Syracuse opponent preview: What to know about Pittsburgh

first_img Published on October 16, 2019 at 10:02 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 Syracuse (3-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) returns to the Carrier Dome for a Friday night matchup against Pittsburgh (4-2, 1-1). This will be the Orange’s second weekday game in a row as SU lost 16-10 at North Carolina State last Thursday while Pittsburgh enters after not playing last weekend.Below is a preview of the Syracuse-Pittsburgh matchup.All-time series: Pitt leads 39-32-3Gambling odds: As of Wednesday afternoon, Pittsburgh is 3.5-point favorites and the game total is 52.The last time they met: Last year, Syracuse’s game at Pittsburgh ended up being the Orange’s lone loss outside the top 25. SU led Pittsburgh 14-0 in the first half before falling 44-37 in overtime. Pittsburgh fought back and regained the lead before an hour-long weather delay. Out of the stoppage, Syracuse scored 17 unanswered points but couldn’t hold on. Pittsburgh’s offense couldn’t be stopped as running backs Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison —both of whom are no longer with the Panthers —rushed for 299 yards and three touchdowns.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Pitt report: The Panthers are currently 107th in the country in scoring offense. Their average of 21.5 points per game is four points lower than Syracuse.The Panthers don’t have a rusher with more than 200 yards through six games as the offense is mainly led by junior quarterback Kenny Pickett, who’s thrown for 1,370 yards.Pitt has only beaten one team by more than three points this year including Delaware. Still, the Panthers beat then No. 15 UCF 35-34 and recently beat Duke on the road.A large part of their success has spawned from a stalwart defense. The Panthers allow just shy of 300 yards per game (No. 32 in the nation) and are second in the country in sacks with 27. It’s not an ideal number for a Syracuse offensive line that allowed eight sacks to North Carolina State and has allowed more sacks than all but one Power 5 school.How Syracuse beats Pittsburgh: There are two ways that Syracuse can handle Pittsburgh on Friday night. The first — and more likely to happen — is a combination of the defense holding Pittsburgh to a low score and forcing turnovers that put Syracuse in immediate scoring position. If the defense can hand the Syracuse offense short fields, the Orange can hang around.The other solution is the Syracuse offense from the fourth quarter against NC State returns. Thus far, that’s meant playing fast via quick screens or short outside throws. If the Orange get the ball to playmakers before the pass rush reaches DeVito, Syracuse might pull out the win.Stat to know: 42 — Syracuse’s rushing yards per game in three contests against Power 5 teams this year. If the Orange want to produce the scoring numbers they did in the first three years under Dino Babers, this number will need to increase.Player to watch: Jaylen Twyman, defensive line, No. 97If the Panthers do maul the Syracuse offensive line on Friday night, Twyman is a likely suspect. Through six games he has six sacks including a three-sack performance against Ohio. At six-foot-two and 290 pounds, he leads the Panthers in sacks. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more