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Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee Official TNIAAM Predictions & Poll

We talked about this matchup all week, so now what happens?

Central Connecticut State v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange (1-0) host the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (0-1) this Saturday at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse and MTSU have never played one another, but Orange fans will certainly recognize a couple faces on the opposite sideline -- former head coach Scott Shafer, plus former linebacker and grad assistant Siriki Diabate.

This game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network Extra (WatchESPN). If you won’t be present at the Carrier Dome, you can hang out with us here while we enjoy the stream-lagged proceedings.

So what does the TNIAAM staff think will happen?

Andy Pregler

Syracuse 45, MTSU 28

I think MTSU is solid, but we're overrating past performances. They didn't look intimidating against Vandy, and Babers Ball is great at taking advantage of over-aggressive teams early in the game. The Orange march to 2-0 and we're going to be talking ourselves into a seven-win season because of course.

Steve Haller

Syracuse 38, MTSU 24

Babers’s offense wins out of FHCMFSS's defense in the "Return to the Dome." Even with Cordy out, I think transfer Jordan Martin steps up and we're not as susceptible over the top without him. After putting up only six points on Vandy, I don't really know what to make of their offense, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Central Connecticut State v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Kevin Wall

Syracuse 37, MTSU 27

After a disappointing first week, I expect MTSU to be better offensively. Players love Scott Shafer and I'm sure the MTSU guys will be motivated to get him a win. I think Syracuse has the players to take advantage of Shafer's aggressive scheme. This is a game where Erv Phillips should have a lot of room to move and look for him to go over 100 yards receiving. MTSU gets a late score to make the final score closer, but the Orange get another needed win to start the year.

Dan Lyons

Syracuse 38, MTSU 28

Middle Tennessee's offense should be better than it showed against a very solid Vanderbilt defense, with the Brent Stockstill-Richie James connection being one of the most potent in the Group of Five. However, if Kyle Shurmer can tear up Scott Shafer's defense, I have a lot of confidence that Eric Dungey can do the same. Having watched seven years of Shafer defenses, I'm also very confident that the Dino Babers's offense will be a bad match-up for Shafer's D. MTSU should be a good team, and I'm not so bullish on Syracuse's defense yet that I think that the Orange will rout the Blue Raiders here, but I do feel good about a fairly comfortable win.

Michael Lehr

Syracuse 38, MTSU 17

SU keeps the ball rolling offensively on Saturday. MTSU's defense (coordinated by Scott Shafer) will take some time to set in this season so the fast paced offense should have some fun. I'd expect to see a variety of receivers get involved, with Shafer's squad focusing on Steve Ishmael a lot. Defensively the Orange bend a little more than last week but don't quite break.

Central Michigan v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Julian Whigham

Syracuse 31, MTSU 21

Rule No. 1: Don't let directional schools beat you at home. WR Richie James accounted for more than 50 percent of all of MTSU's offense last week. He'll get off to a another hot start against a questionable Syracuse secondary. Coach Shafer and his defense keep Dungey under wraps for a half, but Dino Babers wins the chess match and the Orange pull away in the fourth.

John Cassillo

Syracuse 41, MTSU 28

While Shafer knows what Syracuse’s offensive players can do, he doesn’t know as much about how they’ll behave in this scheme. Meanwhile, those Orange weapons have all faced this defense before. SU should be able to beat Middle Tennessee with the same things that always burned us: mobility and screens. Where things get iffier is on defense. I don’t expect MTSU to be as lackluster as last week, so expect them to come out firing. Still, Orange earn the victory. “2-0! Two years!”

Now it’s your turn...


What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee game?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Syracuse wins another crucial one in the march to bowl eligibility
    (515 votes)
  • 4%
    MTSU wins and we never hear the end of it from Shafer defenders and Shafer himself
    (26 votes)
541 votes total Vote Now