The Syracuse Orange will play their final Big East Conference football game Friday when the Temple Owls host the Orange at Lincoln Financial Field (11 a.m. on ESPN2). Syracuse (6-5, 4-2 Big East) could cement its second winning season in 10 years, while Temple (4-6, 2-4) is looking to earn its second consecutive win over the Orange.
Syracuse is coming off a thrilling 31-27 victory at the Missouri Tigers. The Orange used a last-second 17-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Ryan Nassib to wide receiver Alec Lemon to help take a four-point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game.
The win allowed Syracuse to become bowl eligible for the second time under head coach Doug Marrone.
Friday's showdown with Temple will conclude SU's Big East football tenure, which began in 1991. During that span, SU is 75-75 in league play and collected four conference championships ('96-98, '04).
Two Syracuse players - senior wide receiver Alec Lemon (989 receiving yards) and junior running back Jerome Smith (923 running yards) - each have a chance to break the 1,000-yard mark.
Senor quarterback Ryan Nassib (3,404 passing yards) could surpass 4,000 yards during SU's bowl game. Last week, Nassib set SU's all-time passing mark which currently stands at 8,845 passing yards.
The Orange have the top-ranked offense in the Big East, as they average a league-best 473.3 total yards per game. SU also averages 28.5 points per game, the third-best average in the league.
Last week, Temple easily defeated the Army Black Knights, 63-32. The Owls used a record-breaking performance from senior running back Montel Harris, who ran for a Big East all-time best of 351 yards and seven touchdowns.
Harris is the league's top rusher with 948 yards and 12 touchdowns on 165 carriers.
Temple will be led by a pair of quarterbacks that each present different skill sets. Last week's starter, junior Clinton Granger, is more of a duel-threat signal caller that's more than likely to run than pass, while junior Chris Coyer, who's started most of the games for the Owls, is more of a pocket passer.
However, despite its running threat the Owls are ranked last in the Big east in total offense (320.2), total defense (432.9) and scoring defense (30.5).
According to oddsmakers, Temple will enter the contest 7 1/2-point underdogs. The point spread is a point higher than the opening line of 8 1/2-points. The over/under is set at 57 points.
This will be a very tough test for Owls, who can't match the Orange's offensive fire power.
The difference in this game will be turnovers, as Syracuse is 6-0 when its has had fewer, or the same number of turnovers as its opponent and 0-5 when it lost the turnover battle.
Final score: Syracuse 27, Temple 16.