Teams: Syracuse Orange (3-0, 1-0) vs. Connecticut Huskies (1-2, 0-1)
Day & Time: Saturday, September 22, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse, -27.5 (where it opened)
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3, SiriusXM: 972 (home) | 987 (away)
UConn blog: The UConn Blog (creative, we know)
Rivalry: Connecticut, 6-4 (meh...)
Current Streak: 2, Orange
First Meeting: The Huskies showed up in the Big East in 2004, and proceeded to lose to Syracuse, 42-30. SU was a force on the ground, picking up 281 yards and three touchdowns. Anthony Smith and Diamond Ferri also picked off passes, with Smith taking one to the end zone.
Last Meeting: Syracuse won 31-24 at PAWS ARF back in 2016, in a game that was a lot more one-sided than the score indicates. Amba Etta-Tawo feasted on the UConn secondary all afternoon and Eric Dungey ended up throwing for 407 yards. Then-Huskies DB Obi Melifonwu allowed so many passing yards that it probably directly inspired his younger brother Ifeatu Melifonwu to go to Syracuse.
Head Coaches: SU: Dino Babers (3rd year, 11-16); UConn: Randy Edsall (2nd/14th year, 78-81)
Coach Bio: The “Godfather” of UConn football actually started his career at Syracuse, where he graduated 1979 after playing quarterback for the Orangemen. He stuck around his alma mater from 1980-90, then hopped to Boston College and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Edsall returned to the college ranks in 1998 as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach. That led him to his first stint at UConn, where he stuck around until bailing to Maryland in 2011. The Terps gig didn’t go that well, so he spent a year... recovering (?) with the Lions before going back to Storrs for a second go-around.
Last Year: UConn struggled with Holy Cross in week one, then sputtered along until two close, mid-season wins against Temple and Tulsa. Nothing else positive happened the rest of the year, though. They lost the final five games, though the final contest was a one-point defeat against Cincinnati.
Last Game: The Huskies were up on Rhode Island 14-7 after one quarter, but never really pulled away as most FBS teams do against FCS opponents. UConn would win 56-49, but it was certainly a stressful game that wasn’t decided until the fourth quarter. David Pindell put up some video game numbers, however. So if nothing else, Connecticut fans enjoyed watching him in action.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: The aforementioned Pindell didn’t look great against Boise State, but he’s put up impressive numbers against both UCF and Rhode Island. In three games, he has 645 passing yards and six touchdowns through the air, plus another 234 and three scores on the ground. Syracuse hasn’t looked great against mobile passers and that could potentially create a challenge on Saturday.
If Syracuse Wins: It’s the school’s first 4-0 start since 1991, and we’ve already equaled last year’s (and the year before that’s and the year before that’s) win total. The work is far from done, but it’s pretty awesome to start off a season like this.
If Syracuse Loses: Someone’s going to burn SOMETHING down. I’m not sure what, nor whom. But something will burn. (also we’d be 3-1 and still have plenty of chances for a bowl — this would just be a major bummer)
Fun Fact No. 1: There are more cows than people in Storrs. Don’t even bother looking up any proof of it. I can guarantee this is the case and no evidence you present to me counting this fact will convince me otherwise. No this isn’t how fake news spreads, what are you talking about? Brb, I’m going to publish this article on PatriotEagle.Facebook.gov and share it with everyone I know.
Fun Fact No. 2: Syracuse is 56-38 all-time against UConn in men’s basketball. This is notable and important as it provides context for the mean-spirited nature of portions of this post.