Let’s get right into this. The good news for Syracuse is that Pittsburgh does not have a dynamic running back to totally roll over the Orange Saturday. At least that’s what it looks like on paper…
In the last three weeks SU has gone up against LSU’s Leonard Fournette, USF’s Marlon Mack and UVA’s Taquan Mizzell. Fournette torched Syracuse for 244 yards on the ground, Mack put up 184 rushing yards against Syracuse and Mizzell used his pass-catching ability to burn SU for 127 all-purpose yards.
It’s no surprise that the Orange lost all three of those games.
Pittsburgh will mainly give the ball to true freshman running back Qadree Ollison today. The Buffalo native has more than double the amount of rushing yards (559) SU true freshman Jordan Fredericks has so far this season (269), but that’s because Ollison totaled 207 rushing yards in Pitt’s opener against Youngstown State.
Ollison is talented, but if he goes off against the Orange like Fournette or Mack did, then the Orange’s ability to stop the run is even worse than what we’ve seen so far.
Focusing on Pitt’s passing attack, Panther junior QB Nate Peterson takes care of the football. He has not thrown an interception in the team’s last three games.
The Orange most likely won’t be bailed out by incompetent quarterback play like the team was against Wake Forest and Central Michigan earlier this season.
Peterson isn’t asked to do a lot for Pittsburgh (he’s only thrown the ball more than 25 times in a game once this year), but he is efficient. The Panthers are 17th in the nation in completion percentage. The fact that Peterson throws the ball to the talented and dynamic receiver Tyler Boyd definitely helps with this.
On defense, linebacker Mike Caprara is the player to watch for Pittsburgh. ESPN has a feature out on the linebacker this week. After playing sparingly his first two seasons, Caprara has 21 tackles (six for loss), two sacks, an interception and a safety already this year.
Who do you have winning today Syracuse or Pitt? Comment below.
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Posted: Connor Morrissette