USA TODAY Sports-Rich Barnes

A statistical look at the matchup between the Syracuse Orange and the LSU Tigers

Statistical analysis of Saturday's matchup between Syracuse and LSU.

The most interesting game of the 2015 season came on Saturday for the Syracuse Orange when they sneaked by the Central Michigan Chippewas on Saturday in overtime. With the win, the Orange improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1991. However, that came with a huge price, as the Orange saw key players like Eric Dungey and Steve Ishmael leave the game with injuries. Rob Trudo dressed, but did not play because of injury, and star pass rusher Rob Thompson was banged up for a large portion of the game as well. 

Nevertheless, the Orange need to get their key players healthy, as they will face the toughest test on their schedule on Saturday at home against the 8th-ranked LSU Tigers. Let’s take a look at some numbers for this Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Orange and the Tigers.


For the first time since the 1998 season, the Orange have scored at least 30 points in its first three games.


This is the number of the point differential between Syracuse and its opponents. The Orange are currently outscoring its opposition to a score of 107-44, which is a difference of 63.


This number is the amount of years its been since the Orange have beaten a ranked opponent. The Orange beat Louisville in 2012, when the Cardinals were the 11th-ranked team in the country.


Since the AP Poll started in 1934, the Orange have defeated 11 teams that have been ranked in the Top 10.


Let’s take a look at the last Syracuse teams that started the season 3-0 and see where they finished:

Year Final Record Bowl
2015 TBD TBD
1991 10-2 Hall of Fame Bowl
1987 11-0-1 Sugar Bowl


The Orange and the Tigers have met twice. The series is tied at one.


The Orange have played the SEC 23 times. Their record against the conference is 12-10-1.


It’s been 73 years since LSU has played in the state of New York. In 1942, they played on the road against Fordham.

Quick Facts

LSU’s true sophomore and Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette leads the nation in rushing, with just under 194 yards per game. He also ranks first nationally in scoring with an average of three touchdowns per contest.

Syracuse ranks fourth in the nation in terms of most true freshmen to play in 2015. They’ve played 15.

Syracuse is ranked second nationally in terms of rush defense. They’ve given up an average of just 46.7 yards per game.

Luke Arciniega ranks seventh in the nation in terms of sacks with an average of 1.33 per game.

Syracuse leads the ACC in defensive touchdowns.

The Orange are a 24-point underdog in this game.

I believe that the talent is there for the Orange to have tough with LSU in this game. That’s saying a lot, considering the Orange are a team that predominately consists of underclassmen. That being said, I have the Orange losing this game, but playing against one of the best teams in the nation will do wonders for this youthful squad.

Score prediction: 31-21, LSU.

Statistical Comparison

Category SU LSU
Record 3-0 2-0
Points Per Game 35.7 33.0
Points Allowed Per Game 14.7 20.0
Rushing Ofense 208.7 338.5
Passing Offense 165.3 72.5
Total Offense 374.0 411.0
Rushing Defense 46.7 101.5
Passing Defense 287.7 217.5
Total Defense 334.3 319.0
Kick Return Avg 21.5 12.2
Punt Return Avg 17.2 8.3
Interceptions Caught 5 1
Interceptions Thrown 2 0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Fumbles Recovered 4 1
Turnovers Gained 9 2
Turnover Margin +7 +2
Penalty Yards Per Game 42.0 69.0
Net Punt Avg 43.1 35.3
Time of Possession 28:58 33:24
3rd Down Conv. 36.1% 41.7%
Opp. 3rd Down Conv. 29.5% 24.0%
Sacks-Yards 9-67 8-52
Sacks Allowed 4 1
Tackles for Loss 29 12
Field Goals 5-6 1-1
Red Zone Offense 10-10 7-7
Red Zone TDs 5-10 6-7
Red Zone Defense 7-8 5-5
Red Zone Def. TDs 4-8 4-5

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