Purdue vs. Syracuse, Saturday, September 17, 12 ET
Neither of these teams are going to strike fear into opponents but that doesn’t mean that they can’t put together a fun game to watch. It also doesn’t mean that we have to stay off of the game because they aren’t the best teams in the country. It would get pretty old betting on just Alabama games, right? I think this should be a quick-paced, fun game that sees a lot of points.
Purdue is coming into the game off of a strong performance against Indiana State. Now, the level of opponent wasn’t exactly top-notch there, but they handled their business which is what you’re looking for in a game like that. Winning 56-0 is still impressive. In their first game, against Penn State, they lost 35-31 in a tough battle at home. They had a chance to win that game before Sean Clifford of Penn State navigated the field in just one minute and 25 seconds for a touchdown. Purdue has shown some strength on defense, despite falling apart there in the fourth quarter against Penn State. They held the Nittany Lions to just 5-14 on third downs and held Indiana State to 3-16. If they keep creating turnovers they should be able to stay in the game.
Syracuse, normally considered a basketball school, might turn some heads with their football program this season. So far they’ve won both games – a home game against Louisville and a road game against UConn. Their defense has given up just 21 points on the year. In their most recent game against UConn, they were able to hold the Huskies to a 4-for-12 third down performance and 5-11 against Louisville. They were also aided by a few turnovers in both games. That might help the Orangemen be positioned to get into a groove on offense. Sean Tucker is a huge focal point of the offense leading the team in both rushing and receiving yards. Garrett Shrader makes something out of nothing quite a bit with his arm and his legs.
Purdue almost has to focus on Tucker, right? If he gets space, there will be problems and Syracuse will put up points. Shrader will be able to make plays but Purdue will need to limit them. Syracuse will need to stop the connection between Aidan O’Connell and Charlie Jones – a connection that has already accounted for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Frankly, I don’t think either defense is ready for it and this game will see the playmakers taking advantage of defenses that are good, but not great. I do think Purdue wins the game, but I’m going to play over 13 in the first quarter at -115. I think both teams come right out and score. I also think they do it pretty quickly. I am a little hesitant on the game as it is possible that the defenses settle in a bit if the game gets close.
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