The Syracuse Orange got back on the winning track last weekend. And now at 5-2, SU has a big opportunity ahead as they hope to earn win No. 6 and lock up bowl eligibility on Saturday night against the N.C. State Wolfpack.
Due to weird scheduling quirks, the Orange face all three North Carolina schools on the slate in consecutive weeks. They already beat UNC. This week is NC State, then Wake Forest completes the trilogy on the road at the start of November. Before getting to SU’s fierce rivalry with the Deacs, however, there’s still the matter of ending a four-game losing streak against State.
Vegas expects a close one here, with the Pack favored by about two points and the over/under set at 65 (for those so inclined to gamble). Also, a win over the ranked Wolfpack would likely vault Syracuse into the top 25 themselves...
Before things kick off at 7 p.m. ET tomorrow from the Carrier Dome (or on ESPN2 if you’re watching from home), the TNIAAM staff predicts what might happen in this one...
Syracuse 34, NC State 30
This game is going to be intense. Parents weekend in the Dome against a top 25 team is bound to be loud. It won’t be like Clemson but Syracuse is going to play with a chip on its shoulder and that’s where Dino thrives. I expect Eric Dungey to have a statement game, to show that he’s still the starting quarterback for this program, at least until the end of this season. NC state is also coming off a demoralizing first loss so they may not play their best football to start. I see it being a close game coming down to the wire but the Orange prevail.
Syracuse 38, NC State 31
It’s shootout time in the Dome. We haven’t seen an aerial offense like this all year. We’re going to give up some points, Ryan Finley is a good quarterback, Harmon is a great receiver. They’re putting points on the board. I think we shut it down, get some pressure on Finley after they put a few up, and the young CBs come up big. Also, our offense hopefully starts working again for the first time in a while?
Syracuse 24, NC State 23
As I alluded to in my five things to watch, I think the third down battles are going to decide this game. NC State is going to try and move slowly and methodically down the field. This will suppress scoring, but help ’Cuse in keeping things way closer than they could be. So the big chances for ’Cuse to do damage? Early drive third downs by NC State. Stop the drive, force their terrible punting unit to give it to Sean Riley or shank it out of bounds, and set up short fields for the offense. Hero of the day? I think Chris Fredrick comes up with multiple big stops and THE ORANGE GO BOWLING!
Syracuse 31, NC State 30
The hell if I know what to expect in this one. Is Syracuse going to go with Eric Dungey, or Tommy DeVito, or both? Is NC State as bad as it looked last weekend at Clemson? Can Syracuse wrap up a bowl berth in October? Is NC State really a top-25 caliber team? So many questions, but if 2018 is truly going to be special for the Orange, it seems like this is a game that should be won. It’s a primetime, nationally televised contest, featuring a ranked opponent, at the Dome. Am I picking Syracuse based on that alone? You bet. The Wolfpack has beaten Virginia and Boston College at home but has only one road win (Marshall) to speak of this season. The home crowd should be rocking, and Syracuse, with whatever works at QB, should be good enough to eek this one out.
NC State 34, Syracuse 33
Other than Justyn Knight winning an ACC Indoor Title, I am hard pressed to remember anything good happening for Syracuse teams wearing all-blue uniforms. You can worry about which QB will get more snaps. I’ll be over here banging my head against the wall and muttering to myself. I think this game will come right down to the end where NC State banks in a long FG for the win.
NC State 38, Syracuse 34
Dungey gets the start, but Devito ends up on the field before the end of the first half for Syracuse. After a slow start, the redshirt frosh catapults the Orange right back into the game and erases a 10-point lead before the break. The two teams trade blows for the rest of the game, but the momentum slows for Syracuse as the defense gets tired and State starts to figure DeVito out a bit. Ryan Finley spends the final drive picking apart a banged-up SU secondary, leading to the winning TD drive with under a minute to play. No comeback this time, sadly (but still a strong effort by ‘Cuse).
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. NC State game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and WE ARE GOING BOWLING!!!!!!!!
Syracuse loses by 1-9 points, and we can fix some things
Syracuse gets blown out and now we’re nervous again