currently 1-1 following their loss to Syracuse and a 50-6 demolition of Fordham. Villanova is ranked seventh overall in the FCS and the bad feelings around the Orange's tight victory could look less and less negative over time.

West Virginia 40, Maryland 37

The Terps were down by as much as 22 early in this matchup, but they managed to roar back and make a close contest of it late, falling on a last-second field goal. As advertised, Maryland can move the ball pretty well, but it also doesn't appear like they can stop anyone either. Considering their issues at home this past Saturday, it certainly doesn't foreshadow good things about a road trip to Syracuse on September 20.

No. 9 Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14

Notre Dame looked much better in the first two weeks of the season, outscoring Rice and Michigan, respectively, by a combined score of 79-17. But Purdue tested them for at least a half on Saturday, and it's tough to see the Irish in nearly the same light anymore. It doesn't mean they're bad -- they're still a very talented football team. They're just capable of faltering, just like any other squad.

Virginia 23, Louisville 21

Two big wins to start the year made Louisville appear among the conference's elite. Following a close loss to a feisty Virginia team, though, there are plenty of doubts about what the Cards can and can't do in their first go around the ACC. The offense isn't unstoppable by any means, though the defense has looked solid so far. If they commit four turnovers again, they'll likely be cut down to size yet again this season (maybe several times).

No. 1 Florida State (Bye Week)

No game for Florida State this past week, but still, the defending champs are 2-0 and maintain their hold atop the rankings. They're not outscoring teams with the same fervor they did in 2013, but don't think this group lacks the talent of last year's. They're going to get better with experience. Be afraid.

Utah State 36, Wake Forest 24

Wake simply can't move the ball effectively one the ground (just seven yards if you remove the sack yardage from last week's total), which is going to make things very difficult for them... against anyone. QB John Wolford threw the ball 50 (!!!) times against Utah State, and still remained largely mediocre. This is a work in progress, and it'll be another year or so before we see the finished effort -- great news for Syracuse.

No. 22 Clemson (Bye Week)

Like Florida State, Clemson went ahead and relaxed the week before their huge matchup down in Tallahassee. And at the moment, they're a tough team to gauge without games against more comparable opponents to Syracuse. Next week isn't going to change that.

NC State 49, USF 17

State finally looked as if they could get out of their own way on Saturday, using a balanced attack to absolutely run through South Florida. The Wolfpack are obviously getting things together with this offense, and the finished product may be almost ready for a bigger stage. Six different Pack players ran for 20 or more yards against the Bulls -- it's nearly impossible to stop that sort of parade of fresh legs in the backfield.

Duke 41, Kansas 3

Duke laid waste to Kansas, and continued its leisurely stroll through the opening part of its schedule. The Blue Devils may not be getting the hype of other teams, but a quick glance at this box score shows you how impressive they've been thus far this season. The rushing attack has new life right now behind Shaun Wilson (245 yards vs. KU), making Anthony Boone's job even easier at quarterback so far.

Pittsburgh 42, Florida International 25

THIS is the Pitt we know and fail to care much about! Against a very, very bad FIU squad, Pittsburgh came out sleep-walking and found themselves locked in a fairly tight battle until the fourth quarter. James Conner is still James Conner, so the running game looked fine. But Chad Voytik is just not grasping the passing game that well (9/17, 89 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT last week), which ultimately hurt them here.

Boston College 37, No. 17 USC 31

Boston College pulled off an enormous upset of USC at home on Saturday night, and it looks like all of those fears we had about QB Tyler Murphy are warranted. He led a ruthless rushing attack with 191 yards, but the team had 452 total on the ground against the then-No. 9 team in the country. BC's young, but getting better by the week. Our late date with the Eagles is getting more and more concerning.


There you have it. Syracuse's opponents in a nutshell. Did you notice anything else worth mentioning? Share away in the comments.