John (2-0): Syracuse 41, UAlbany 6
FCS teams have given FBS schools trouble this year but an upset won’t happen in the Carrier Dome. This UAlbany team hasn’t been very good early in the season. Losses to North Dakota State and Rhode Island don’t exactly send chills down anybody’s spine here in the 315.
Hopefully the Orange can finally settle on a quarterback and enjoy a tune up for Liberty next week. I expect the ‘Cuse defense to dominate the line of scrimmage again and keep the Great Danes’ FCS All-American tandem at quarterback and running back contained. I think Sean Tucker has a big game and Dino Babers rotates the backs more to find some quality depth. Give me the Orangemen with the 23 points and the over.
Cam (2-0): Syracuse 42, UAlbany 6
Syracuse is 18-0 against FCS teams for a reason. I fully expect that to be 19-0 following Saturday’s matinee game for two reasons. SU’s defense should suffocate the Great Dane offense.
UA quarterback Jeff Undercuffler and running back Karl Mofor are still searching for the same level of success he had in 2019, but those days are far gone. SU will further expose that with the emergence of Duce Chestnut, the consistency of Garrett Williams, and the aggressive nature of Marlowe Wax and Mikel Jones. On the defensive front, Josh Black and company have the advantage against an inexperienced left side of UAlbany’s O-line. SU’s RB1 Sean Tucker will also have himself a day. The Great Danes surrendered 200 yards a game on the ground to a pair of FCS teams, so depending on Tucker’s involvement, he’ll undoubtedly eclipse the century mark in yards.
This game is a lot like the opener against Ohio: everyone knows SU should win, but those same people are unsure because you never know which version of Syracuse you’re getting. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter because the talent disparity will decide this lopsided affair.
Ian (2-0): Syracuse 35, UAlbany 6
This shouldn’t be close. The Orange have to come out and dominate, or the fanbase will be up in arms again. Expect Tommy DeVito to put the ball in Sean Tucker’s belly early and often, and take to the air with a couple of deep shots. Chances are Garrett Shrader won’t get in until the late stages of the third quarter. If the Mississippi State transfer is in earlier, we’ve got problems. UAlbany isn’t a threat on either side of the ball – this game is about preparing for Liberty and the ACC.
Carter (2-0): Syracuse 30, UAlbany 3
A softball matchup at home with an FCS team is exactly what the doctor ordered for Dino Babers. The Orange probably should have beaten Rutgers last week if just for the defensive effort alone, but dreadful offense ruined the day. SU looked worryingly similar to how it did last year: completely out-of-sync through the air while laboring to run the ball. That’s a bad recipe against anyone, and it’s why I have Syracuse beating UAlbany by a score even this close. The Great Danes might have a distinct talent disadvantage, but it’ll be hard for ‘Cuse to score a ton of points if they can’t protect the football or complete passes.
The quarterback who’ll be throwing those passes is also still up in the air. Dino isn’t tipping his hand in the DeVito/Shrader saga, but look for Shrader to get more reps in this game against softer competition. If he plays well and DeVito doesn’t, the pressure may be on to make a switch under center.
Jaron (1-1): Syracuse 27, UAlbany 16
Sure, this game is FBS vs. FCS and that is my main reason why Syracuse is going to win. However, we do need to look at the facts. Through the first two weeks of college football, there have already been eight FCS upsets over FBS teams. Plus, UAlbany is a pretty solid FCS team, while Syracuse is a pretty disappointing FBS team. So, I won’t put it completely out of the realm of possibility that the Great Danes come to Central New York and upset the Orange. I don’t think it actually happens, though, because I envision a big Sean Tucker bounce back game and the defense to continue to be shut down. Keep an eye out for running back Karl Mofor and quarterback Jeff Undercuffler for UAlbany, however. They are both towards the top of the FCS in their positions and this is their possible resume building game.