After last week’s dramatic win at Mizzou, Syracuse heads into the regular season finale already having clinched a bowl game and no urgency to beat Temple just to be eligible. An astounding 31-27 upset of Missouri nabbed the pivotal 6th win the Orange needed. But to really finish the season off on a high note, SU can tie for 2nd in the Big East with a win, and if Louisville and Cincinnati somehow fall on their faces against UConn and USF, respectively.
- The Fizz’s Bowl Predictions Coming Friday Morning!
Either way, Doug Marrone and company have given Syracuse fans one hell of a ride in the second half of the season.
“So the team, just to hang in there and keep pushing it and getting themselves better, and then seeing the results of when you don’t turn the ball over and you’re able to execute at a level that produces wins just confirms what we’re trying to do in coaching, getting [them] to play at the highest level they can play at.”
Cue the standing ovation for The Dougie. The team had its Thanksgiving feast earlier this week in order to prepare for Temple. Hopefully the turkey has fully digested and Syracuse can improve to 7-5. Here’s this week’s Fizz Power Rankings.
1) #18 Rutgers 9-1, 5-0 (W, 10-3 @ Cincinnati)
The Knights went on the road and preserved their perfect Big East record in an ugly, but gutsy road win at the Bearcats. Gary Nova was anything but spectacular, but Savon Huggins controlled the gridiron with 41 carries for a career-high 179 yards. Rutgers continues to prove that it’s not always about how you win, but getting it done when the odds are against you. Capping off their big W, the Scarlet Knights got the news of moving to the Big Ten with Maryland. It’s a good time to be an RU fan.
Up Next: @ Pittsburgh, Saturday November 24th
2) Syracuse 6-5, 4-2 (W, 31-27 @ Missouri)
Trailing 17-3 for most of the game, Syracuse was up against a wall. But the team found a way to gut out a big win on the road in the SEC. Ryan Nassib and Alec Lemon connected ridiculously once again, and the defense made plays when it had to. The second spot in the rankings is the highest the Orange has stood all season, and SU has positioned itself to finish a respectable 7-5. Not bad for the kind of start the Orange had. At Temple should be a win, as long as SU plays a smart game.
Up Next: @Temple, Friday morning
3) #20 Louisville 9-1, 4-2 (L 45-26 @Syracuse, then bye)
The Cardinals are probably still trying to figure out what happened against Syracuse a few weeks ago. The deflating news for UofL is the loss of Senorise Perry for the remainder of the season. The RB tore his ACL. Can the Cards bounce back? Teddy Bridgewater, however, shouldn’t have many problems running all over the dreadful Huskies defense.
Up Next: UConn, Saturday
4) Cincinnati 7-3, 3-2 (L, 10-3 v. Rutgers)
A tough one to swallow for the Bearcats at home, but they still make the top half of the power rankings. The Cats were just 3 of 11 on 3rd down and held the football for 15 minutes less than the Scarlet Knights. Cincy should be fine at home against the Bulls, but Syracuse fans looking for that tie for 2nd place in the Big East means rooting for Cincy to lose.
Up Next: USF, Friday night
5) Temple 4-6, 2-4 (W, 63-32 @ Army)
Where the heck did this come from? 60-plus points on the board from the Owls may have to limit expectations of Syracuse winning easily Friday. Montel Harries went off for seven touchdowns and 351 yards. Holy smokes. That Syracuse run defense better be ready, because a confident Temple program hosts them. Props to the Owls for winning two Big East games already in its first season back in a BCS conference.
Up Next: Syracuse, Friday
6) UConn 4-6, 1-4 (W, 24-17 v. Pittsburgh)
Big win by the Huskies this week. All of a sudden they can nab 5 wins and not sit lonesome at the bottom of the power rankings. A home victory versus Pitt is worthy considering the Panthers played now #1 Notre Dame awfully tough.
Up Next: @ #20 Louisville, Saturday
7) Pittsburgh 4-6, 1-4 (L, 24-17 @UConn)
Two weeks ago we had Pitt ahead of Syracuse at the #4 slot. Now that’s a distant memory. The Panthers played so tough in South Bend you’d think they’d be in the upper half of the standings. Not anymore after some ugly play, especially against the Huskies. Paul Christ’s first year is one he wants to forget. The loser of the game against UConn could finish last in the conference.
Up Next: v. UConn, Saturday
8) USF 3-7, 1-4 (L, 40-9 @Miami)
Syracuse helped end South Florida’s season with the come from behind win a few weeks ago. The Bulls are collapsing. They round at the bottom this week, but could play spoiler with a win at Cincy under the Friday night lights. Skip Holtz could finish with just three wins on the year. Ouch.
Up Next: @ Cincinnati, Friday
- The Fizz’s Big East Bowl Predictions Coming Friday Morning
Posted: Brendan Glasheen