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South Florida Quick Predictions

Interesting how the seal of the University of the Western Hemisphere shows a good portion of the Eastern Hemisphere.
It's Homecoming Weekend on the Hill in Syracuse, and the South Florida Bulls come to town. USF is off to a perfect 2-0 start, beating Towson and Northern Illinois. Meanwhile, the Orange is 1-1, winning the season opener against Colgate, but getting thumped against Louisville last weekend. It's all been in the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome thus far, and in front of less than stellar crowds.

Syracuse hasn't really played a peer yet; Colgate was well below Syracuse's talent & ability, while Louisville is an elite team. USF is definitely the closest Syracuse will have seen to a peer so far this season, yet it seems like they may be just ahead of the Orange. The Bulls have had some momentum season to season, while the Orange clearly took a step backwards at the end of the Shafer era. But before Syracuse goes out and shocks Top 25 teams, it's teams like USF that Syracuse needs to focus on competing with. If you can't do that, then what business do you have thinking you can be competitive with the Louisvilles and Florida States and Clemsons of the world?

That being said, Syracuse will be seeing a tough Bulls team that has a quarterback cut from the same cloth as Louisville's Lamar Jackson: Quinton Flowers is 29-51 throwing for 528 yards and six touchdowns in his two games thus far, and is known to use his feet, picking up 99 yards and two touchdowns himself. Syracuse will obviously need to zero in on him, show pressure, but not simply sell out on every play. Doing that would undoubtedly pull a safety from the middle of the field and leave a receiver like Marquez Valdes-Scantling wide open. We saw enough of that with Cardinals receivers a week ago.

On the Syracuse side of things, QB Eric Dungey needs to regain some of the confidence from the Colgate game that he lost in the Louisville game. USF has a tendency to put up a lot of points and shut down their opponent's offense, so the bottom line is Syracuse needs to find a way to score, early and often. If they can get some momentum going on offense, not get interrupted by incompletions, runs up the middle, and cramping timeouts, the Syracuse offense has enough talent and ability to have a great game. If they can't do that, then forget it. I think they can, but they fall short in an exciting game that comes down to the last possession with the Bulls winning 46-44.

This game kicks off Saturday at 3:30pm EDT in the Carrier Dome, and if you're not there for Homecoming, the only way you can watch is on the ACC Extra through the WatchESPN app. While you're watching that, if you want to see tweets from the future, check out myself and your other usual Twitter peeps. Brian is still in Hawaii, so don't expect any sass from him, but rest assured; he's saving it up for an epic trip to East Hartford for next weekend.

For those attending Homecoming, remember a few things: first, it's Homecoming, not Orange Central. Second, if you're at Happy Hour on Friday night, pour a little out for #RIPDarwins. Lastly, be safe, don't do stupid shit, and tip your bartenders well. Still clueless and/or looking for some nostalgia? Check out Brian's Guide to Homecoming from five years ago. Go Orange!

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