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University of Connecticut Quick Predictions

Yeah their new logo sucks. I'm not using it.
Here we are. It isn't quite the Super Bowl, or even a college Bowl Game, but it's the game on the schedule this season that gets the people (and by people, I mean me) going. With no VTech or West Virginia on the schedule, and Pittsburgh and Boston College with their usual level of hate coming, UConn is the team that I really get up for. While Georgetown is still supreme for me during basketball, this season UConn for football is still big. Perhaps it was the time I was in college and UConn jumped to the Big East. Maybe it's the fact I used to work in Hartford. Maybe it's a lot of reasons (it is). But I hate UConn the most. So we've had a sustained campaign of hate on Twitter this week. And it's culminating in an actual game. Can Syracuse do what everyone expects them to do, and stay undefeated?
Yes. The short answer is yes. No drama or suspense needed. UConn is allowing an average of 673 yards per game. That would be 129th out of 129 in the nation among FBS schools. They allow an average of over nine yards per play to their opponents. They also allow the country's worst in points allowed at 55.7. And while you may be saying that it's only been three games and two of them were against ranked opponents. That's true. But then that third opponent was an FCS school, URI. That they only beat by seven points. At home. Eric Dungey is going to be starting again this week after the chunks of dirty tire were removed from his eye. And after the FSU game I'm a hell of a lot more confident if he goes down again. I don't want him to, but if he does it seems to be clear that Tommy DeVito is capable to come in and play well on offense after a disastrous first game against Western Michigan. Either way, Syracuse, and specifically Dungey, should have their way with UConn. The defense will surely give up a few big plays, but really it shouldn't matter in this one. UConn isn't going to score on every drive, and it is a very real possibility that Syracuse could. Syracuse will look to get up big early again, and I assume coast with DeVito in, saving them both for the big showdown against Clemson. I think Syracuse is focused, and no trap game will be forthcoming, providing Huskey fans with a reason to not drink some bleach. There won't be. Get the Clorox ready. Syracuse rolls big in the (moderately warm, but not insanely hot) Dome, 59 to 17.
This game is available nationwide on ESPNews / WatchESPN at 4:00pm. I'll be tailgating all day, and then heading to the Dome with my good friend John Brennan. We'll be on the Tweets here and there all day I'm sure. If you see us, say hi. If you see John napping in the trough in the bathroom please let me know. Remember kids, it's "UConn", not "UCONN". As always, UConn... U SUCK and GO ORANGE!

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Florida State Quick Predictions

Syracuse has a chance to make history.\
Syracuse handled their annual FCS opponent last week. But now an ACC heavyweight heads into the Dome. They barely beat Samford (yes, Samford) at home last week. And were smoked in week 1. So will the Orange beat Florida State for the first time in the ACC?
 Eric Dungey is primed and ready, and the Offensive Line is primed. And the running backs will do their part. The offense will be fine. It is obviously the defense that Syracuse fans will worry about. Syracuse's secondary was vulnerable the first two games. I don't think it's a secret that the way to beat Syracuse is to pass the ball. Syracuse will have to make plays on defense. But this game is going to be a track meet. And frankly it may just come down to the last possession. Syracuse had a chance to send the game to overtime at FSU last year, but a last second kick was missed. The same could happen today. But this game will be higher scoring. But I like the fact Syracuse is home and wrecked their FCS game last week, while FSU struggled. I'm taking Syracuse in the Dome 55 to 48.
This game is available nationally on ESPN at WatchESPN at 12:00pm. John is in the Dome. I'm in the home office and will be watching the entire game. We'll see you out there, and GO ORANGE!

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Wagner Quick Predictions

Is it FSU day yet?
Syracuse got the job done in Kalamazoo. Now Syracuse heads back to Syracuse for their Home Opener. And FCS Wagner comes in looking to pull the huge upset. But let me tell you, it isn't happening.
Syracuse is now 1-0, looking to get 1/3rd of the way to Bowl Eligibility. And the Orange should get there. Wagner has a couple of good players in QB Luke Massei and RB Ryan Rulse. Fulse ran off 271 yards and three scores in their opener, while Massei passed for 134, including a 55 yard touchdown. These players are capable, as they beat Bowie State at home 40 to 23. But Bowie State isn't a team in the ACC. Syracuse should dominate the line of scrimmage and find it easy to move the ball on offense. Look for Tommy DeVito to get extensive minutes in the game. Syracuse should win this one big. SU over the Seahawks 52 to 10.
This game is available Internet Only affair, at 3:330pm, my favorite kickoff time. John will be taking in the game at the Dome. I'll be in the home office for most of this, in between games of my own. As always, send any officiating or rules questions along during the game if I'm watching. GO ORANGE!

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Get back in there and win us the game!
While it was a fun game, and it was certainly a great result, the game was not an easy watch for Syracuse fans. SU amassed a nice first half lead, Eric Dungey was taken out for Tommy DeVito, and all hell broke loose. Dino Babers put Eric Dungey back in the game and all was right again. Syracuse wins their highest combined season opening score ever, beating WMU on the road 55 to 42.
Offense
B+
Eric Dungey (7/17, 184yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 200 rush, 1 rush TD) set a single game rushing record for an ACC QB. He had a monster opening day in total, and was clearly the difference in the game. The offensive line was just about as good as advertised, giving good protection to Dungey, as well as massive running lanes for him and the running backs. Moe Neal and Dontae Strickland both had 2 TD on the ground for Syracuse, with Neal getting 82 yards on 28 carries. Jamal Custis was clearly the shining star of the offense, earning 168 yards on 6 receptions, two being TDs and one of them being a massively awesome one handed grab. Tommy DeVito was not ready for the spotlight as the offense did nothing while he was in. Can't say it's too surprising, being that it was his first action in college. No alarm bells yet, but that makes Dungey staying healthy extra important.
Defense
B-
Syracuse held WMU to 2-10 on 3rd down and 1-2 on 4th. They also earned two interceptions. That being said, they can't possibly be given an A for allowing 621 total yards and 24 first downs. This was basically a collapse, starting about halfway through the 2nd quarter, and lasting until the early part of the 4th quarter. Then they did enough to stop the offensive threat of WMU, along with Dungey allowing some rest time for the defense, by actually moving the ball.
Special Teams
A
Andre Szmyt was perfect on the day, kicking two field goals (26, 43), and making seven extra points. Additionally, coverage on kicks and punts were great. No reason to not give them an A.
Coaching
C
I, like many other fans, thought that Dino Babers waiting one too many WMU scores before putting Dungey back in the game. I don't think he should have let the game get as close as he did again. Dungey should have come back in when it got back to 34 to 21. Instead, WMU scored, and make the game only 6 points. Dungey than came in and promptly marched down the field and scored, and the game was never really in doubt. But it got too close for comfort and it didn't have to. I will say that I don't think the coaches tried to have Dungey run. He just took off and moved the chains. Which was easy against WMU.
GPA
B (3.1)
Again, the ending was great. But it didn't have to be this hard. It never has to be, but it always is when Syracuse is involved. Either way, survive and advance. 1-0 for Syracuse, starting on the road against a MAC team and not an FCS squad. All in all, a nice Friday.
Syracuse heads to the Dome for their home opener against FCS Wagner. They have an extra day to prepare and should handle business, just in time to take on FSU in the Dome. Either way, Syracuse is off to a good start and needs to keep the momentum, and Dungey's health, rolling.

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