It has been beaten to death over the last week but saying it one more time won’t kill it anymore so here it goes. Syracuse needs a bounce back win against Central Michigan and the Dome on Saturday. So, here is a quick guide with what you need to know ahead of kick-off between the Orange and Chippewas.
Another mid-afternoon game: For the second straight week the Orange have a home game on a Saturday at 3:30. One would think that this would be the best chance for a big crowd to file into the Dome. It is not too early and the fans do not have to give up their Saturday night. That didn’t prove to be the case last week and it is hard to imagine that many watched last week’s game from home and were suddenly possessed by the urge to make a trip to the Dome. For the third time this season, Syracuse fans around the country will have to fire up their phones, computers or streaming devices because the game is on ACC Network Extra, which is in the ESPN app.
Head to head: Though the Chippewas play in the MAC, and the Orange in the ACC, the two teams know each other quite well. The two teams are meeting for the third time in four years and the fourth time overall. All three meetings have gone the way of the Orange, but the Chipps have gotten increasingly closer to knocking off their power-five foe, forcing over time in the last meeting between the teams in 2015.
If the Orange Lose: Syracuse is in position to fall to 1-2 for the second straight season. This would be the first time since 2012 and 2013 that the Orange lost at least two of its first three games. The Orange, however, would go on to win a bowl game in each of those seasons, going 8-5 and 7-6 respectively. As every Orange fan knows, Syracuse did not have a significant turnaround from its slow start last season, finishing 4-8, and the schedule this season is daunting and hardly set-up for a mid-season upswing in fortunes.
What a win would mean for the Orange: There is no undoing the past but a win and a 2-1 record will still feel a bit empty for the Orange. The schedule was set up perfectly for the team to get out to a 3-0 start and try to slog its way through the conference schedule. That is out of the realm of possibility now but what the Orange can do is try to learn something about itself and use this game to iron out the kinks in the offense. Ready or not, Syracuse is going to Death Valley to face the LSU Tigers (at night nonetheless) and it would benefit the team and the fans if Syracuse is in a position to make that game as competitive as possible. The best chance of that happening is a comfortable, convincing win over the Chippewas this week. As we all now know, no win is guaranteed.
Line: For whatever reason, Syracuse remains a comfortable favorite in this game with the line hovering at Syracuse -10.0. Vegas, seemingly, is betting on the Eric Dungey that we saw in 2016 to make a return.