The name's Ted Brogan.
Welcome to the Big East. We do it on Friday nights. So Syracuse will take on rival West Virginia, a team Syracuse upset in Morgantown on Homecoming. The Mountaineers will be looking for revenge. Sadly I think they will probably get it.
Syracuse is coming off a bye week, which will allow some extra time to gear up for the best team in the league right now, having only lost to LSU on the season. But that might not matter. Geno Smith is playing very well this season, racking up 2159yds and 16 touchdowns so far this year. Granted, some of those games inflated the numbers a bit, but rest assured, Geno shouldn't have that much trouble passing against a pretty inferior secondary. Conversely, Ryan Nassib will have to have Antwon Bailey establish the run early, as the secondary for West Virginia is stingy. Additionally their defensive line prevents a lot of running against them. The good news is that their defensive line is not great at pass rushing, so if some of the wide receivers manage to create some space, Nassib should have the opportunity to get them the ball. But Syracuse needs to score points and capitalize on WVU mistakes. Causing turnovers and then getting point off turnovers is key. This will not be a defensive ball game like last season. This year, the better offense will win the game for whichever team. Because West Virginia should score. A lot. Pressure to the quarterback will need to occur. Syracuse sacked Smith a number of times last year. That needs to continue to happen, as well as make picks like I said. That is the only way Syracuse can manage to beat West Virginia. But because Smith is playing far better this year than last, and the Syracuse defense is not quite as good, I have to take West Virginia in this one to get the trophy back. West Virginia over the Orange 34 to 20.
This is a nationally televised game this evening at 8:00pm on ESPN. Check your local listings. Enjoy the game, try not to be near any WVU fans, and have a great weekend. I'm out of the home office again, but John will be at the game tweeting, as well as covering the blog for the weekend. I'll be back Sunday night with my blogpoll ballot, but the postgame will come from him. Enjoy that cookiewich, and be sure to check out my conversation with Chris Sedenka of Flying Dub-V right here.