Teams: Syracuse Orange (4-3, 2-1) vs. Miami Hurricanes (5-0, 3-0)
Day & Time: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Line: Syracuse opened as 13.5-point underdogs, but that line is now up to 16.5 points.
TV/Streaming: ESPN (or WatchESPN, for streamers)
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Miami blog: State of the U
Rivalry: 15-7, Miami leads
Current Streak: 5, Hurricanes
First Meeting: A then down-on-their-luck Miami football program made the terrible decision to host the powerhouse Orange in 1960, losing 21-14. At the time, both schools were just Eastern independents, but SU was fine to take the trip south to get out of the November cold of CNY.
Last Meeting: In their final Big East matchup, Syracuse fell by just seven points to the Hurricanes -- then an 11-2 powerhouse. SU grabbed a 10-7 lead at halftime, but the No. 14 ‘Canes roared back late to win by a touchdown. Neither team topped 250 yards in the game, and Miami turned the ball over three times. Other than the obvious reasons why these teams haven’t played in a decade and a half, this game could be a primary proof point of why they shouldn’t play at all.
Head Coaches: SU: Dino Babers (2nd year, 8-11), Miami: Mark Richt (2nd year, 14-4)
Coach Bio: Richt played quarterback at Miami until 1982, then spent some time in the NFL before heading back to college (rival Florida State) to coach. After one year at East Carolina, he was right back to FSU being an expert QB coach and offensive coordinator until 2001 when he took the Georgia job. He won 145 games at UGA with six division titles and two SEC championships. The Bulldogs were tired of the success and went a different direction. Things have seemingly worked out for everybody.
Last Year: Miami had a weirdly linear year. They won the first four games, lost the next four, then won the final five. The ‘Canes only looked bad in one game (Virginia Tech), and were pretty close to opponents otherwise. They lost a bunch of talent over the offseason, but when you’re stocked with blue-chippers that matters a whole lot less.
Last Game: The Hurricanes spent most of last Saturday trailing Georgia Tech, then nailed a field goal to win 25-24 right before time expired. After failing to move the ball for much of the game, the Miami offense hit its stride late, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter. It’s the second straight game where the ‘Canes have pulled a win off in the final minute.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Maybe he doesn’t have the stat line Eric Dungey’s put up, but Malik Rosier has still put in an impressive effort through five games. He has 1,371 passing yards with 12 touchdowns, plus another 146 rushing yards and two scores. Last week, we lucked out not having to face Kelly Bryant at peak mobility. We won’t be so lucky against Miami and Rosier. The SU defense will need to do something different to lock him down.
If Syracuse Wins: All bets are off on where this season is headed. Syracuse would be 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the ACC with an eye on a bowl game and a whole lot more. I wouldn’t even know how to type game recaps in anything but ALL CAPS anymore.
If Syracuse Loses: Can’t necessarily say we’d be surprised. Syracuse just came off a big week and a huge win. Keeping that momentum going for a second consecutive top-10 opponent seems like a very tall order. If we lose by a small margin, it’s still a step in the right direction. Lose by a lot, and I’m still not going to get too worked up, either.
Fun Fact No. 1: You knew that Syracuse had a lot of Florida (and especially South Florida) talent on the roster. But did you know how much? In total, 11 players are from Miami’s general footprint, and all of them are likely to be anxious to put on an impressive performance in front of the hometown crowd.
Fun Fact No. 2: Richt is the fifth Miami alumni in program history to coach the football team. Just two Orange alums have coached SU in the history of the football program (the most recent obviously being Doug Marrone).