Beat writers predict defense to carry No. 21 Syracuse over Maryland

first_img Published on September 6, 2019 at 7:22 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ For the second straight week, No. 21 Syracuse (1-0) is heading down to the DMV area on Saturday. This time, the Orange will clash with the Maryland Terrapins (1-0), who thrashed an FCS Howard team 79-0 in Week 1.Maryland presents a test for Syracuse — especially its offense, which struggled in its 24-0 season-opening win over Liberty — as it turns toward a heavyweight Week 3 matchup with No. 1 Clemson.Here’s what our beat writers think about how the Orange will fare against the Terps:Eric Black (1-0)Not so fastSyracuse 27, Maryland 23This is a much more pivotal Week 2 matchup than I think either team expected it to be heading into the season. That’s because Syracuse, who many believe will give No. 1 Clemson its stiffest test of the season next week and is the supposed clear-cut second-best team in the ACC, looked far from it against Liberty. The Orange offense looked out of sorts and ultimately got its running game going, but not before a handful of disconcerting drives with Tommy DeVito at the helm. And while SU’s rushing defense is currently the second-best in the country in terms of yards allowed, Maryland is just behind them at third. If Syracuse is going to win this game, it’ll have to do it through the air, too. It may not be pretty, but I think SU’s defense will be the star again, and DeVito and the Orange figure things out just in time to take down the Terps. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAndrew Graham (1-0)I like turtlesSyracuse 35, Maryland 31Maryland absolutely dunked on Howard last week, running up 56 points before the break. But I watched some tape from that game and my goodness, Howard didn’t do itself any favors. Yes, Mike Locksley’s team executed its offense and created looks it wanted, but against a defense that was so clearly overmatched that I started chuckling watching some of the touchdowns. Toss in some special teams debacles from the Bison to boot and it’s hard to imagine SU ever trails by more than a touchdown to the Terps — the Orange just hasn’t done that to itself since 2017. In fact, despite the shifting of betting lines to favor the home team, I’m still picking Syracuse. A top-flight defense anchors the Orange and gives the offense time to get going again. But Syracuse needs to look much better in Week 2 than Week 1, because we all know who comes to town Week 3. Josh Schafer (1-0)No trap gamesSyracuse 27 Maryland 13 A lot has been said about Maryland being a trap game. Syracuse isn’t that sort of team yet. Clemson awaits the Orange. but SU knows every game still matters being only one season removed from 4-8. Syracuse’s defense pitched a shutout in Week 1 and it will need to be the leading force again this week against Maryland. The Terps scored 79 points against Howard and there’s not much to take out of that other than the team understands its new schemes. If the Orange can rush the passer well again and win the turnover battle again, they can survive what could be another slow week from the offense. The Orange will eventually find their stride but it may take another league of figuring out time on passing routes and adjusting to new blockers on the line. Syracuse ran well last week, I’d expect that to be the same case this week on the road. Commentslast_img

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