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Syracuse at South Florida: Tale of the Tape & Keys to Victory

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Syracuse will be playing away from the Dome for the first time this season when they take on South Florida on Saturday. Here's how the teams stack up against one another statistically.

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Syracuse Orange football will be playing away from the Dome for the first time this season when they take on South Florida Bulls on Saturday. Here's how the teams stack up against one another statistically.

Category Syracuse Rank South Florida Rank
Scoring Offense 32.8 ppg 47th 24.8 ppg 91st
Scoring Defense 19.5 ppg 34th 24.0 ppg 65th
Rush yards per game 188.25 ypg 52nd 210.5 ypg 28th
Pass yards per game 162.5 ypg 111th 166.3 ypg 108th
Total yards per game 350.8 ypg 105th 376.8 ypg 89th
Rush yards allowed per game 102.0 ypg 17th 131.0 ypg 36th
Pass yards allowed per game 255.0 ypg 99th 233.8 ypg 83rd
Total yards allowed per game 357.0 ypg 48th 364.8 ypg 56th
Turnover Margin +1.5 TO/g T-11th 0.0 T-69th
Sacks per game 2.75 24th 2.25 T-41st

STOP THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS:

South Florida boasts one of the top 30 rushing offenses in the country. It will be imperative that Syracuse stop the Bulls from running ball well, including the Bulls' QB Quinton Flowers who is their second leading rusher with over 200 yards on the ground so far. RB Marlon Mack is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and almost 100 yards per game. Despite giving up over 200 yards to Leonard Fournette, Syracuse still has a top 20 defense against the run.

CONTAINING FLOWERS:

Syracuse has been able to generate significant pressure with their blitz schemes and are in top 25 for sacks per game so far. However, the Orange must make sure they contain Flowers when blitzing, not allowing him to take off for long runs.

LIMITING TURNOVERS:

Syracuse and South Florida are two of only seven teams in the FBS not to have lost a fumble so far this year. Syracuse has forced nine turnovers so far, while throwing three interceptions. The Bulls have thrown five interceptions and intercepted five passes so far. Winning the turnover battle may be the deciding factor in this one.

RUNNING AGAINST THE BULLS:

Like Syracuse, South Florida has been fairly effective stopping the run with the exception of one game against an elite running back. Florida State's Dalvin Cook gashed the Bulls for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns in week two. Despite Cook's dominance, South Florida is still only allowing 3.4 yards per carry against their defense.  Syracuse must run the ball efficiently against the Bulls to have the best chance to walk away with a win.