Syracuse Will Dominate Virginia on Friday Night

Virginia vs. Syracuse, Friday, September 23, 7:00 ET

College football is interesting for many reasons, but one of them is that it seems like even if you're favorite team or alma matter isn't great, you still have passion for them. I guess I'm saying there are fewer fair-weather fans in college than in professional sports. Take today's game of Virginia vs. Syracuse. Neither team had a chance to compete for the championship - even before the season started - but the prospect of bowl games and everything else can keep it an interesting season. For the two fan bases in this one, as of now, there is tons of promise that both could be in a good bowl game at the end of the year.

Virginia is 2-1 on the early season, with wins over two teams that are probably largely irrelevant. They just recently beat an Old Dominion team that opened the season with a strong win over Virginia Tech. The one team in a conference that you would recognize is the game Virginia played at Illinois - they were dominated in just about every facet of that game. On offense, they struggled to move the ball, and on defense, they really struggled in the first half. I have been unimpressed with Brennan Armstrong so far on the year. He hasn't been able to get really anything going. Armstrong is just 54-102 on the year with two touchdowns and three interceptions. I think this will be a tough game for him to get right in, but he likely will need to throw the ball a lot in order to keep them in the game.

Syracuse is having a great year starting off 3-0. Against Purdue last week, I expected the Boilermakers and Orangemen to score a ton of points... and they did. The only issue was it didn't happen until the fourth quarter when they combined for 42 points. I figured they would score a lot in the first quarter. Garrett Shrader has been awesome so far on the year and he was a big reason for the win over Purdue - which is a good football team, better than any of the three teams Virginia has played so far. Shrader has eight touchdowns already and 709 yards on the early campaign. Their running game could use a bit of work but they are facing a defense that is allowing essentially the same amount of yards that they average so there is potential that they can get something going here.

I like Syracuse in this one. They have the advantage of being at home, they have the better quarterback, the better defense, and have played tougher opponents already. Virginia isn't a bad team, and shouldn't be taken lightly, but I think the Orangemen will be too much for them in this one. After the close game last week, I have to imagine they are going to try and get a big lead and never look back in this game. I'll play Syracuse -9.5 at -110.

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