The winner of last week's Syracuse-Akron prediction contest was friend of the idiots and fantasy football columnist the Captain. He's earned free space on this blog and when he sends us his entry, we'll post it. It should be interesting. Or maybe it won't be - we'll find out soon enough.
Since the idea generated some interest, we'll do it again for this weekend's SU-Cincinnati game. The rules are the same - the person who comes the closest to predicting the correct score of the game gets a free post on this blog. Anything goes in the post - so long as it's not porn and it won't get us sued (the T3I legal department is pretty thin, don't make me consult them). If you don't want to write anything, but still want to prove how great you are at picking games, put a score a down in the comment section anyway. It's not like we're going to harass you looking for an entry.
To get things started I'll offer my prediction. If I win, the second closest person gets the free space.
The good news, the Syracuse defense is vastly improved and has been dominant against the run. The bad news, Cincinnati doesn't have to run it to score points - and they score a lot of points. Even worse news, Syracuse is abysmal against the pass. Even starting a back up quarterback, Cincinnati is a prolific passing team - which spells trouble for the Orange.
To keep piling on, the Bearcats do not turn the ball over - at all. They have 4 turnovers all year. Greg Paulus can do that in one half if he concentrates. This game represents a real challenge for the Orange.
The SU offense has been a work in progress all year. The offensive line has been shuffled more than a deck of cards. No one is sure from week to week whether good Greg Paulus or Evil Interception Greg Paulus will show up and the last three games for the Orange have been rough.
However, this week in the face of a very good opponent, I think Doug Marrone rallies his troops. The Orange play inspired football and hang with the Bearcats. The offensive line clears enough holes for Delone Carter to move the chains, Paulus plays smart football and Mike Williams makes the offense more dangerous.
In the end, it's not enough to hang with Mardy Gilyard and the explosive Bearcat offense, but the Orange does enough to get the all-important cover: