The No. 19 Syracuse Orange (6-2, 3-2) are flying high this week after clinching bowl eligibility and getting back into the top 25 for the first time in 17 years. With that out of the way, can the Orange extend the streak to three straight wins over North Carolina-based teams when they face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-4, 1-3) on the road this Saturday?
Speaking of streaks, the Deacons have beaten SU twice in a row, and that followed a four-game win streak by the Orange. Wake Forest is also fighting for bowl eligibility still at four wins. So coming out on top here is pretty critical for them.
Syracuse is nearly a touchdown favorite (6.5 points) in this one on the road, and the over/under is set at a pretty insane 75.5. Even with that hefty number, I’d still probably take the over with two high-scoring tempo-based teams going against defenses that struggle to stop opponents from putting up points.
Before things kick off at noon ET tomorrow from BB&T Field in Winston-Salem (and on your local RSN), the TNIAAM staff predicts what might happen in this one...
Syracuse 41, Wake Forest 28
I can see Wake hanging a few points on the Orange defense, but not enough to outpace what should be a very good Syracuse offensive showing. Wake statistically is one of the lesser defenses in the country (125/129) and I think Dungey and Co. take full advantage of that.
Syracuse 50, Wake Forest 35
Take. The. Over. Neither team has amazing defense, and in the case of the Orange, their offense continues to be explosive as heck, while the Demon Deacons give up big plays at a high rate. Even if the Orange get out to big a lead, the scoring will keep coming and we’re going to be super frustrated watching Wake run all over. That being said, this is going to be an early season Dungey game where he just takes over and no one can stop him. I think he’ll have over 450 total yards and at least 4 TD’s in the effort, moving ’Cuse to 7-2.
Syracuse 27, Wake Forest 17
Syracuse saved its season two weeks ago against North Carolina and, this past Saturday, made it into something special in beating NC State. While I could see a letdown coming, Eric Dungey should be able to carve up the Decs defense the way he did most of the game against the Wolfpack. Wake will be competitive, and will definitely attempt to hurry the game along on the ground. And don’t forget, the Deacons have won two in a row against Dino Babers. But top-25 Syracuse (does that ever get old? No, no it doesn’t.) scores early, does enough late, and walks out the winner.
Syracuse 48, Wake Forest 37
If the Orange can avoid turning the ball over I don’t see Wake slowing down the passing game. Syracuse might have trouble stopping the Deacons run game, but since both teams want to play fast, it should still be a high-scoring game. This should be another week where Sean Riley and Nykeim Johnson can be effective in space.
Syracuse 48, Wake Forest 42
Neither team has much trouble moving the ball in this one and Syracuse is forced to blitz a lot while dealing with numerous defensive back injuries (leaving the Orange even more susceptible to giving up big gains on the ground). The saving grace for SU is starting hot, then forcing the Deacons to catch up for the rest of the game. It gets tight (similar to last week), but not enough to result in a loss. A timely turnover or two end up saving the day once again.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Wake Forest game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins by 10 or more and you’re talking yourself into the Fiesta Bowl or something
Syracuse wins by 1-9 and you’re still happy to be 7-2
Syracuse loses and now you’re concerned that 7-5 could be the ceiling