Things are pretty rough for the Syracuse Orange right now. At 3-3 (0-2 in the ACC), we now have our backs against the wall when it comes to bowl eligibility and Friday night’s opponent — the Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2, 1-1) — isn’t going to make a win any easier. Pitt’s won three straight heading in, while SU may still be licking its wounds following a gutting loss at NC State. The Panthers are also coming off a bye week, though the Orange did beat Pitt the last time they traveled up to the Dome.
Before this one gets going on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, the TNIAAM staff weighs in on the game:
Pitt 24, Syracuse 17
The Panthers defense is tied for the 2nd-most sacks in FBS while Tommy DeVito has been sacked more than any other D1 quarterback. Even though Pitt isn’t as strong offensively, I see few scenarios where DeVito isn’t running for his life all night. It’s nearly impossible to win games like that.
Syracuse 28, Pitt 24
I don’t know if it’s possible to have less of an idea what a team will do, than I do this week. The Panthers have some dangerous options in Maurice Ffrench and Taysir Mack, but if Syracuse’s secondary gets any bit healthier, they should be up to the challenge. On offense, DeVito finds someone other than Trishton Jackson in the passing game in the comforts of the Dome, leading to the “W.”
Syracuse 13, Pitt 10
Yeah, that bad. I think Pitt’s defense is going to have a field day, but Syracuse’s defense showed some heart in North Carolina and will energize the Dome into an advantage that keeps Pitt off kilter. Ultimately, DeVito and Jackson connect for enough big plays over a Pitt team that will give you the big pass play (if you can hold them back long enough) to give Andre Szymt a redemption game, with the defense holding off the Panther late.
Syracuse 20, Pitt 16
The fourth quarter of last week’s game has me believing enough in the Syracuse offense to predict a close win. In a game where the defenses should have the edge I think the Orange hit one big play for a touchdown and convert two turnovers into points.
Pitt 27, Syracuse 23
“BAH GAWD, that’s the disloyal idiot’s music!” Honestly, I think Syracuse is a better team overall, but given injuries and their inconsistency, it certainly hasn’t looked like it this season. And since Pitt’s already proven themselves against a couple quality opponents (including UCF and Duke), they’re the known quantity here. The Panthers’ defensive front is a strength, and that’s a frightening reality for a Syracuse offensive line that’s already been under siege all season. Maybe Tommy DeVito can deliver quicker throws and utilize more screens to avoid the pressure. But it’s not going to be easy, given how he’s responded in similar situations to this point.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Pitt game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and the ship’s temporarily righted
Pitt, and this thing’s taking on water in a hurry