The Syracuse Orange (4-7, 2-5) wrap up their season with a road trip to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-4, 4-3) at Heinz Field. SU is 1-10 in their last 11 contests vs. Pitt, and haven’t won on the road there since 2001. If the Orange succeed here, they stand a decent chance to make an APR-assisted bowl game.
Syracuse and Pitt kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET on the ACC Network (check your local listings) tomorrow. If you’re not making the trip to that part of Pennsylvania, you can hang out with us here to watch all of the proceedings.
So what does the TNIAAM staff think will happen on Saturday?
Pittsburgh 47, Syracuse 23
By the end of the game Syracuse fans are going to be sick of the names James Conner and Ejuan Price, but not as sick as Zack Mahoney's going to be of Price being in his face. With a healthy Eric Dungey, I think the Orange could have turned this into a shootout, but without him and so many other starters, Pitt is able to dominate this game.
Pittsburgh 38, Syracuse 17
While it would be wonderful and all if Syracuse was able to come together for a heartfelt upset win to improve to 5-7 and potentially make a bowl game, it just isn't going to happen. With Zack Mahoney at the helm, Syracuse's offense will once again struggle to get any momentum and will be held in check for the majority of the afternoon, outside of one or two big plays. On the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh's James Conner will continue his remarkable comeback season and run all over a Syracuse defense that was recently torched by Florida State's Dalvin Cook last week. While this may have had the seeds of a potential upset early in the year, due to Pittsburgh's sudden resurgence, behind an upset over Clemson and blowout win over Duke, and Eric Dungey's injury, expect one more blowout loss to close out Syracuse's season.
Pittsburgh 38, Syracuse 21
I’d love to predict Syracuse tearing through Pitt’s struggling secondary and pulling off win no. 5. But unfortunately, it just seems far too unlikely given what this offense has looked like in recent weeks. Zack Mahoney can’t complete passes accurately enough to make this a shootout. And the Orange defense can’t stop the run well enough to prevent the Panthers from just leaning on them for the entire game. Maybe things look better than previous weeks, but not enough to make the upset happen.
Pittsburgh 42 - Syracuse 17
No Eric Dungey is all you need to tell me. Syracuse isn't winning this game and the offense isn't going to do much more than it did last week. Pitt is capable of going wild on the scoreboard and while they might not reach the heights of Louisville or Clemson they should be able to wear us down enough. Whatever bowl dreams you had for SU will die a painful death but maybe in some weird way it's for the best. Let this team regroup, let the coaches retool, and let's get ready for a better 2017.
Now it’s your turn...