Syracuse vs. Pitt fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 6
Game Time: 12:20 ET
Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Network: ACC Network
Syracuse (4-1) vs. Pittsburgh (2-3) Game Preview
One Reason Why Syracuse Will Win
As Clemson found out, this Syracuse defense isn’t all that bad. It’s as strong as it’s been in years, and now, the Orange have the right mix under Dino Babers to be good enough to not just hang with a team like Clemson, but actually come really, really close to beating it on the road.
It all starts with the defensive front and a great pass rush that’s been able to crank up ten sacks over the last two weeks and generate consistent pressure against the good offensive lines, much less the weaker ones.
The Pitt offensive front isn’t all that bad, but it’s not doing anything for a woeful running game that’s not able to find anything that consistently works.
And that’s the big problem for the Panthers – the lines aren’t playing well enough. That goes hand-in-hand with being second-to-last in the ACC in both offense and defense.
The Orange D is getting the job done, and the O is working, too, scoring 30 points or more in every game but the loss to Clemson – no shame in only putting up 23 points in Death Valley.
One Reason Why Pittsburgh Will Win
For all of the problems Pitt is having, at the very least, the offense is moving the ball on third downs. That’s a problem when the pass protection isn’t there – again, that’s going to be a fight against the Orange defensive front – but even in the losses the offense has moved the chains.
The Panthers inverted half of their chances against North Carolina, and hit over 46% of its tries in the blowout loss to UCF. Just doing a good job on third downs hasn’t been enough to come up with wins, but that’s a must to be a starting point against the Orange.
The Syracuse offense has struggled over the last few games on the money downs. It’s been okay overall, but against Clemson and UConn, it converted just 7-of-27 tries. Pitt has to win this stat.
What’s Going To Happen
Just how beaten up is Syracuse?
The Orange are better, but that was a physical, brutal game against Clemson for a team that was this close to pulling off the shocker, staying unbeaten, and being deep in the hunt for the ACC championship.
Pitt desperately needs this game to kickstart its season, but it’s going to continue to sputter and cough. The Orange defense won’t be a brick wall, and the Panther offense will have a wee bit more pop than normal at home, but by late in the second half, the game will start to get away from Pitt.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Syracuse 27, Pitt 20
Line: Syracuse -3.5, o/u: 58.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 2.5
5: First Man
1: ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast