Beat writers predict Syracuse to sneak by Western Michigan

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After entering the season ranked inside the Top 25 for the first time since 1998, Syracuse (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) is now below .500. Back-to-back blowout losses to Maryland and No. 1 Clemson leave the Orange reeling and in need of wins.Syracuse takes on Western Michigan on Saturday, after the Orange opened the 2018 season with a 55-42 win in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Orange are five-point favorites at home. Here’s what our beat writers predict will happen when the Broncos visit the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 12 p.m. Eric Black (2-1)Back on trackSyracuse 30, Western Michigan 24The Orange will find their footing and revert back somewhere close to their level of play from last season at some point, right? Right? For their sake, they better hope that happens versus the Broncos, who have the ability and the offensive firepower to jump on them early and never look back. Syracuse is actually a five-point favorite as of Wednesday, but Western Michigan is the team that’s looked more impressive so far this season. While the Orange have scored just 50 points through three games, the Broncos scored 57 points in their last game alone, which included seven touchdowns on the ground. In their lone game versus a Power Five conference opponent, however, Western Michigan was held to just a pair of touchdowns by Michigan State. This game will be telling for the Orange. Each of SU’s contests this year have raised more and more questions about the team, and it’s time it responded positively. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAndrew Graham (2-1)Return of the MACSyracuse 27, Western Michigan 23Directional Michigan’s —Eastern, Western and Central — are a healthy part of any college football team’s schedule. Last year, the three teams went a combined 15-23, admittedly taking lumps from bigger programs but struggling against Mid-American Conference competition. Normally, when you host a directional Michigan, you expect to win. I don’t know if I expect Syracuse to win this weekend. I’ll still take the Orange, on the belief that their defense is superior to WMU’s offense and its offense can score against a MAC defense. Tim Lester, WMU’s head coach, used to be SU’s offensive coordinator. He recruited Eric Dungey. And last year, his Broncos stormed Syracuse in the third quarter of a blowout, closing the gap to six. Eventually, the Orange beat the lesser opponent, and that’s what will happen Saturday. But not before Western Michigan, a team that SU should be expected to blow out if things are as SU wants them. But things are not, and the Orange will just squeak by. Josh Schafer (2-1)Orange is fast againSyracuse 38, Western Michigan 31As we enter Week 4, it’s time for the emergence of Syracuse’s offense. Western Michigan allowed 51 points to a Michigan State offense that’s become the laughingstock of college football. There’s no reason to expect Syracuse can’t put up some points on that defense.  Trishton Jackson showed promise against Maryland a few weeks ago with a big performance and would’ve had significant numbers against No. 1 Clemson had a few passes connected. With a less potent pass rush this week, Tommy DeVito will likely have time to find Jackson and that combination could be lethal. Couple that with the hopes that Syracuse finds some running room against the 110th rush defense in the nation, and the Orange offense just might be back to fast. Comments Published on September 19, 2019 at 12:28 amlast_img