Football

Beat writers predict Syracuse to steamroll Central Connecticut State in 2017 season opener

Daily Orange File Photo

Last year, SU cruised past Colgate, 33-7, in the season opener.

The 2017 Syracuse football is here, and beat writers Joe Bloss, Sam Fortier, Matthew Gutierrez and Tomer Langer predict SU to roll past the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils Friday night at the Carrier Dome. SU has not lost a season opener since 2013, to Penn State. They explain their predictions below.

Joe Bloss
Snooze Button
Syracuse 41, Central Connecticut 10

It’s the guaranteed narrative of every Week 1 of every football season, but Syracuse is excited to play football against a team other than itself. Just don’t count on this being anything more than a chance to shake off the rust. The Orange will make some big plays that land “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd and it will make mistakes that Babers will say have to be corrected if it wants to win next week. As long as no one gets injured, the wide margin of victory will be inconsequential. Enjoy the show.

Sam Fortier
Not Bedeviled
Syracuse 45, Central Connecticut 10

Here’s the game story: Syracuse steamrolls Blue Devils. College football loves its traditions and Power 5 schools pummeling patsies in Week 1 is one of the best. So, let’s examine Friday night’s most intriguing storyline: attendance. Syracuse football is coming off its worst two-year stretch of attendance in Dome history, despite last season hiring a hot-name coach with a new-fast system. Then he beat a Top 25-ranked team. This season, head coach Dino Babers said, is supposed to be the season SU takes off.

The big question: Will anyone be there to see it in-person?

Matthew Gutierrez
Blue Lagoon
Syracuse 35, Central Connecticut 14

The most compelling part of what will unfold Friday night is not Syracuse’s hurry-up offense in Year 2. Rather, the SU defense, which finished 122nd out of 128 FBS teams in 2016, is under spotlight. Babers said the defensive line and defensive backs units are “greatly improved” from a year ago, and that’s what’s most intriguing for a team embarking on a brutal schedule stuffed with high-powered offenses. While it’s not pretty, Eric Dungey throws for a few touchdowns, the SU air raid offense looks solid and the defense holds the Blue Devils to two scores in this Week 1 tuneup.

Tomer Langer
Outclassed
Syracuse 48, Central Connecticut 7

Since Monday, head coach Dino Babers has talked about how SU needs to be on its toes against CCSU in what could be a trap game. Technically, he’s right. No game is decided until it starts. But let’s be very clear: There is absolutely no reason why Syracuse should lose this game. It’s one thing to play tough FCS teams, like last year’s Colgate matchup. It’s another to play a team that just went 2-9 and gave up nearly 35 points per game. SU should coast to victory in this game, with the starters not needing to play the whole way.

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