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College Football Picks: Syracuse vs. Minnesota Prediction: September 22nd 2012

September 20th, 2012
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College Football Picks: September 22nd 2012
Syracuse vs. Minnesota
Pick: Syracuse +1.5
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I think we are getting some great value on Syracuse at +1.5 on the road against a overrated Minnesota squad. This will be by far the toughest game the Golden Gophers have played this season, as they have got off to a 3-0 start thanks to a soft schedule against the likes of UNLV, New Hampshire and Western Michigan.

The Orange are just 1-2 on the season, but could just as easily be 2-1 (lost in the final seconds to Northwestern). They have clearly played the harder schedule, as they also squared off against then No. 2 USC, a game in which they only lost by 13-points.

Syracuse features an explosive offense led by senior quarterback Ryan Nassib, who has thrown for 1,139 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season. They are averaging just under 33 ppg.

Minnesota’s soft schedule has allowed them to look much better defensively than they really are. There is no way their 19.0 ppg is going to hold up once they start playing better competition. Minnesota’s defense had just six starters back and lost their top two tacklers from 2011.

The Golden Gophers come into this game having had a lot of success running the football. They are currently 32nd in the country averaging just under 210 ypg on the ground, but that soft schedule has allowed them to continue to pound the rock and not test the average arm of quarterback MarQuise Gray, who has attempted just 44 passes in 3 games. Minnesota has never trailed by more than 7 points in any of their first three games.

I think Minnesota will struggle to keep up offensively with Syracuse in this game, and in turn will fall behind early. That will force Gray to throw the ball a lot more than he is comfortable doing, which I believe will lead to turnovers and short fields for the Syracuse offense to operate on. BET SRYACUSE!

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