The Syracuse Orange open the 2016 football season at the Carrier Dome tonight against the one-time rival Colgate Raiders. If you’re in the Central New York area, might as well get yourself over there for the 7 p.m. ET start. If not, you’re watching on ACC Network Extra (ESPN3) unless something else comes through at the last minute.
You’ve certainly read the preview posts (especially yesterday’s), so nothing left to do but dive in. What does the TNIAAM staff think is going to happen this evening?
Syracuse 41, Colgate 24
I expect this game to be somewhat closer than Syracuse fans would like, but Colgate is a solid team and I think the Orange will have some ups and downs. Look for some big offensive plays to be the difference as the Dome faithful get a nice introduction to the Dino Babers era. Eric Dungey will hit on a couple of long TD passes and end the night with close to 300 yards in the air.
Syracuse 42, Colgate 20
We haven't not hung 40 plus on Colgate in forever and a day. I'm only saying 42 since its a new offense. Gate doesn't really have a secondary to shake a stick at, so I'm pretty sure we should open it up and only stop ourselves if we can protect Dungey. I'm giving Colgate 20 out of a lot of unknowns on our defense, specifically our secondary.
Syracuse 34, Colgate 17
Next year, when Syracuse faces an FCS program, I fully expect it to light up the scoreboard and run a million plays and have walk-ons scoring touchdowns. This year, as Dino Babers has consistently said, it is going to be a process to get the team up and running the system to where he wants it to be. Throw in a Colgate team that has a lot of experience and high expectations, and I think this one is tighter than we would like into the second half. Ultimately, Syracuse has a huge talent advantage, and I expect the offense to be immediately improved from last year, so hopefully the Orange don't sweat too much for any reason other than the Dome gets pretty hot in early September.
Syracuse 42, Colgate 20
Dino Babers is not going to go easy on Colgate, but he’s also going to reserve this team’s best for Louisville in week two. That might drive some fans nuts given the minimal glimpses we’ve had at this offense all summer, but there’s a potential payoff we can all deal with, I’m sure. The Raiders’ offense looks pretty good early and scares us half to death. But eventually, SU’s pace and speed advantage wins out. They turn a seven-point halftime lead into a 22-point win, and the Orange get to 1-0. You’re fine with that, trust me.
Syracuse 49, Colgate 17
I think Dino Babers wants to make a statement in his first game as SU's head coach. Sure, it's Colgate, but he's not going to get very many chances this season to tee off on a defense like this. So I expect his Death Star offense to be full operational, or at least as operational as it can be in Week One, and I don't expect him to take his foot off the gas. The more points we score, the more excited SU fans get. The more excited SU fans get, the more show up next week for Louisville. The more show up for Louisville, maybe we start something big. Maybe not.
Now it’s your turn...