College Football Week Two Predictions: Syracuse Orange at #19 Northwestern Wildcats
Syracuse Orange at #19 Northwestern Wildcats
Ryan Field – Evanston, Illinois
Saturday, September 7, 2013, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Northwestern -16
Current Line: Northwestern -16 1/2
Opening Total: 52 1/2
Current Line: 53
Opening Money Line: Northwestern -850 / Syracuse +595
Current Money Line: Northwestern -850 / Syracuse +595
Syracuse and Northwestern meet for the 11th time ever Saturday in Evanston. The series is tied 5-5 and Northwestern won a wild 42-41 game at Syracuse last year to open the 2012 season. In that game Northwestern took a 35-13 lead midway through the third, but Syracuse came back to take the lead. but Northwestern scored with 44 seconds left to win the game.
Syracuse opened the season last week with a 23-17 loss to Penn State at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The Orange were 8 point underdogs and the total was 50.5. In the first half, the teams could only manage field goals, and Penn State took a 6-3 lead into halftime. The Nittany Lions scored early in the third quarter to expand the lead to 13-3. The Orange would score 41 seconds later on a 10 yard touchdown run from Jerome Smith. Penn State would score 10 straight points in the fourth to go up 23-10. Smith ran for another touchdown with just under 7 minutes to go to make it 23-17, after Penn St threw an interception that was returned to the Penn State one. Syracuse would have two more possessions but the last one ended with an interception by quarterback Drew Allen at the Penn State 28 with 1:53 left. The Nittany Lions would run out the clock to secure the win.
Syracuse had only 260 total yards including 71 rushing yards, and 11 first downs. The Orange were 6/20 on third down conversions and 0-2 on fourth down. Syracuse had 3 turnovers and 8 penalties for 70 yards. Penn State had 353 total yards including 57 rushing yards and 14 first downs. The Nittany Lions were 1/16 on third down conversions, but did convert both tries on fourth down. Four Penn State turnovers allowed Syracuse to hang around.
Allen completed 16 of 37 passes for 189 yards with 2 interceptions. Smith had 16 carries for 73 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also caught a pass for 7 yards. The two were basically the whole Syracuse offense.
Northwestern won their opener at California 44-30 last Saturday. The Wildcats were 5.5 point favorites and the total was 62. Cal scored 4 minutes into the game to make it 7-0. Norhtwestern would then score 17 unanswered points to go up 17-7. The Golden Bears kicked a field goal 3 seconds before halftime to make it 17-10. The Wildcats would kick a field goal to open the second half to make it 20-10. Cal then scored two touchdowns in 47 seconds to take a 24-20 lead. Northwestern would regain the lead with 4:40 left in the third on a 56 yard pick six by Collin Ellis. Cal tied it up at 27 on a field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter. Northwestern kicked a field goal with just under 9 minutes to go to make it 30-27. Just 52 seconds later Ellis had his second pick six of the game this time for 40 yards. Northwestern held the 10 point lead for just over 3 minutes when Cal kicked another field goal to make it 37-30. The Wildcats would ice it with a touchdown with just under 2 minutes to go, and Northwestern returned home from the coast with the 14 point win.
Northwestern had 508 total yards including 209 rushing yards and 22 first downs. The Wildcats were 8/16 on third down conversions. Cal had 549 yards including 460 passing yards, and 30 first downs. The Bears were 10/21 on third down conversions and 2/2 on fourth downs. Each team had 3 turnovers, and Cal had 10 penalties for 80 yards The Wildcats had 5 for 50 yards.
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter left the game in the first with a head injury after throwing only one pass and rushing for 6 yards. He is listed as probable against Syracuse. Back-up Trevor Siemian completed 18 of 29 passes for 276 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, and also rushed for 17 yards on six carries. Running back Treyvon Green had 16 catches, 129 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also caught a pass for 7 yards. Starting running back Venric Mark left the game early with a leg injury after only rushing for 29 yards. He is also listed as probable. Fullback Dan Vitale had 5 catches for 101 yards. Junior receiver Christian Jones had 5 catches for 94 yards. Tony Jones had 5 catches, 70 yards and a touchdown.
Syracuse is 5-0 ATS in non-conference games and overall, 4-0 after allowing less than 100 yards rushing, 4-1 after a cover, 3-1-1 after a straight up loss, 9-3 after gaining less than 275 total yards, 2-5 in September, 3-8 in road games, 1-5-1 after scoring less than 20 points, and 0-5 against teams with winning records.
Northwestern is 11-0 ATS after gaining more than 450 total yards, 8-0 at home and after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 6-0 in non-conference games, 5-0 in September, and on grass, 4-0 after a straight up win, after rushing for 200 yards or more, and against teams with losing road records, 11-1 after allowing 450 total yards or more, 10-1 after a cover, 4-1 against teams with losing, 16-5 overall, and 2-9 after passing for more than 280 passing yards.
Keep an eye on the health of Colter and Mark. Both should play, but Simian and Green did well as replacements. Northwestern had to rely on two pick sixes to beat Cal, but They shouldn’t need that against Syracuse. Northwestern wins going away.
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