Off to its best start in four years, Syracuse is set for a key matchup Friday night.
Coming off an improbable and thrilling, last-second 32-29 home victory over Purdue last Saturday, Syracuse (3-0) will host Virginia (2-1) in an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) matchup (7 p.m., ESPN).
New York sportsbooks do not carry games due to state regulations, but Syracuse has been noticed for its quick start.
Keys to Syracuse Start
Syracuse sophomore quarterback Garrett Shrader, along with sophomore wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II (12 catches, 193 yards), have been a dynamic duo in the team’s first three games.
Schrader has completed 51 of 77 passes (66%) for 709 yards and eight touchdowns (46 carries, 201 yards, 3 TDs). The most important thing? No interceptions and no turnovers as a team for the first three games.
The Orange, who are looking to be 2-0 in conference play for the first time since becoming an ACC member in 2013, have won six of their last nine Friday games and have a 7-4 Friday record under head coach Dino Babers.
Trying to Shake Losing Ways
Another victory this Friday would give Syracuse its first 4-0 start since 2018 and just the seventh in school history since World War II.
As is, the Orange are looking for only the second winning season in last eight years.
Here is a year-by-year look:
- 2022: 3-0
- 2021: 5-7
- 2020: 1-10
- 2019: 5-7
- 2018: 10-3
- 2017: 4-8
- 2016: 4-8
- 2015: 4-8
- 2014: 3-9
Breaking Down Friday’s Game
Virginia, which is also coming off a last-second, 16-14 win over in-state foe Old Dominion, will play in its conference opener and first under new head coach Tony Elliott.
Virginia won the last meeting between the teams, 44-38, in triple overtime in 2015.
DraftKings NY does not have odds on the game but nationally has Syracuse as a solid 9-point favorite against the Cavaliers.
The Orange are a -340 moneyline favorite and Virginia a +280 underdog with the over-under at 53 points.
Syracuse Not a Sale Nationally Yet
In the futures market, Syracuse is still not making believers on sports betting apps.
To win the ACC, the Orange are the eighth choice at DraftKings at +4000. To win the national championship, they are a whopping +40000 underdog.
A win Friday would leave the Orange undefeated heading into next week’s contest at home versus FCS Wagner, followed by a bye week.
Syracuse very well could be 5-0 when it hosts now-No. 12 North Carolina State Oct. 15.
A win against the Wolfpack would clinch a bowl berth before Halloween, which would be surprising and important.
Syracuse's next six opponents are at No. 5 Clemson (10/22), vs. Notre Dame (10/29), at No. 24 Pitt (11/5), vs. Florida State (11/12), at No. 21 Wake Forest (11/19) and at Boston College (11/26).
That’s a tough road ahead, for sure.
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