I'm not sold on this being a blowout by any means. Syracuse has the requisite offensive weapons to at least compete at Ryan Field. Northwestern can overcome the Orange with its defensive playmakers and multi-faceted attack. Still, don't bank on this one coming easily.
The ‘Cats continue to ease Mark in.
Venric Mark should be fine to play; there's no immediate update on his status aside from "questionable." But the Treyvon Green and Mike Trumpy duo can take the reins until Mark looks healthy. It's essential to NU that Mark is healthy when Big Ten action rolls around.
Dan Vitale has another 100-yard outing.
Okay, I'm sold. Vitale can drag defenders, make the catches and work with both featured quarterbacks. I also regret not naming his as my "breakout player," given that he does nearly everything well. Heffner and Fitzgerald know how to recruit the position, also evidenced by the promising scout team outings from true freshman Jayme Taylor.
Colter-Siemian duo on normal rotation
I expect Kain Colter to start on Saturday, with Siemian getting mixed in around the third drive. Colter looks completely healthy, and barring some late-week setback, should bounce back nicely after his California concussion. In my opinion, this will result in some tough adjustments, but NU should be okay.
It's Ariguzo's turn.
Though I love the Collin Ellis story as much as the next guy, any one linebacker can step in. Ellis converted on every opportunity–an admirable two-touchdown effort–but the story can change against Syracuse. Ariguzo's superlative practice session this week could lead to him once again dominating the orange.
Offensive Sleeper: Andrew Scanlan
Why haven't we discussed him yet? On Wednesday, the redshirt freshman looked to have starter's potential. The former two-way player in high school showcased his athleticism and overwhelmed corners. He's not quite polished enough yet, but I'm going out on a limb to say he makes his first college reception this weekend.
Defensive Sleeper: Matt Harris
This depends on Harris's health, but don't discount the true freshman from this cornerback mix. Dwight White struggled badly in practice–and at certain points in Saturday's win–and could see a less certain role if that continues. Harris is more than just a "solid freshman." He's a potential immediate contributor.