Syracuse vs. UConn prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the non-conference matchup between the Orange and Huskies.
Syracuse vs. UConn Game Preview
When: Saturday, Sept. 24 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
TV Broadcast: CBSSN
The Orange and Huskies will renew a rivalry that saw the teams play nine times from 2004-2012 when they were members of the Big East. The Huskies won six of those nine meetings and have a perfect 4-0 record vs. the Orange at Rentschler Field.
After an opening win against Colgate, the Orange have lost their last two contests by a combined score of 107-48 to Louisville and USF. Meanwhile, the Huskies dropped a heartbreaker to Navy in between wins over Maine and Virginia.
What To Know About Syracuse
Dino Babers hopes that his hurry-up spread offense fares much better against UConn than it did last week against USF, which was dominated by the ‘Cuse in the opening quarter (214 to 64 total yards) before the Bulls kept the Orange out of the end zone in the final 45 minutes. However, Syracuse was able to run 105 plays, which shattered the school single-game record and tied the most in ACC history. Quarterback Eric Dungey will put up big numbers in this offense, but he needs to be more efficient and take better care of the football.
What to Know About UConn
It’s not exactly sexy football, but UConn sits at 2-1 after a 13-10 win over Virginia, which had an early 10-0 lead but allowed two fourth-quarter scores to the Huskies. UVA’s walk-on kicker, playing in his first football game at any level, then missed a 20-yard field-goal attempt as time expired. Junior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs isn’t flashy, so he will need to minimize his mistakes. Last year he tossed nine touchdowns against eight interceptions, but he also rushed for 503 yards. That ability to keep drives alive with his legs is huge for a team that isn’t stacked with top playmakers. It’s a Huskies team that won’t exactly light up the scoreboard.
Offense: Syracuse. The Orange are only going to improve as they take more reps in Babers’ offense.
Defense: UConn. The Huskies have to lean on this unit all too often.
Special Teams: UConn. Kicker Bobby Puyol, who had three extra points blocked a year ago, has two game-winning field goals this season.
Coaching: Even. Babers has won at every stop and will do so at Syracuse.
Intangibles: UConn. The Huskies have played in three close games to start the year, so they are used to pressure-packed situations.
Matchup To Watch
Dungey vs. UConn ‘D’
Dungey wasn’t helped by all of the problems the Orange were having across the offensive line against the Bulls, but he still needs to get better. He struggled with his accuracy, especially on shorter routes, and he lacked zip at times on throws across the field. UConn is a physical defense that can cause problems, so Syracuse will want to push the tempo from the get-go.
Syracuse vs. UConn Betting Odds
Spread: UConn -7
Syracuse vs. UConn Prediction
The Orange defense lacked depth coming into the 2016 season, and it is only getting thinner, particularly in the secondary. But how much can UConn really expose it? This is a game in which the Syracuse offense puts together its best game of the season. UConn’s defense is good, but it’s hard to see the Huskies being able to keep up offensively. The Orange will make their share of mistakes, but they notch a solid non-conference win over a team that went bowling last season.
Syracuse vs. UConn Score Prediction: Syracuse 27, UConn 23