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Syracuse @ Virginia Tech: Crystal Ball Predictions

John (6-1): Syracuse 23, Virginia Tech 20

This is just another barnburner between a pair of run of the mill teams in their respective ACC divisions. Virginia Tech is simply not a good football TEAM. To be fair the Hokies have dealt and are still dealing with some key injuries to key players. Either way, Tech is a very beatable team and boy could SU use a win right now. In a situation like this being the home team is considered an advantage. However, the growing sentiment in Blacksburg, VA is that sixth year head coach Justin Fuente is on his way out. Mark my words, if Syracuse wins this game… Fuente is gone.

With that said, give me Syracuse in another tight one. I think Tony White and the defense turn the Hokies one-dimensional offensively and force inconsistent quarterback Braxton Burmeister to make plays. On the other side, the Orange offense bounces back from a struggle against the ACC’s top defense. Sean Tucker goes for 150 on the ground and Garrett Shrader passes for 150 while picking up a key 75 yards rushing. That’s the critical sway-point of the contest… Shrader getting things going with his legs. Syracuse plays pretty bad on the road but does just enough this time to snag its 4th win of the year and snatch that elusive first ACC win.

Ian (5-2): Syracuse 20, Virginia Tech 13

Yes, it’s on the road. Yes, Syracuse hasn’t won in Lane Stadium since 2001. However, this Virginia Tech team is not one from the Frank Beamer days. The Hokies are struggling from the top down: Justin Fuente’s leadership is shaky, the offense is boring and the defense is one or two injuries away from becoming a leaky faucet.

Neither of these teams have scoring firepower, but Syracuse has Tony White, Mikel Jones and a pair of outstanding corners. That is enough to win this contest, which should feature plenty of Sean Tucker, some Garrett Shrader scrambles and at least two special teams mistakes/turnovers

Carter (4-3): Virginia Tech 21, Syracuse 16

The Orange seems to be past the dreadful blowout losses they experienced in 2020, so it’s time to cut them some slack. I expected the other foot to drop in grand fashion on an overachieving SU team against Wake Forest, but instead we learned what the real issue with ‘Cuse is. It certainly isn’t talent – it’s that Dino Babers and his staff are responsible for three straight agonizing field-goal losses. Instead of being 5-1, the Orange are 3-4 thanks mostly to clock management that makes Mike McCarthy look like Magnus Carlsen.

Disorganization in crucial spots is an awful thing to haul along with you to Lane Stadium, a place SU hasn’t won in since 2001. In its last trip to Blacksburg in 2003, a more talented Syracuse team than this under Paul Pasqualoni got strummed 51-7. Though this Saturday won’t be that bad, I have no faith SU can pull off a win in one of the tougher environments in college football. VT’s offense is similarly bad to Clemson’s this year, but Justin Fuente’s team brings a bruising defense to the table that could stifle Garrett Shrader just like the Tigers did last Friday. Shrader still has yet to prove he can throw the football effectively, and with Tommy DeVito now gone, Sterlin Gilbert and company might be less inclined to let Shrader take 30 hits per game on the run. Expect a down-in-the-dirt defensive game Saturday that sees the Hokies land the final blow.

Matt (4-3): Syracuse 24 – Virginia Tech 21

The first ACC win has to come somewhere, I’m betting it comes in Blacksburg. The Hokies despite being ranked previously this season haven’t looked all too spectacular recently. Braxton Burmeister hasn’t been the quarterback he looked to be in a couple flashes last season and this offense as a whole has been tragic. Ranked 111th in the country in terms of scoring. That plays well to Syracuse’s strengths, as obviously aside from Sean Tucker, nearly all of SU’s firepower is on the defensive side of the ball. If Garrett Shrader and co can figure out a way to put some consistent offense together and get the ball into Tucker’s hands, this should be an SU victory.

Jaron (4-3): Syracuse 24, Virginia Tech 21

Syracuse has been knocking at the door all season long. The Orange defense is legit and can shut down pretty much anyone. The SU offensive gameplan is pretty simple and explicit, yet it still works. The reason why Syracuse hasn’t been able to pull out wins late in recent games falls on the shoulders of the coaches. With that being said, I think the Orange will clean up their act in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech is having a down season due to a plethora of injuries, including their best defensive player Jermaine Waller.

The Hokies offense isn’t imposing at all with a middle of the pack running back in Raheem Blackshear and a below average quarterback in Braxton Burmeister. They will have a lot of trouble scoring against the Syracuse defense and will most likely have to rely on periodical explosive plays. This game will come down to the Orange’s ability to limit its self-inflicted wounds, whether that be through costly penalties or coaching mistakes. If Syracuse can do that, I like their chances. Give me SU to get back in the win column.

Cam (3-4): Syracuse 35, Virginia Tech 17

Syracuse is due. Sean Tucker needs a win to add to his Heisman statistics. Garrett Shrader knows he’s QB1. Dino Babers will coach a near-flawless game. All three are a necessity for the Orange and what I believe will come out of Saturday’s matchup. Book an easy win and a trip back to CNY with a .500 record.

Brad (3-4): Virginia Tech 24, Syracuse 20

It’s only a matter of time until Syracuse beats an ACC team, and this is one of the toughest environments they’ll have to play in. So, that illustrious first conference win won’t come this week. There’s also a lot that this team had to go through this week with Tommy DeVito entering the transfer portal. It seems like too much to overcome for a team still trying to piece it together. They’re close. But how close is close when you’re 0-3 in ACC play? 

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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