After an easy 1-0 start to the season for everyone on the Fizz staff, this week at Maryland is a total toss-up. Syracuse opened as four-point favorites on most gambling sites but has now shifted to two-point underdogs. Here’s how the Fizz sees this critical matchup going down.
Tim Leonard (1-0): Maryland 20, Syracuse 17.
All year this has felt like the trap game. After a bizarre turn of events, Syracuse is somehow not even favored to win this game anymore. Oddly enough, that makes me a little more confident in the Orange. Regardless, Tommy DeVito and the SU offense didn’t show me enough at Liberty to justify picking them. Instead of producing a confidence boosting performance in week one, DeVito now heads into a road environment with even more pressure on his shoulders. I don’t place much stock in Maryland beating Howard, 79-0, last week. Just go look at what Boston College did the rest of the season in 2015 after beating Howard, 76-0. This isn’t about Maryland being better than we think. It’s about Syracuse’s offense continuing to struggle. Expect this to be another ugly game. One that SU has plenty of chances to win but in the end they fall just short.
Jonathon Hoppe (1-0): Syracuse 38, Maryland 24.
This game won’t be as close as many are anticipating. How are the Orange underdogs? Many sharp betters in Vegas have put big money on Maryland. While the sharps are usually accurate, they don’t know what we know. Dino Babers will have his offense right in week two. As he said on Monday, he’ll take his chances when the offense is the only unit not clicking. I expect the Orange to come out ready to play this Saturday. Sure, they’ll be facing a Maryland team that put up 79 points, but it was against Howard. Let’s see what they can do when facing a star-studded SU defense. What we saw on Saturday against Liberty wasn’t a surprise. We saw a great defense, a solid special teams and a redshirt-sophomore quarterback making his first start. This week SU fans can look forward to DeVito getting on the same page with his receivers in a breakout performance.
J.D. Raucci (1-0): Syracuse 34, Maryland 31.
This matchup may be the definition of a trap game for SU. The Terps are the one thing standing between the Orange and top-ranked Clemson and it would be easy to overlook them, but that would be a dire mistake. UMD annihilated Howard 79-0 in week one, joining SU as one of five teams in the FBS to not allow a score in their opener. Heck, they’re even a two-point favorite despite Syracuse moving up a spot in the AP Poll. For the first time in years, Maryland has a legit threat at quarterback in Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson and that’s not to mention a stable of four running backs led by sophomore standout Anthony McFarland Jr. that has an opportunity to once again be one of the best rushing attacks in the country after finishing 17th in rushing offense last year. It seems like Mike Locksley has brought a new sense of excitement to College Park and the Terps are undoubtedly going to give SU a run for their money, but if the Orange can work out enough of their kinks on offense to get to an inexperienced (starts-wise) Maryland defense and the Syracuse D can find a way to at least contain the Terps running game, then they should be able to escape College Park with a tight win and set a battle of a potential battle of undefeateds in the Dome next weekend.
Harrison Singer (1-0): Maryland 31, Syracuse 20.
It seems there is some smoothening out for Syracuse to worry about after it’s 24-0 win over Liberty. The defense was dominant, but Tommy DeVito struggled, going 17-for-35 for 176 yards, and two picks. However, this early on, it’s only normal that kinks remain needed to be worked out. The only thing is, Maryland has to be coming in feeling confident after a whopping 79-0 Week 1 victory. Even if it came against an underwhelming Howard University squad, Josh Jackson and co handled what they had in front of them, and did it convincingly – certainly convincingly enough to suggest the Terps are ready for a tougher opponent in Week 2. With Maryland being at home this week, another win could very well be in sight.
Thomas Shults (1-0): Syracuse 31, Maryland 21.
Syracuse starts the season 2-0, but isn’t able to coast to a victory in this one. Maryland is riding high after a 79-0 clobbering of Howard. Terrapins quarterback Josh Jackson threw for almost 250 yards in the first half, along with four passing touchdowns. But a couple of the TD’s were wide open throws and catches. He won’t have that luxury against a stingy SU defense. Expect the Orange to bottle up the Terps passing attack and the defensive line to have another impressive showing. On offense, DeVito stumbles out of the gate but finally gets comfortable in the second half. Dino Babers once again relies on his running backs, especially Moe Neal and Abdul Adams. Syracuse’s rushing attack rumbles for over 200 yards as the visiting team breaks free in the second half.