Get the latest Syracuse news delivered right to your inbox.
Subscribe to our sports newsletter here.
Following three straight three-point losses, the Orange defeated Virginia Tech last weekend, bringing “happy faces” to player’s faces for the first time in a while, head coach Dino Babers said.
To kick-start the last stretch of the regular season, Syracuse (4-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) returns to the Carrier Dome for its homecoming game against Boston College (4-3, 0-3 ACC)
Saturday afternoon. The Orange are favored in this conference matchup, the first time in two years SU has been expected to win against an ACC team.
Here’s what our beat writers predict will happen on Saturday:
Roshan Fernandez (4-4)
Syracuse 30, Boston College 17
Syracuse is two wins away from a bowl game but has difficult games left at NC State and against Pitt, both of which have been ranked teams this season. The Orange have a matchup with Louisville on the road to follow, and though the Cardinals are a mid-tier ACC team at the moment, six of SU’s last seven games against UofL have ended in losses of 22 points or more.
All that said, SU needs to win this game to keep its bowl chances alive (minimum of six wins). The Eagles have the ACC’s seventh-ranked rush defense and its best passing defense, but the Orange’s offense has proved its worth. Turn to Garrett Shrader’s and Sean Tucker’s legs, mix in a couple passing plays, get the handful of important defensive stops, and SU walks away with a win. Syracuse figured out the winning formula last week — once again, by the slimmest of margins — and now it simply needs to re-execute that.
Connor Smith (3-5)
Syracuse 28, Boston College 24
Syracuse’s last five games have been decided by five points or less. Boston College, like SU, has been mediocre this season — the two teams sit at the bottom of the ACC’s Atlantic Division. The Eagles haven’t won a conference game all year, while Shrader pulled out a miracle win for the Orange at Virginia Tech last Saturday.
BC has one of the top defenses in the ACC, and one of the league’s top rushers in Patrick Garwo III, who’s averaging just over 6 yards per carry. Saturday’s game will likely come down to the wire — again — but Tucker will outrun Garwo, and Shrader will find success again running the ball. Without much of an aerial threat offensively, SU will be able to stack the box on defense, and the front six, led by Cody Roscoe and Mikel Jones, will record enough tackles for loss for Syracuse to hang on for its fifth win of the season.
Anish Vasudevan (5-3)
Don’t keep it close
Syracuse 30, Boston College 13
Boston College is on a three-game losing streak, and unlike SU’s losing streak that ended against the Hokies, the Eagles’ matchups have not been close. Boston College has averaged 11.3 points per game during that stretch, making this one of the easiest challenges for Syracuse’s 3-3-5 defense. The Eagles average 4.3 yards per carry, which should allow the Orange’s “mob mentality” linebacker core to wreak havoc at the second level.
Offensively, Syracuse also outmatches Boston College, who has the 76th-best rushing defense in the country, allowing 155.7 yards per game. Shrader and Tucker, who have worked on getting the read option as close to perfection as possible, should have a cakewalk if Shader makes the right decisions.
There’s no reason why this game should come down to the last minute as the last five games have for SU this season. At homecoming, Syracuse should win with ease against a struggling Eagles team.
The post Beat writers agree Syracuse will move above .500 with win over Boston College appeared first on The Daily Orange.