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Syracuse (0-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) slumped to its second consecutive loss against then-No. 25 Pitt last week, marking SU’s worst start to a season since they began 0-2 back in 2013.
While Syracuse went on to finish 7-6 that season, our beat writers aren’t as confident SU will turn it around against a new-look Georgia Tech (1-1, 1-0).
Here’s what our beat writers think will happen Saturday at the newly-renovated Carrier Dome:
Anthony Dabbundo (2-0)
Georgia Tech 27, Syracuse 20
When I ran through the Orange’s schedule, I marked down Georgia Tech as a win for Syracuse. I no longer feel that way. GT may not have the same quality along the defensive line as Pittsburgh, but its defensive line has generated plenty of pass rush pressure through the opening two weeks. The Yellow Jackets are the ACC’s worst run defense thus far based on line yards and success rate, but the Orange aren’t able to capitalize on that with their poor rushing offense. SU’s defense will keep them in this game, but a late GT touchdown puts this game away for the Yellow Jackets in the fourth quarter. The Orange will try some new wrinkles and trick plays — anything to get the offense going. Some will work, others will fail, but the Orange’s poor success rate will continue into the bye week.
Danny Emerman (2-0)
Running out of options
Georgia Tech 24, Syracuse 10
The Yellow Jackets don’t run the triple option anymore, but that won’t stop them from controlling the game on the ground and taking the air out of the Carrier Dome. SU’s run defense will be put to the test, and with its offense still working to get on the same page, it’ll be out there for too long and eventually wear down. Look for a repeat of the North Carolina game, where Syracuse keeps it close early, but Georgia Tech pulls away in the second half.
Adam Hillman (2-0)
Georgia Tech 27, Syracuse 13
Syracuse fans who are looking for a requiem may see the lack of a ranking besides Georgia Tech’s name as an opportunity. I’m sorry to say it, but this will not be an easy game. This is a vastly improved Yellow Jacket team that boasts a standout dual-threat quarterback in Jeff Sims and a dynamic running back tandem. They look nothing like the triple option offense under Paul Johnson, instead a more pass-heavy offense. This game — as I predicted correctly last week — will look similar to the first two: the defense keeps the Orange in it early, but the offense doesn’t do enough to win the first game in the new-look Carrier Dome.
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