Know The Enemy; Syracuse 2018

Know The Enemy; Syracuse 2018

We will be squaring off against the Syracuse Orangemen this Saturday in Pitt’s annual homecoming game.  What exactly is “homecoming”?  Well, this explains the origin:

 Officially sanctioned by the NCAA, Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit as the originator of homecoming, the University of Missouri is proud of their long-standing homecoming tradition. It was there in 1911 where Mizzou’s Athletic Director Chester Brewer asked alumni of the school to help inaugurate the new location of their football field by “coming home” to attend the annual game against the University of Kansas.

Why am I talking about that?  Because I’m trying to prolong having to talk about what I’m pretty damn sure is going to be our fifth loss of the season.

But that’s what this article is about so let’s get to it.  What has SYR done so far? Well, they are standing at 4-1 on the year and 4th in the Atlantic conference

Atlantic Conf

syr skedSYR did have two rent-a wins on their schedule and they won those games handedly then moved onto Florida State where they won by 23 points then played UCONN which they won by 30.

The only loss so far was to the #3 team in the nation Clemson in Death Valley last week when SYR took them right down to the wire as Clemson scored a TD with 0:47 left to win.  That was against the #4 defense in the country Pitt fans.

SYR isn’t unstoppable obviously, but the have the tools to give Pitt real nightmares starting with their Senior QB Eric Dungy.  As you can see he’s dangerous with his arm and his legs (Where have we heard this before? Oh, right – UCF’s Milton!).  He’s going to get yardage and in big chunks.

Here are their passing and rushing key stats on the year to date:

SYR players.PNG

Their offensive showing has propelled SYR to a #14 ranking in Total Offense nationally. We on the other hand hover at #111.

Here are SYR’s  national rankings…


For comparison here is how Pitt stands among other D1 teams nationally:


Wow – big difference in those rankings.  Personally I think Dungey is going to pass all over  the Pitt defense to the tune of 300+ yards and 4 TDs.  And we’ll lose.  Why, because our offense sucks even worse than it appears at first glance.  Here’s a for-instance:

Against all comers we are 22.4… SYR is scoring 44.2 ppg.

But in Pitt’s four games against FBS opponents, and taking away the two special teams returns for TDs, our offense has scored just a bit over two TDs per game.  That is only 16.5 ppg produced by the Offense we throw out onto the field against FBS teams.

I say again: 16.5 ppg.  That isn’t going to cut it against a high scoring team like SYR.

Here is our two-deep for the game.

SYR 2-Deep 18

This is why Narduzzi keep the practices closed. The O and the D can’t keep out of each others’ way.