Game Preview: Syracuse

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Game Seven: Pitt (4-2) vs. Syracuse (3-3)

Friday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Series Record: Pitt leads 39-31-3

Last Game: Pitt won 44-37 in OT (2018)

Line: Pitt Favored by 4

The Panthers return after a bye week for a Friday night game in the Dome against the Syracuse Orange. The Panthers’ longtime nemesis came into the season with high expectations, finding themselves ranked in the preseason AP Poll for the first time since 1998. They haven’t lived up to those expectations in any way so far though. After opening the season with a lackluster 24-0 win over the barely-FBS Liberty Flames, they were pasted by Maryland 63-20. A week three matchup with Clemson that was pegged by many as the key game in determining the Atlantic division was more embarrassment for the Orange as they fell 41-6. They reeled off a two game winning streak to get above .500 with wins over Western Michigan and Holy Cross, but looked awful in a 16-10 defeat to NC State last week.

Already sitting at 0-2 with a loss to Clemson, the Orange’s preseason hopes of contending for an ACC Title are virtually over. With no more games that look like likely wins, it will be a battle for Syracuse just to get to bowl eligibility. This certainly isn’t the season that was expected from the team that was widely anointed as the 2nd best team in the conference all summer. The Orange get this game at home though and the Dome is always a difficult place to play. Though Pitt hasn’t lost to the Orange in Pittsburgh since 2001, they are 2-2 in their last 4 games in Syracuse, with all 4 games being decided by a Field Goal or less. Overall, since 2002 the Panthers are 14-3 against the Orange, but all of those losses took place in the Dome. Despite Pitt being favored in this game, Syracuse is more than capable of giving them all they can handle.

Offense

Much of the hype surrounding Syracuse before the season seemed to hinge on the assumption that their potent offense from a year ago would remain so due to Quarterback Tommy DeVito. Former Quarterback Eric

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