Syracuse is looking to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 1991 while Maryland is hoping to bounce back from a loss to West Virginia last week. We breakdown each matchup within the game below.
Syracuse quarterback/receivers/tight ends vs. Maryland secondary
Will Likely is a solid player for Maryland, and safety Sean Davis also has a big impact for the Terps. But through three games, the Maryland secondary has really struggled. The Syracuse passing game looked much better with Terrel Hunt involved for a complete game. Josh Parris also returns to bolster the tight end group. Givent he inconsistency of the Terps secondary, give the Orange the edge here.
Syracuse running backs vs. Maryland linebackers
Maryland gave up over 180 rushing yards to West Virginia last week, and allowed over 160-yards to James Madison in the opener. The Syracuse ground attack bounced back last week against Central Michigan with both Adonis Ameen-Moore and Ervin Philips giving the Orange a spark. Syracuse should have the advantage here.
Syracuse offensive line vs. Maryland defensive line
The return of Omari Palmer and Nick Robinson to the offensive line gave the Orange a huge boost. Finally the group up front looked like everyone expected. A veteran group that is solid in both pass protection and opening holes for their stable of running backs. The Maryland defensive line is solid, and Andre Monroe will give the Orange some trouble. Overall, expect the Syracuse offensive line to win this battle which will be critical in the overall result.
Maryland a quarterback/receivers/tight ends vs. Syracuse secondary
C.J. Brown may not be an elite passer, but Syracuse struggles with mobile quarterbacks and Brown is just that. He also has some big time receivers on the outside in Deon Long and Stefon Diggs. That duo may test the Syracuse secondary more than any other this season. While the Orange will try to limit the big plays and put a lot of pressure on Brown, the Terps have the clear edge here.
Maryland running backs vs. Syracuse linebackers
The Maryland rushing attack is largely inconsistent. Their most talented running back, Wes Brown, receives inconsistent playing time week to week. Quarterback C.J. Brown may be Maryland’s best bet to hurt the Orange on the ground. Syracuse’s run defense was strong last week against Central Michigan and shut down Maryland last season. Give Syracuse the edge.
Maryland offensive line vs. Syracuse defensive line
The Syracuse defensive line is still figuring themselves out. Ron Thompson is emerging as perhaps the best player up front. They were strong against Central Michigan, but have their toughest test of the season on Saturday. The Terps offensive line is improved from last season and should have the slight edge in this matchup.
Syracuse special teams vs. Maryland special teams
Will Likely and Stefon Diggs are two big play threats as returners for Maryland. Brad Craddock gives the Terps one of the best kickers in the country. Their punter, Nathan Renfro is inconsistent, however. The Orange have some threats as returners as well in Ervin Philips and Brisly Estime,. Riley Dixon is a big weapon as a punter, but Ryan Norton’s inconsistency showed last week. With Maryland’s returners and Craddock helping in the kicking game, the Terps have the edge on special teams.