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Harry Has High Expectations for Syracuse After Stellar Season

Moe Neal Syracuse Orange 2019 NCAAF Betting Preview Football

Head coach Dino Babers and his staff have put the Syracuse Orange back on the college football map. They accomplished many things in 2018, but did two things no one has been able to do in the past 17 seasons at Syracuse. One, they posted the first 10-plus win season in that time period and, two, the Orange found themselves in the top 15 at season’s end.

Good things are happening in Upstate New York such as winning bowl games and having a major buzz around school in anticipation of a team moving forward and contending for a conference championship, something that has not been the case in way too long.

Sophomore quarterback Tommy DeVito has awfully big shoes to fill as Eric Dungey, the school’s all-time passing yards leader, has moved on to the NFL. When called upon, DeVito came in and rallied the team in an overtime home win vs North Carolina.

Orange Piled up 40.2 ppg in 2018

This offense was so dynamic last year. Whether it was their hurry-up offense, screen setups or different formations, they racked up the yards and points. Syracuse was second in scoring (40.2 ppg) in the ACC and put up 523 total points, which incidentally was their most in school history.

The Orange will supply DeVito with better than quality receivers as Sean Riley returns for his senior season (64 catches last year) and Taj Harris just happened to break the ‘Cuse record for receiving yards as a freshman. They also have an impact receiver they recruited from Washington, D.C., named Ed Hendrix who will hopefully be beneficial early and often. Senior running back Moe Neal is a special guy who has the ability to catch and run. He had just under 1,000 yards combined and averaged 5.7 a carry in 2018.

On defense, Syracuse continues to get better every year. The Orange were ninth in the nation with 43 sacks and third in college football with 31 total takeaways. Syracuse does have some players in the middle it will need to replace and incoming freshman linebacker Lee Kpogba should help matters.

In the Syracuse secondary, not only do they possess probably the ACC defensive player of the year in safety Andre Cisco but he will contend for defensive player of the year across the land. Cisco led the nation with seven picks.

Syracuse has Fought Clemson Tooth and Nail

The Orange’s schedule is not a tough one so getting to at least eight wins shouldn’t be that tough. Their out-of-conference games are vs Liberty, Western Michigan, Holy Cross and a Maryland Terrapins team whose OVER/UNDER for season wins is only 4. Syracuse also gets a revenge game at home vs Pittsburgh, they are home against a bad Boston College squad and they get very winnable games on the road at Louisville and a Daniel Jones-less Duke squad.

Syracuse’s game of the year will come at the Carrier Dome vs powerhouse Clemson on September 14. No one over the past two seasons has given the mighty Tigers more of a scare than the Orange. Dino beat Dabo as a 23-point underdog two years ago and had the Tigers on the ropes in Death Valley for 58 minutes a season ago. If Syracuse can give Clemson another hard-fought game, it will set the stage for the season for the Orange.

There are a lot of opportunities for Syracuse to make this another fantastic season. With a still very good offense mixed with a soft schedule, eight-plus wins is extremely doable.

Syracuse Regular-Season Prediction: 9-3

  • 1. Liberty
  • 2. Maryland
  • 3. Western Michigan
  • 4. Holy Cross
  • 5. NC State
  • 6. Pittsburgh
  • 7. Boston College
  • 8. Duke
  • 9. Louisville

  • 1. Clemson
  • 2. Florida State
  • 3. Wake Forest

Syracuse 2019 Regular-Season Wins
2019 Win TotalOdds
OVER 7.5-135
UNDER 7.5+105

Odds as of August 22 at Bovada