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Syracuse Beaten Down Emotionally, Opens as 11-Point Underdog at BC

Can the Orange finish the season on a high note?

Pittsburgh and Boston College are no ordinary opponents that appear on Syracuse’s schedule every season. They’re two old rivals from the Big East days, and one has to wonder if we’re in store for SU getting blown out in both.

The Orange’s 30-7 loss to the Panthers Saturday added to the team’s pitiful stretch of nine losses in the last ten games. With a loss in the finale at Chestnut Hill, Syracuse would be 3-9 with just one of the victories in ACC play (against atrocious Wake Forest). The other wins aren’t exactly ones to boast about (Villanova and Central Michigan).

How can Syracuse pull off an upset against the Eagles? Boston College is an 11-point favorite, to give you some sense of how little Vegas thinks of the Orange. A chance to end on a positive note is the only thing to play for, and Alumni Stadium should provide a lively atmosphere since BC is already bowl eligible. Hopefully it cheers up a glum Scott Shafer, who sounds like he’s blaming injuries for the crater:

“Across the board we’re too young, too inexperienced, and you can’t win games like that in the ACC. The reality is we needed to stay healthy and play good football. But we didn’t. That’s the reality of it.”

After the loss Saturday, SU hasn’t won at Pitt since 2001 – when the teams first played at Heinz Field. At least QB AJ Long is looking forward to the game in Boston as opposed to the offseason:

“What’s the point of hanging your head and feeling sorry for yourself when you have another opponent? You don’t want to go into a week and get blown out 59-3 or 59-nothing.

Boston College is a really good team. They almost beat Florida State, who we all know are National Champions. We can’t hang our heads or we’re going to get thrashed, and we’re going to look like a joke in the ACC.”

At least SU got James Conner out of its way. Shafer compared Pitt’s star RB to former BC bulldozer Andre Williams. No matter who’s coming out of the backfield for the Eagles, SU has to battle along the lines. That key remains the same. Having Ivan Foy and Nick Robinson makes it a heck of a lot easier.

Shafer loves to adhere to “fight,” and nowhere does a team need to do that more than with your front seven. Offensively, this squad hasn’t progressed despite al the changes. Since 2000, Syracuse holds the advantage against BC head-to-head 4-3. Last year SU won a thriller as Terrel Hunt hit Josh Parris to send Syracuse to the Texas Bowl.

Will the Orange have anything emotionally left Saturday? After this past weekend Shafer said: “Tough loss, tough year.”

Which is inarguable. But it begs the question whether SU will be too beaten down to even make it close against BC. If not, the season will end on 9 losses in 10 games, and a 1-win ACC campaign. Enough to make you want to bury this season in the ground and never look at it again.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen

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