- Date: Saturday, September 11
- Game Time: 2:00 ET
- Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
- Network: ACC Network
- Line: Rutgers -2, o/u: 52.5
- History: The last time these two teams met, they were members of the Big East Conference. Rutgers defeated the Orange, 23-15, on Oct. 13, 2012. Syracuse owns a 30-12-1 all-time series advantage, in a rivalry that dates back to 1914.
In Syracuse’s last game: The Orange defeated MAC opponent Ohio in its 2021 opener. Sean Tucker rushed for 181 yards and a touchdown, and freshman cornerback Duce Chestnut recorded eight tackles, his first collegiate interception, and a pass breakup en route to being named ACC Co-Rookie of the Week.
In Rutgers’ last game: The Scarlet Knights thumped Temple, 61-14, as Aron Cruickshank led the way with a career-high 206 all-purpose yards. QB Noah Vedral was 15-of-27 passing for 138 yards and added a touchdown.
Fearless Prediction: Rutgers 30, Syracuse 24
Syracuse football’s offensive line looked much improved with the Orange pounding Ohio for 280 yards on the ground overall.
That will be much more difficult against a tough Rutgers defensive line, but you have to be encouraged given that the Orange offensive line also surrendered only one sack to the Bobcats. Seeing growth on what was hands down the weakest area of the team last year is reason for optimism.
Where progress will really need to be made is QB Tommy DeVito’s deep ball. DeVito missed two wide open receivers deep for sure touchdowns with inaccurate throws, keeping the game closer than it needed to be. This Rutgers team dropped 61 on Temple in their win last week and will be coming into the Dome well-coached and confident. The Orange can’t afford to leave any points on the field in this one.
Speaking of that dominant performance by Rutgers, their damage was also done on the ground. Five different players had at least five carries, with QB Noah Vedral rushing eight times for 58 yards. Four different players accounted for their six rushing touchdowns. Due to the arm limitations of Vedral, this team likes to run the ball and they do it creatively. Syracuse’s undersized defensive line will have their discipline tested in this game.
Overall, both teams have struggling QBs and promising ground games. If Syracuse can establish the run early, they’ll take the pressure off DeVito and place it onto Vedral, which is a recipe for success given how well the secondary and especially Darian Chestnut played last week. The QB that makes less mistakes, regardless of overall performance, will win this game.