Just a reminder: Tampa is not South Florida.
With another Friday Night game, that means the preview needs to come out earlier. We're happy to oblige. A shorter week to forget the last game sooner is welcome. And this is Homecoming after all. Our annual Homecoming guide will follow this preview, but for now let's get to the game.
Syracuse has had a rough go after slaughtering #15 West Virginia under the lights a few weeks ago. Since then, two letdowns of Louisville and Connecticut. The worst part is, both games were winable. Syracuse just did not execute their games. It was more to do with not making plays than anything opponents did. Which makes them the worst kind of games to watch. But USF has had troubles as well, having lost all four of their conference games. The last being an OT loss to Rutgers by a field goal after leading by a few scores with about seven minutes left. South Florida is vulnerable both on the pass and the run. Of course, Syracuse is more vulnerable on the pass as well. And QB BJ Daniels of USF is a very mobile quarterback, capable of running for first downs and more. The way Syracuse defended the run last game, that could prove deadly. This game could be an airshow for both teams. The key in this one is obviously limit big plays, but more importantly get in an offensive rhythm early and keep scoring. If Syracuse does not score on their first two possessions, this game is probably over. Syracuse has been able to come back, but it gets more unlikely the further we go in the season. Additionally, this is a "short week" to prepare for USF for Syracuse so I just feel like the game plan will not be as tight as WVU was, with a bye week proceeding it. But all that being said, I do think Syracuse will be able to pull a game out on Homecoming. The Dome will be loud, the students will be there in full force as this game is not being played at noon, and there should be some vintage electricity in there. I'm picking the Orange in a close one, 27 to 24.
This game is being played on national television on ESPN 2 at 8:00pm. There should be a lot of folks in the Dome. And if you can't make it, enjoy it on a nice Friday night in. You'll probably be warmer than I will be tailgating. At least the game is indoors. Always enjoyable.