Welp, it’s come down to this. After whiffing on their first two tries at six wins, the Syracuse Orange football team gets one more chance on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Unfortunately, this isn’t your typical Pitt squad, though. Instead, we get a top-25 Coastal champion Pitt squad standing between us and bowl eligibility. “Hooray.”
Before these teams kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night, we’re giving our predictions for the game. And for the betting inclined, Syracuse is currently a 13-point underdog according to DraftKings (odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details).
Pitt 45, Syracuse 24
Maybe I’m surprised for a half or so and the Orange turn over every stone possible to make this a game. But unfortunately, this is a top-five offense on the Pitt side, and the SU defense hasn’t looked up to snuff of late. Even if Syracuse can score some points, it’s going to hard to keep up with the Panthers. If they try to turn things into a track meet, I just don’t see how this ends in SU’s favor. Things sadly end without a bowl trip once more. The only thing that will soften the blow is if we let go of Sterlin Gilbert shortly after the loss.
Syracuse 36, Pitt 34
I don’t remember when I first said that this would be one of Syracuse’s six wins but since I’m not putting any money on this pick, I’m sticking with it. The most ACC way for this season to end is Pitt losing to Syracuse then going to Charlotte next week and winning to grab the Orange Bowl berth. Despite the success of Kenny Pickett I dare you to find a Pitt fan who trusts Pat Narduzzi and in this one it’s a decision to go for a 2-point conversion in the 3rd quarter that ends up allowing the Orange to steal this game and head to a cold-weather bowl game.
Pitt 42, Syracuse 14
Going full “Disloyal Idiot” on this one and hope to be proven wrong, but the way both the offense and defense are playing now, along with a litany of injuries that have racked up at this point leads to Syracuse not playing the way they were in the early season and giving up a bit of a no-show on Senior Night. We’re going to know a lot more about the state of the program after Saturday’s game, and I have a bad feeling that Pickett and the Pitt offense aren’t going to let Syracuse extend that season another month.
Pitt 45, Syracuse 17
Look: The Orange have looked uninspired since the Boston College win, and if we’re being honest, they didn’t look all that great in that game either. I can’t reasonably expect this team to magically break what’s been a month of poor form, let alone against a Pitt team that has already had two mental lapse games at different points in the season. The Panthers need this win to complete their ACC campaign and solidify their momentum headed into the ACC Championship Game. I see Pickett airing it out and racking up video game numbers while Shrader struggles to keep up.
Pitt 55, Syracuse 14
I’m ready to see this turn closely into a shootout once again like the 2016 closer, but only for Pitt. This defense is too tired to face Kenny Pickett this late in the season, and I’ve lost all faith in the Orange offense to have any hope that things will turn around. If the coaching staff actually gives Sean Tucker the ball, then maybe Syracuse can put points on the board and hang with the Panthers. But given the declining performance of the Orange safeties, Pickett’s probably licking his lips for another 400-yard game.
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Pitt?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and BOWL BOUND, BABY!
Pitt, and everything is bad