Can Scott beat Randy again?
Syracuse went down to Maryland last season in an ACC Conference game and basically embarrassed them 20-3. Now Maryland makes a trip to the Dome but this time they are in their new conference, the Big Ten. A little more than conference pride is on the line this time.
Syracuse looked excellent against MAC foe Central Michigan last week. A stark contract from how they looked against Villanova, who probably should have won the game. But in NCAA Football, you take any wins you can get. Either way, Syracuse looked a lot sharper after a bye week and a game that had starting quarterback Terrel Hunt in for all 60 minutes. Maryland comes in the Dome looking to be a spoiler for Syracuse's so far perfect season, as well as rebound from an big loss to West Virginia in which they gave up 694 offensive yards to the Mountaineers. The Terps are a decent team who have a pretty good QB in CJ Brown. He's a mobile QB like Hunt is and like Villanova possessed, when their leading rusher was the QB in the opening weekend. That could prove fits for Syracuse's defense again, who will also have to probably key in on excellent rusher Wes Brown, who missed last week as a coaches' decision. The Syracuse secondary provided plenty of bulletin board material for QB Brown, who possibly could shred Syracuse for a ton of yards in the air. Both of these teams look pretty even, except Syracuse rushes by committee. Syracuse's tailbacks have had two different 100 yard rushers the past two games, and it's possible that happens in this one. With four legitimate rushers for Syracuse, anything is possible as there are power backs and speed/finesse backs that provide a nice change of speed. Really, this game will come down to turnovers and rushing. Syracuse will probably control the time of possession (who cares, it's really a meaningless stat), but what should give Maryland fits is the different running looks, combined with the fact that Hunt can run himself. More importantly, West Virginia succeeded by running an up tempo, no huddle offense. Hmmm..... I think Syracuse does that as well. Interesting. Syracuse should also dominate in number of offensive plays run in the game, which is a better stat to lead on, and more indicative of success on offense than time of possession. Whoever limits turnovers is always at an advantage. Maryland had 6 turnovers against USF and 1 against West Virginia. Syracuse has had zero so far this year. Syracuse is also one of four teams in the NCAA that hasn't allowed a sack. They probably will in this game, but not many. Syracuse will look to pound the ball, and I think that Syracuse's offense will do a little better than Maryland's. This game will be pretty close, but I like Syracuse in the Dome. Sorry Randy. The Orange over Maryland 27 to 17.
This game is at 12:30pm eastern on the ACC Network with regional coverage being provided. You can check if your local station is covering the game here. For everyone else, you can watch the game on WatchESPN. Blackout map applies. You can also watch the game on the ACC Website (and the official ACC phone app, FYI) by clicking here. John will be in the Dome. I'll be working some football games myself so I won't be watching the game with you. But be sure to have a few cold ones for us. Go Orange!