- Teams: Syracuse (1-1) v. Albany (0-2)
- Date: Saturday, September 18
- Game Time: 12:00 ET
- Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
- Network: ACC Network
- Spread: Syracuse -23.5
- History: This is the first meeting between Albany and Syracuse in football.
In Syracuse’s last game: Syracuse struggled offensively, gaining just 265 total yards in a disappointing 17-7 loss to Rutgers. Penalties (8/55) and turnovers (5) were the story of the game as SU’s repeated miscues resulted in a blown opportunity against a Power 5 opponent.
In Albany’s last game: Rhode Island’s C.J. Carrick kicked a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the game-winner as the Rams hold on for a 16-14 win over Albany.
Fearless Prediction: Syracuse 40, Albany 7
There’s already been eight games over the three weekends of the 2021 college football season in which an FCS team upset an FBS team, highlighted by Montana stunning Washington Sept. 4, and Jacksonville State shocking Florida State last weekend in Tallahassee. Yes, that’s the same Jacksonville State team that fell to Alabama-Birmingham 31-0 on Sept. 1. Ouch.
Syracuse is 13-0 all-time in games against FCS opponents dating back to 2002, winning by a cumulative score of 42-11. The closest call came in the 2014 season opener against Villanova under head coach Scott Shafer. Tied at 17 with 0:15 left, the Wildcats missed a chip-shot, straight-on 25-yard field goal, so the game went into overtime. It took the ‘Cuse defense stuffing a two-point conversion attempt in the second OT to escape 27-26.
For Syracuse to avoid falling into the same potential upset territory this year when it takes on UAlbany for the first time in football, the team has to be fully attuned to taking care of business early and often, and allowing reserve players to get significant playing time in the second half for future video sessions with the coaching staff to grow their development.
If the game gets one-sided, that likely means two quarterbacks will play against the Great Danes, but not in the same vein as when Tommy Devito and Garrett Shrader alternated in the first half against Rutgers, this time dictated by the game’s outcome on the scoreboard.
The good news for SU, its defense has excelled after two games, and UAlbany has had trouble moving the ball in its two defeats to North Dakota State and Rhode Island (20 total points)
Under Dino Babers, Syracuse has won its four FCS games by an average of 40 points. This one will fall under that average, but put the Orange at 2-1 heading into a critical home game September 24 against Liberty.