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Syracuse Preview: How to Watch, By The Numbers, Key Matchups

Everything you need to be properly informed going into tomorrow’s game!

NCAA Football: South Florida at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m.

TV: CBS Sports Network

ANNOUNCERS: Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Corey Chavous (color analyst), Melanie Collins (sideline)

RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network (WTIC 1080 AM, WILI 1400 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WGCH 1490 AM), SIRIUS 145, XM 203, XM 963 (Internet), TuneIn Radio app

ANNOUNCERS: Joe D'Ambrosio (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Ken Sweitzer (sideline)

POINT SPREAD: UConn -3.5

SERIES HISTORY: This is the 10th time these two teams have met with UConn holding a 6-1 advantage over the Orange (two wins by Syracuse, in 2004 and 2006, were vacated by the NCAA). The last time these two teams met was the Pasqualoni Bowl in 2012 when the Orange crushed the Huskies 40-10 in a Big East (RIP) matchup.

DEPTH CHART FOR SYRACUSE GAME

Fun With Numbers

2 - Syracuse is looking for its second win of the season and, coincidentally, looking for its second win all-time against UConn. The Orange have also vacated two wins over UConn, thanks to the tried and true tradition of Syracuse Athletic Department impropriety, but even with those wins they’d have a losing record against the Huskies. Two is also probably the over/under for Syracuse ACC wins on the season and potentially the number of ACC wins UConn will have after Saturday.

Syracuse also has two players on its roster from Connecticut. What a fun number!

58 - Receptions for Syracuse receivers Ervin Philips and Amba Etta-Tawo, who leads the team in receiving yards with 436 to go along with three touchdowns. Philips, one of the two Connecticut natives, leads the team in receptions with 30 and has two touchdowns of his own.

279 - Number of offensive plays run by Syracuse in three games this season, good for 93 per game. The Orange ran 105 plays on their way to 549 yards last week in the loss to USF.

3.5 - Both Ron Johnson and Arkeel Newsome’s yards-per-carry average through three games. There is a lot left to be desired with the Husky rushing attack as the supposed keystone of the offense.

49 - The percentage of passes caught by Noel Thomas this season, who leads the Huskies in every receiving category by a wide margin. He is the only receiver with over ten catches, over 100 yards and the only one to catch a touchdown pass this season. So in addition to getting the run game going, the offense also needs to spread it out more.

32 - The number of games a quarterback coached by Dino Babers has thrown for over 300 yards. In Syracuse’s program history, a quarterback has throw for more than 300 yards in only 29 games.

Reminder: IT IS ON

Q&A with SB Nation’s Syracuse and USF Sites

Key Matchups

UConn O-Line vs. Syracuse front seven

Syracuse will be down two starters in the secondary, and thus far Bryant Shirreffs has proven to be capable in the passing game provided he has enough time. The extent to which UConn can take advantage of these secondary woes depends on the Husky offensive line’s ability to give Shirreffs time to go through his reads and throw.

UConn Pass Rush vs. Syracuse O-line

The Huskies defense will be going up against a passing attack that ranks 10th in the country, so the pass rush will need to get to Eric Dungey in order to slow it down. Syracuse’s offensive line has struggled, giving up eight sacks in three games this season (For reference, UConn’s o-line has only given up seven). However, UConn’s pass rush has disappointed this year with only three sacks this season. They will need to generate more pressure to disrupt the Syracuse offense.

Amba Etta-Tawo vs. Jamar Summers

Syracuse’s two-headed monster at receiver will be a lot for UConn’s defense to handle, but Jamar Summers will be in charge of limiting the Orange’s biggest threat in Amba Etta-Tawo. While he and Ervin Philips have a similar number of catches, Etta-Tawo has nearly double the receiving yards. It’ll be key for Summers to prevent the big play and make Syracuse grind the ball down the field to score.

Dino vs. Bob

This week’s matchup will be a battle of up-and-coming coaches with contrasting styles. Babers is known as an offensive-minded coach, whereas Diaco cut his teeth as a defensive coordinator. The dynamic between the two sidelines will be intriguing to watch on Saturday.