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Penn State Nittany Lions at Syracuse Orange Free Pick 8/31/13

Syracuse Orange (0-0) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm (MetLife Stadium)

The Line: Syracuse Orange +7.5 --- Over/Under: 51 See the Latest Odds


This one should be an interesting watch on Saturday as both the Nittany Lions and the Syracuse Orange are breaking in new signal callers this season.

The Penn State Nittany Lions, did things the old school way last season as the Nittany Lions had a stifling defense, allowing just 19 points per game on average. Penn State’s offense was able to move the ball, especially through the air under the new offensive scheme by head coach Bill O’Brien. The Nittany Lions still haven’t named their starter for Saturday’s game against the Orange, but personally I like the upside you get from starting Hackenberg. Hackenberg is a freshman and was top rated quarterback prospect from last year’s recruiting class, and was ranked by some as high as 15th overall. Don’t be confused however, the Nittany Lions are going to play strong defense, which is what this team is based around.

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Penn State Nittany Lions at Syracuse Orange  Free Pick 8/31/13

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange will be looking to improve upon their 8-5 record last season where the Orange finished off their season by defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The Orange had an impressive passing attack last season, averaging more than 289 yards per game, ranking the Orange 29th overall through the air. A big reason for the offensive success of the Orange last season was their signal caller Nassib, who unfortunately for the Orange is now in the NFL. The Orange, like the Nittany Lions still haven’t named their starter for the year, but personally I really like Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen. Allen has a big presence in the pocket, and has a cannon for an arm. Whoever is under center for the Orange this season has big shoes to fill, and it will definitely be up to the Syracuse defense to hold their opponents in check while the offense finds it’s footing.

It’s hard to find any kind of significant trends for either team here. The only one that really stands out to me is that the Nittany Lions are 12-10 against the spread in their last 22 outings, while the Orange are 10-15 against the number in the past three seasons. Like I said, no real trends to go on for either team here.

Personally this is one of the games I am most looking forward to watching in the opening week for college ball. It will be interesting to see the signal callers for both teams, and how the new offenses perform with their new leader under center. The number is more than a touchdown right now, and to me that is just too many points to be giving up. The Nittany Lions do look to be the better team, but I just can’t give up more than a touchdown in this spot.

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