It won’t take long for fans to find out if Syracuse’s win over Clemson last week was a fluke or not. The Orange don’t get much of a break as they have to travel down to Miami to take on what looks like the Coastal division favorite. The Hurricanes were large -15 point favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Clearly, there is still little faith in this Syracuse team. Back on the road, not many trust the Orange despite coming off a huge win. Their loss to Middle Tennessee stands out, but a nine-point loss at LSU and eight-point loss at NC State can be looked at in this Game. Miami is undefeated, but can be considered on the same level as those teams. The Hurricanes have done what’s been needed in their early Games, winning late against FSU and then again against Georgia Tech this past weekend. Yet, Miami hasn’t shown it can be a dominant team just yet.
First-year starting quarterback Malik Rosier has shown some inconsistencies in his Game and that’s led to recent close wins. He’s completing less than 60 percent of his passes through five Games, but has at least stayed safe with the ball, only throwing three picks. Miami will still lean heavily on Travis Homer, who rushed for 170 yards last week. Leading running back Mark Walton remains questionable due to injury. The big test will be to see what Syracuse’s rush defense can do after keeping Clemson mostly in check outside of a couple big runs. The Orange have been mediocre on that front and if Miami can have its way rushing the ball, that will be hard to overcome for the road team.
Maybe the bigger thing for the Hurricanes this season has been a stout defense that’s kept almost every opponent at bay outside of the 52-30 win against Toledo. While they haven’t seen an elite offense yet, holding Georgia Tech to 24 points is a good feat.
Syracuse goes as quarterback Eric Dungey goes and he’s the main reason ‘Cuse won last week. He threw for three touchdowns against Clemson and then had 360-plus yards in each of the two Games before that. In addition to those numbers, he leads the Orange in rushing with 386 yards. Top running back Dontae Strickland has done little averaging 3.1 yards per carry, but he somehow found decent room against Clemson last week. As long as the Orange take that run-first approach again, it could work wonders against this defense, which is mediocre against the run, allowing more than 160 rushing yards per Game. If Dungey and Strickland can find consistent yardage, it’s hard to see Syracuse losing this Game by more than two touchdowns.
The Orange are coming off a huge high and that will be something to keep in mind, but this Miami team doesn’t feel like a group that’s going to blow out many ACC teams this season, especially ones that can move the ball with a mobile quarterback. The Orange are 4-1 ATS in their last five road Games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road Games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Hurricanes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 overall.
Our Pick – Syracuse +17.5