Central Michigan at Syracuse
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT
CRIS Opener: Syracuse -10.5 O/U 65
CRIS Current: Syracuse -10 O/U 68
Opposite results for these teams last week as Central Michigan recorded a solid 45-27 road win over Kansas while Syracuse was outfoxed by ex-DC Scott Shafer in their 30-23 home loss to Middle Tennessee State. The ‘Cuse allowed six sacks and averaged a minuscule 3.3 yards per play on their 93 total plays. They also had their second lowest number of passing yards (182) in a game under Dino Babers. Expect those subpar numbers by Orange standards to get back to normal this week against a defense without the built in personnel & weaknesses knowledge that Shafer had. Defensively they held their own last week for nearly three quarters but a span of 11:52 between late third quarter and mid fourth saw them allow three consecutive touchdown drives. Limiting the potent MTSU offense to 369 total yards for the game looks solid but their second half faltering turned a 7-point lead into a 7-point loss.
Central Michigan took some time to heat up but they demolished Kansas from the late second quarter on scoring five TDs on six possessions. All five drives were 73 yards or more and overall in that 35 point stretch, new QB Shane Morris (Michigan transfer) led the offense to 410 total yards. CMU needed the offensive support because their defense had trouble stopping Kansas in the second half as well. Their stop troops have been ineffective the first couple of weeks allowing 27 points and 431 yards per game.
Syracuse catches a real break here since the Chippewas star WR Corey Willis is now out for four weeks with a fractured hand. Add to that, 3rd leading WR Brandon Childress has been ruled out for the season after injuring his knee last week and suddenly CMU is severely weakened at that position. They may have to lean on their ground game more in this contest but run defense has been Syracuse’s strength thus far (allowing just 74 rypg). Offensively, Syracuse should be able to take advantage Central Michigan’s defense led by dual threat QB Eric Dungey. Not sure why this total continues to go upward but the expectation here is that Central Michigan may try to control tempo here and keep Syracuse possessions down a bit. Current 67.5 number seems a bit high so look here will be toward the under.