Saturday's Week 4 contest between the visiting Syracuse Orange against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium (8 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network) will feature the Orange (1-2) entering as a 3-point favorite according to Bovada.com. This is the first time this season the Orange will be favored against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.
Syracuse (1-2) are coming off a 28-17 victory over the Stony Brook Seawolves, a Football Championship Subdivision program, that snapped a seven-game losing streak by the Orange, which all the way back to last season. Meanwhile, the Gophers (3-0) defeated Western Michigan, 28-23, last week.
Minnesota enters the match up looking for its third straight victory over the Orange, who last lost to the Gophers in their 2009 season opener, 23-20. The Orange are looking for their first road victory over a Big Ten opponent since '06 when they beat Illinois, 31-21.
The key to a victory for the Orange will be continuing is offensive success and limiting the big plays on defense. So far this season, Syracuse has moved the ball extremely well up-and-down the field and that should continue.
However, being in a hostile environment will be a new test for SU which has played all its games in friendly confines -- the contest against USC was listed as a "home game".
Overall, I believe the Orange offense scores enough points and their defense and special teams limits the big plays.
Final score: Syracuse 31, Minnesota 24.