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Prediction time: Syracuse

Photo by Ed Diller/Black Knight Nation

For the first time in Army’s storied football history, the Black Knights will play their second straight road game in a dome venue.

Army makes its first trip to Syracuse’s JMA Wireless (Carrier) Dome since 1996 as a 13-point underdog. The Black Knights were 9-0 in its last visit to Syracuse and had an 11-game winning streak snapped by Donovan McNabb and the No. 19 Orange 42-17.

Syracuse isn’t ranked this time but it could have one of its best teams since 1996. The Orange are 3-0 and have outscored opponents 148-27 in wins over Colgate, Western Michigan and Purdue.

Syracuse’s offense is ranked fifth in the country, averaging 542.7 yards per game, led by quarterback Garrett Shrader. Army defensive coordinator Nate Woody said Shrader reminds him of Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall.

The Orange’s defense has limited teams to 275.7 yards per game, 21st in the nation.

Game is a matchup of the two of nation’s top rushing quarterbacks – Shrader (266 yards) and Army’s Bryson Daily (228).

Army is seeking its first road win over a Power Five team in an opponent’s stadium since a 21-13 win over Wake Forest on Oct. 29, 2016.

Prediction time

Sal Interdonato (Black Knight Nation): Army 24, Syracuse 21. Sticking with my prediction on the Ostrom Avenue podcast. Army will need another near-flawless game on offense to get it done. Winning time of possession by at least 2 to 1 will help keep defense fresh. The Black Knights’ defense has its biggest challenge in Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader. An early takeaway will certainly help the cause.

Seth Mendelson (Black Knight Nation): Army 31, Syracuse 28. Who shows up Saturday? Is it the Syracuse team that has put nearly 150 points up in just three games and held the opposition to just nine points per game. Or the team that historically shoots itself in the foot after nearly annual great starts? And, are the Orange looking ahead to next week’s big showdown with Clemson at home. Will Army be the team of the last two weeks (wins over Delaware State and UTSA) or the one that resembles the weak offensive performance of its first game. Army has much to prove and coach Jeff Monken, who signed a contract extension earlier this week, needs to beat a good Power Five school.

Brendan in Jersey: Syracuse 38, Army 31. I WISH I had the confidence to pick Army in the outright upset. I do think they’ll beat the two touchdown spread Vegas has set, thanks to their “modern warfare” offense, but, thus far, the defense has had a poor knack for giving up big, quick-hitting scores and that’s just not a recipe for success against a high-powered Syracuse offense.

Predictions from across the college football universe

Brent Axe (Syracuse Post-Standard): Syracuse 31, Army 21. Axe writes on, “So many questions surround this game. Does Army’s experience playing in a dome last week pay off this week? Can Syracuse receivers catch the football? Can the Orange match the physicality and discipline of the Cadets? Can Garrett Shrader make the football disappear again?

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    September 23, 2023 at 9:41 AM


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