Saturday's Week 2 contest between the Syracuse Orange football program and No. 2-ranked USC Trojans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC) will feature the Trojans entering as 27-point favorites according to Bovada.com. The betting line almost doubles 2011's 15-point spread -- the Trojans covered as they defeated Syracuse, 38-17, at the LA. Coliseum.
The Orange (0-1) are coming off a heartbreaking 42-41 loss to the visiting Northwestern Wildcats, while the Trojans (1-0) easily defeated the visiting Hawaii Warriors, 49-10, last week.
Earlier this week, USC opened as a 25 1/2-point favorite and the over-under was set at 58 points. Saturday morning the over-under at Bovada was 65 points -- for those good at math, that's a jump of more than a touchdown.
The Orange have a very tall task ahead, as they will try all they can to not be embarrassed in this nationally televised event that is being used not only as a revenue builder for the program but also as a recruiting tool.
If SU gets crushed by USC, all the good vibe that was built off the season-opener -- which is being viewed as a "good" loss -- would be diminished. However, if the Orange can hang with the Trojans and be in the game heading into the fourth quarter, this game will be looked at as another solid stepping stone under head coach Doug Marrone.
Meanwhile, USC is expected to use all its offensive fire power to get after SU's developing defense early. It would not be a surprise if the Trojans attack the Orange's progressing, but still not stellar, secondary with the pass and pound the ball in the end zone with the run.
The difference from this game becoming a blowout or a possible nail-biter will be turnovers or a big special teams play -- which could be effected by the weather. In all big upsets, there's a few big plays that turn the tides on the favorite and SU will need a few of them.
In the end, I see Syracuse keeping the score closer than it did last season, but not having enough to make people notice the effort.
Final score: USC 30, Syracuse 20.
For complete coverage of New York's College Classic featuring Syracuse vs. USC, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For in-depth coverage of the Orange visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while Conquest Chronicles is all about the Trojans.