Thanks to a controversial 33-30 overtime victory last Saturday against the University of Toledo, the Syracuse University football program is off to its best season start since 2003. Sophomore kicker Ross Krautman nailed a 27-yard field goal in the Orange's first possession of OT, while senior quarterback Ryan Nassib passed for 213 yards and two touchdowns to help propel their team, which trailed 10-0 in the first quarter, to another thrilling victory -- of course, the win was tarnished by a controversial call on a Krautman extra point, which came late in the fourth quarter and helped SU take a three-point lead (the margin should have been just two points).
This Saturday at noon, the Orange (3-1) begin their Big East Conference schedule by hosting rival Rutgers University at the Carrier Dome. The Scarlet Knights are 2-1 overall and are coming off a 38-26 victory over Ohio University last Saturday. Junior wide receiver Mohamed Sanu set a new conference and school record catching 16 passes from sophomore quarterback Chas Dodd, who finished the game with 232 yards, three TDs and one interception. Sanu also finished the day with a collegiate-best 176 receiving yards and two touchdowns. So far, this season Sanu leads the nation in catches per game (12).
Last season, the Orange defeated the Scarlet Knights, 13-10, to become bowl eligible for the first time in since 2004. Then, the SU win was one of the biggest in the program's past seven years. Now, an Orange win is expected. Especially, in front of, hopefully, a large Carrier Dome crowd. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights are trying to reclaim their right to the fertile New York-New Jersey recruiting grounds, which was "taken" from them during last year's loss.
Who will pull out the victory in this Big East rivalry? SB Nation New York will be examining the Syracuse vs. Rutgers game from now until Saturday night. Check back to this StoryStream for all your pregame, in-game and post-game information.