The Syracuse Orange travel to Raleigh to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack on Saturday. A bowl game is out of the question (even with the 5-7 thingy) so it's all about playing for pride. Can the Orange pick up their first and only road win of the year?
Michael Burke: NC State 35, Syracuse 23
You're living in a dream world if, on the road, you think Syracuse's defense has much of a chance to slow down Jacoby Brissett. The Wolfpack's quarterback won't have much trouble against the Orange's lowly secondary. And whether Eric Dungey or Zack Mahoney is the signal-caller on the other side, SU will fail to keep up.
Brian Tahmosh: NC State 45, Syracuse 20
The Syracuse defense has given up at least 570 yards in each of the last three games. If they don't create turnovers, they're not getting stops. Unfortunately for Saturday, Jacoby Brissett has thrown 15 touchdowns and only has two interceptions on the season. If NC State just protects the ball, as they have all season, it will be another frustrating day for the Orange. This Wolfpack offense, and the team as a whole, is better than you think.
Andrew Carey: NC State 31, Syracuse 17
I really don't think that Mahoney, who is pressumably the starter will be able to contend with another top 20 defense. He doesn't offer much in terms of offense other than running the ball smartly. I think a couple of times against Clemson he had a shot of completing a big pass down field and he failed to complete them. The Syracuse defense has shown some signs of improvement over the past two weeks when it comes to getting off the field, but ultimately Jacoby Brissett will take over this game and win it for the Wolfpack.
Andrew Pregler: NC State 34, Syracuse 21
I really can't in good faith take the Orange to do anything on the road. It's sad, but so true. Last time we got all excited after a big game and had a very winnable game, it was a shellacking. I don't think that Saturday will be the exact same as NC State isn't exactly brimming with weapons on either side of the ball, but I'm 99% sure the offense stalls out early to let the Wolfpack grab an early lead only to tease us all with a shortlived comeback attempt.
Kevin Wall: NC State-34, Syracuse 24
I expect the Orange to come out and play hard with all of the talk about the future of the program, and with a very, very, very outside chance at making a bowl game at 5-7. However, Jacoby Brissett is good enough to take advantage of Syracuse's struggles in the passing game. Brissett has a 15 to 2 TD to INT ratio this season and put up 3 TD's against the same Clemson secondary which shut down the Syracuse passing game. I think the fact that NC State has video on the Mahoney offense makes it harder for Syracuse to catch them off-guard. Tim Lester's going to need to find something new to use this week if the Orange want to escape Raleigh with the win.
John Cassillo: NC State 30, Syracuse 23
Syracuse manages to put up a good fight once again, remaining competitive throughout the game against the Wolfpack, but it's simply not enough. Settling for field goals early ultimately dooms them in the end, as Zack Mahoney is picked off late in the fourth with the Orange trying to tie the game. The defense is "better," but still largely shredded by Brissett who is happy to take advantage of a banged-up unit. "3-8. One year. 3-8. One year."
Sean Keeley: NC State 32, Syracuse 21
Does anyone trust Syracuse to win on the road? I just can't. Doesn't mean they won't put up a good effort and even keep it reasonable, but this is just one of those years and one of those teams where they can't be asked to put together too many good performances in a row, especially in a hostile stadium. Unfortunately, a loss here erases any good feeling you've got from the Clemson game and just confirms that coaches and players are disconnecting in terms of their opponents and how they prepare/play them.