Syracuse Writer Roundtable: Minnesota Predictions
The Orange head to Minneapolis, Minnesota, this weekend to take on the Golden Gophers. The game takes place on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST and will be shown on the Big Ten Network. We asked a few of our writers to predict the outcome of the game, and needless to say, they all expect the Orange to come home with a 2-2 record.
Meg Lane – Syracuse Wins 31-20
The 1-2 Orange head into Saturday’s matchup needing another win. This game is crucial, as it will set the tone for the upcoming bye week before Syracuse heads into Big East play. The key is for “second-half Syracuse” to come out ready and gunning for it from the get-go. The pass-centric Syracuse offense will face a challenge in leading Big Ten safety Derrick Wells, but the Ryan Nassib-Marcus Sales connection will be another one for the books, and we’ll win this one through the air.
On defense, the Syracuse secondary looks to finally click this weekend, posing a threat to second-string Gopher QB Max Shortell. There’s a chance that SU sophomore cornerback Brandon Reddish is out, but look for veteran Keon Lyn and talented freshman Wayne Morgan to make a splash and eventually force Minnesota to resort to the run. SU’s special teams struggles could continue, but in the end, the Orange offense will prove too strong and the Orange defense too athletic for undefeated Minnesota, and Syracuse will come out on top.
Danny Connors – Syracuse Wins 27-24
I’m not sold on Minnesota. The Gophers were picked to finish below Northwestern in the Big Ten and haven’t been totally convincing with their play this season. You know Nassib will go out and play catch with Sales, and the Orange defense will allow some big plays – that’s a given. I’ll say Nassib’s arm leads the Orange to victory.
Ben Glidden – Syracuse Wins 21-17
The Syracuse defense worries me. After seeing how many big plays the Orange gave up against Stony Brook, my guess is that Minnesota puts up similar numbers, but it’s tough to judge the Golden Gophers. The first three games Minnesota has played this season have been cake. They’ve been opponents that Stony Brook would probably trash on. So how good is Minnesota? I guess we won’t know until Saturday. I think the score will be low because the temperature could drop into the thirties, and there will be a lot of frozen bodies out there on the field.
Darius Joshua – Syracuse Wins 28-21
Syracuse will get its second win going against a tough Minnesota Golden Gophers defense. Despite the D, I think Ryan Nassib will be able to spread the field and continue to connect with “Saturday Sales”. Nassib will need a good performance from the special teams unit to help him gain field position and make it easier to move the ball with less ground to cover. I think the veteran defense of the Orange will be able to contain the young Golden Gophers offense led by sophomore QB Max Shortell. If the SU offense doesn’t get off to a good start, it could make this game much more difficult than it needs to be. Syracuse pulls out the victory, though.