That feeling of dread’s back, so another Syracuse Orange football game must be on the horizon. SU is 1-6 (1-5) and after last week’s rough loss to Wake Forest, they’re back at the Dome yet again. This time, they’re up against the Boston College Eagles (4-3, 3-3), who dropped a close game to Clemson last weekend. We’re not necessarily expecting a win. But it would be nice to avoid a repeat of last season’s blowout loss to BC.
For the first time in 2020, Syracuse won’t be kicking off between noon and 12:30 p.m. ET. Instead, proceedings get started at 2 p.m. on your local RSN and ESPN3. Before that, though, the TNIAAM staff makes their predictions about what might happen.
BC 31, Syracuse 20
I’m hoping we see a heavy dose of JaCobian Morgan, since I think he’s what makes this result (or something better) more likely. While Syracuse went without a takeaway last week, Wake also takes care of the ball really well. BC doesn’t as much, and QB Phil Jurkovec appears to force things under pressure. Taking advantage of that is really the best chance we have here given the offense’s struggles to move downfield for much of 2020. Whether it’s by way of a late score for SU or the Eagles pulling away in the fourth, I think the Orange cover here, but ultimately take the L.
BC 31, Syracuse 14
I expect this game to play in a very similar way that most of the Syracuse dome games have gone. Opposing QBs haven’t proven that they can dominate the Orange through the air, even with four first-year starters in the secondary. I don’t think Jurkovec can do any better, so once again the attention shifts to the BC run game. Don’t be surprised if David Bailey has a monster game. The real question comes from the SU offense. Rex Culpepper hasn’t proven that he can get any consistency in the passing game and he’s too turnover-prone to keep Syracuse close. I think Dino will start Culpepper. Whether that’s the right decision or not is another discussion, but the lack of offensive momentum that Syracuse generates from the passing game is ultimately what leads the Orange to another loss.
BC 31, Syracuse 17
I agree with Christian that BC’s going to turn to Bailey and the running game to not only chew up clock but keep Jurkovic from taking too many hits. He was knocked around at the end of the Clemson game and the Eagles will be content to do what they did last year and force the smaller Syracuse defensive backs to take on Bailey in the open field. I also think Rex Culpepper starts but Dino Babers let’s both of his freshmen see some action tomorrow. If Sean Tucker is healthy the Orange could make this a game as BC hasn’t been great against the run this year. Syracuse will need to get some breaks to overcome BC’s talent advantage in this one.
BC 28, Syracuse 13
David Bailey isn’t AJ Dillon. Nor is he Travis Etienne. However, he’s probably a good enough back for BC to ride this weekend in order to open up some holes for Zay Flowers and Hunter Long to find and exploit when the Eagles turn to the air. While the freshmen safety trio have looked good, they’re all still freshmen (as are the subs) and they haven’t seen an interior target like Long from most of the teams they’ve played. On the Orange side of the ball, I’m hoping to see a healthy dose of Jacobian Morgan, doubly so if there’s any sign of Rex Culpepper struggling on the day. Otherwise, get a (hopefully) healthy Sean Tucker the ball and try and grind one out.
BC 30, Syracuse 24
So here’s the part where I hedge this pick by saying that I think Morgan playing the majority of the snaps swings this into a one possession game, and if he starts, that margin closes even more. But my prediction is that Rex starts the game and is yanked at halftime so that the coaching staff can get Morgan up to speed on BC’s scheme and create a customized sequenced game plan for the true freshman. While that happens, BC is going to build up a lead that will be insurmountable, and we will come out of this loss both hopeful and frustrated, a rough set of feelings headed into a bye week.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and Boston College?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and hey, something positive!
BC, and at least we have a bye next week