Syracuse Orange v. Holy Cross Crusaders Predictions (9/28/19)

Moe Neal Western Michigan
Sept. 21 2019; Syracuse NY, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Moe Neal (21) rushes forward during Syracuse's 52-33 win over the Western Michigan Broncos at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Syracuse will wrap up non-conference play when it hosts Holy Cross on Saturday (12:00 p.m. ET / ACCN). Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Wes Cheng and Jim Stechschulte give their predictions below.

JIM STECHSCHULTE (Season Record: 1-0): Sometime early in Saturday’s game, most likely in the first few plays on offense for the Orange, Moe Neal will reach an impressive milestone. The senior running back enters Saturday’s game needing just five yards to cross the 2,000-rushing yard plateau in his career. At a school with a running back lineage like Syracuse, where names like Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little are generously sprinkled across the school record book, reaching 2,000 rushing yards is an impressive feat.

Currently 20th in school history in yards from scrimmage, Neal needs just 43 yards surpass the 2,500-yard milestone in that category. Should Neal pick up 68 yards on the ground, he will pass another additional impressive milestone and enter the top 20 all-time at SU in rushing yards.

There is very little talk about him being among Syracuse greats, but Neal is on pace to finish his career in the top five in school history in yards from scrimmage. Not too bad for a running back listed at 169 pounds in the media guide as a freshman. Neal gets those 68 yards and more in a 55-13 Syracuse rout over Holy Cross.

» Related: Syracuse hangs on for win over Western Michigan

WES CHENG (Season Record: 3-0): Syracuse has had a notorious history of problematic scheduling. But 2019 (and likely going forward) is going to be a break from that rule. While the early game against Clemson in week 3 was unavoidable, the Orange gave themselves a reprieve by playing MAC Western Michigan and FCS Holy Cross.

Scheduling Holy Cross at this point of the season is great for a variety of reasons: It allows the Orange to get playing time for their second and third string players, while allowing for one final tuneup before heading into the thick of ACC play. It’s also followed by a bye week, which will allow Syracuse to heal, especially given the state of their banged up secondary and offensive line. The game is not expected to be close with Holy Cross losing to Navy in its season opener 45-7, and a loss to Yale last week, 23-10.

I see Tommy DeVito continuing his progression as the team’s starting quarterback, accounting for three touchdowns in the first half before yielding to his backups in the second half to avoid injury in a 45-10 win for Syracuse.

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