Shutout victories are a testament to excellent play on both sides of the ball. For both the Syracuse Orange and Maryland Terrapins, that was the case last weekend. On Saturday, the two teams will match up in what looks to be a tremendous contest.
The Orange gutted out a 24-0 win over a Liberty team with a high-powered passing game. It was a vast improvement from last season for the Orange who struggled to defend against the pass.
Meanwhile, Maryland rode a dominant all-around performance to a 79-0 win over FCS foe Howard. It was the Terps’ second-highest point total in a game and highest since an 80-point outburst against Washington College in 1927. A repeat performance of that is unlikely this week against Syracuse though offense could be a major factor.
Syracuse vs Maryland
Saturday, September 7, 12 p.m.
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by Bookmaker
Spread: Maryland (-1.5 at -115)
Last week was the Moe Neal show for Syracuse. The senior running back had 14 carries for 89 yards an a touchdown on the ground along with three catches for 54 yards.
It was a much-needed contribution in Tommy DeVito’s first start for the Orange. The quarterback struggled with his accuracy, completing 17 of 35 for 176 yards and a pair of interceptions.
Syracuse contained the Liberty passing game for the most part but really excelled at stopping the run, holding the Flames in the red for the game at minus-4 total yards.
The Orange didn’t let the Flames establish a running game which, in turn, altered the effectiveness of the passing game. However, Syracuse still faced difficulty containing opposing receivers, something that could prove costly in future games.
The Terrapins amassed 623 yards of total offense and 79 points against an overmatched Howard team. It was 56-0 at the half largely due to Josh Jackson’s four touchdown passes.
But even more impressive than the offensive explosion was the defense. Maryland held Howard to 68 total yards for the game, 67 through the air. The Bison quarterbacks, including starter Caylin Newton, Cam’s brother, were pressured for eight sacks.
Howard was held to four first downs and forced to punt 14 times. One negative for Maryland was third-down conversions. The Terps faced just 13 third downs yet converted less than half of those.
While Syracuse is a big under team, the Terps have hit the over in their recent games and both have gone against the spread.
This matchup will largely be dictated by who can move the ball best. Both sides present tough running defenses but the Terps are a better passing team against the Orange’s below-average passing defense.
When the teams meet this weekend, it should be Maryland coming out on top after a close game early. What sets the Terps apart is their speed on the ground, something Syracuse hasn’t countered well against. If Maryland can consistently get runners into the Syracuse secondary it will be a long afternoon for the Orange defense.
Pick: The Terps come out on top, beating the spread of 1.5 but not surpassing the over.