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Syracuse vs. Western Michigan Official TNIAAM predictions & poll

We avoiding the dreaded upset in this one?

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange football program kicks off another season this Friday night. Will it be a more positive experience than recent years? The results in game one may go a long way toward determining that for us.

SU heads up to Kalamazoo, Mich. for a first-ever meeting with the Western Michigan Broncos, who are coached by former Orange offensive coordinator Tim Lester. There are numerous other familiar faces over on the WMU sidelines, making this far from your average game against a MAC team that was 6-6 last year.

If you haven’t made the trek to Waldo Stadium (most of us), you can catch all of the action starting at 6 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network/CBS Sports HQ.

So what does the TNIAAM staff predict is going to happen in this one?

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Haller

Syracuse 35, WMU 24

I actually like the scoreline that Hustle Belt threw out there, but in reverse. I see the Orange taking this one, probably opening some space late. The first half, with a full new receiving corps may be choppy, but the ground game should look better behind the most experienced line we’ve seen in years. Syracuse finds their groove and puts some points up.

Brandon Ross

Syracuse 28, WMU 24

This cannot be said enough: Western Michigan is a good team and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This game will be a close one, but with the SU defense sticking to the 4-3 to cater to WMU’s heavy running attack, expect the Orange offense to outpace them—albeit not by much.

Andy Pregler

Syracuse 31, WMU 17

I think the Orange end up winning by two touchdowns, even if they don’t pull ahead until later in the game. I think early on, you see the difference in the offensive line as Dungey has time to throw and make reads, but the lack of early scoring comes from different wide outs and running backs working out the game flow of the offense and earning separation from a WMU defense that tries to bait Dungey into running for yardage. On the other side of the ball, the Broncos try to run but are routinely stuffed by the Orange front four, leading to a mildly successful air attack that can’t make any big plays, but moves down the field enough to worry us all moving forward.

Kevin Wall

Syracuse 37, WMU 31

I’m looking for Lester/Daoust to try and force Dungey to keep the ball on option runs so he gets hit early and often. I think Syracuse will take some time to get going on offense but by the 2nd quarter the running game takes over and sets up Pierce down the seam. WMU’s going to hang around but the Orange defense will get a late turnover to secure the win.

Dan Lyons

Syracuse 34, WMU 27

It seems like most people are putting the smart money on Western Michigan, but I’m sticking with the Orange. Western Michigan’s staff has familiarity with some of the talent on the SU roster, but the Syracuse players played in Lester and Daoust’s schemes, and when his staff took over, Babers and company had to become pretty familiar with what the late-Shafer Syracuse teams were running. The familiarity factor is probably pretty overblown, if anything.Lester will take over play calling duties this year after previous WMU OC Kevin Johns departed for Texas Tech, taking the system that was pretty effective last season with him. Last year’s Broncos team performed well on offense and Jon Wassink can play, but we are all pretty well aware that there is no guarantee that a Lester-fronted offense is going to be anything to write home about.

John Cassillo

Syracuse 37, WMU 31

Syracuse starts slow and trades scores with Western Michigan for a bit, making us pretty nervous by halftime. But the offense starts to find holes in the Broncos’ defense by the third quarter, and manages to pull away behind Dungey’s arm. WMU makes a game of it late, but can’t recover a critical onside kick late. It’s a win, but not as comfortable of one as we’d prefer. Announcers won’t stop talking about Lester’s “inside knowledge” of SU the whole time, either, which irks.

Now it’s your turn...

Poll

What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Western Michigan game?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Syracuse wins by 10+ points and all’s right with the world
    (221 votes)
  • 36%
    Syracuse wins by 1-9 points and it’s still fine
    (177 votes)
  • 18%
    Syracuse loses and we get reacquainted with despair
    (93 votes)
491 votes total Vote Now