Although the Syracuse Orange’s (4-7, 2-5 ACC) dream of a guaranteed bowl game was abruptly ended last Saturday, they will head to Heinz Field In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday looking to finish off the season on a high note with a win against the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-4, 4-3 ACC).
The Panthers are coming off of a 56-14 blowout win over Duke at home last weekend, led by running back James Connor’s 2 touchdowns that made him the leading career touchdown scorer in ACC history.
Pittsburgh is looking to keep their win streak going as they head into Saturday, with the shocking win over Clemson in Death Valley 2 weeks ago.
While Pittsburgh looks to keep their momentum, Syracuse still seems to be struggling to find it, and unfortunately they have run out of time. The Orange are coming off 2 straight home losses over North Carolina State and No. 17 Florida State last weekend.
Orange starting sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey is not expected to return to the field this Saturday in the last game of the season. Head coach Dino Babers said in his weekly press conference that there is still no update on Dungey’s injury and Zack Mahoney will likely be starting.
Last week Mahoney went 16 for 36, threw for 196 yards, and threw 2 touchdowns, but also tossed 2 interceptions. He spent much of the afternoon being harassed; FSU recorded 8 sacks and forced 10 punts, holding the Orange to 3.2 yards per play. It was made evident that Mahoney needs more practice time, and I think going into the 2017 season Babers will look to prep his backup quarterbacks more.
(PROGRAMMING NOTE: SU FOOTBALL WILL AIR ON 88.3 FM STARTING AT 12:00 NOON. SU BASKETBALL WILL AIR STARTING AT 2:30 ON HD-3 & WAER.ORG. BASKETBALL WILL BE JOINED IN PROGRESS ON 88.3 FM WHEN FOOTBALL CONCLUDES)
With Pittsburgh running back James Connor and the rest of the Panther’s offense, the struggling Syracuse defense will likely have its hands full once again.
Led by the conference touchdown-scoring record holder, Pittsburgh looks forward to finding out its bowl game position and preparing for the postseason. Syracuse just looks to finish up the season strong for their seniors and start to prepare for the 2017 season, hopefully lead by a healthy Dungey. Should the Orange win, they have an outside chance at a bowl invitation, if there are not enough teams with at least 6 wins to fill all of the bowl slots.