We have an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup between two teams trending in the opposite direction when the Syracuse Orange meet the twenty-fifth ranked Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field. Syracuse enters this matchup coming off a 31-6 road loss to the eighteenth ranked North Carolina Tar Heels and Pitt hammered Austin Peay by a score of 55-0 to move into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season.
Syracuse Falls to North CarolinaSyracuse went to North Carolina knowing it would be a tough afternoon and the Tar Heels delivered as promised by holding the Orange to just two field goals en route to a 31-6 thrashing over Syracuse. The Orange managed just 202 total yards of offense and that likely won’t cut the mustard on Saturday against the Panthers.
Junior quarterback Tommy DeVito had a rough afternoon, completing just 41.9 percent of his passes for 112 yards but the good news is that the junior signal-caller failed to throw an interception. DeVito also scampered for 30 yards on 16 attempts and overall it was a rough day for DeVito and the offense. Junior wideout Taj Harris hauled in five balls for 64 yards and was the other bright spot for the offense.
The Syracuse defense didn’t fare much better on Saturday; they allowed 463 yards of total offense on 303 passing yards alongside 160 rushing yards. Junior defensive back Andre Cisco and sophomore Mikel Jones each record an interception and the defense did cause three North Carolina turnovers on the day.
Pitt Buries Austin PeayPitt kicked off its season in fine fashion by thumping Austin Peay by a score of 55-0. The Panthers racked up 456 total yards of offense while allowing the Governors just 137 total yards. It was a great way to begin their 2020 campaign but now its ACC time and this will be a different type of game for Pittsburgh.
Pitt was able to utilize three quarterbacks last Saturday and senior quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 70 percent of his passes for 277 yards and one touchdown on 14-20 passing. Pickett also rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown on just two attempts and will face a stiffer test on Saturday. Senior wideout DJ Turner caught the only Pickett touchdown pass and hauled in two balls for 76 yards while frosh wide receiver Jordan Addison had seven catches for 35 yards to lead the way.
Five Panthers running backs scored touchdowns against the Governors and leading the way was sophomore running back Vincent Davis. Davis scored twice on just 11 attempts for 43 rushing yards with an additional nine receiving yards.
Austin Peay wasn’t able to generate much offense at all on Saturday; the Pitt defense held the Governors to just 136 passing yards and only one rushing yards. Junior defensive backs Paris Ford and sophomore Erick Hallett each picked off passes and the defense forced three turnovers in the 55-0 rout.
Stats & Trends
- Orange are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Orange are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Orange are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Panthers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
This game opened with the Panthers being a 19 point favorite but you can get the game in most books for Pittsburgh -22 points. This will be the second top 25 schools that Syracuse will play in the past seven days and I don’t see them faring much better than they did against North Carolina. Pitt looked spectacular against Austin Peay but I think the Orange is a better football team than the Governors. Syracuse had a difficult time moving the ball against the Tar Heels and maybe this Pitt defense is better. At the end of the day, the Panthers offense is better than the Syracuse defense and I think that offense is will be able to easily cover the spread. I will take Pitt and lay the 22 points over Syracuse.