Good afternoon everybody. I am all setup here at MetLife Stadium where in about 15 minutes the Syracuse Orange will face the No.2-ranked USC Trojans in the New York's College Classic (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC). The final betting line on the game will have the Trojans (1-0) as a 25 1/2-point favorite according to Bovada.com -- earlier this morning, USC was 27-point favorites.
Despite one's possible gambling interest -- I'd take the underdog Orange, if you're curious -- the biggest story right now is the weather. Currently, in East Rutherford, NJ its a muggy 84-degrees with spots of clouds -- so far, so good.
Though, earlier in the day there was some severe storms that rolled through the tri-state area -- a possible tornado may have touched down in Queens -- and later in the day, around 4-5 p.m., there's an 80-percent chance for a thunderstorm according to AccuWeather.com. I've heard, from other news guys who have spoke to their meteorologists, there's a good possibility that severe weather could delay this game. So, cross your fingers.
Injury wise, both the Orange and Trojans will enter pretty healthy. Syracuse senior wide receiver Alec Lemon, SU's leading wide out last season, will play after missing last week's season-opener against Northwestern Wildcats. Its really unknown how his lower-body injury will hamper him.
Players out for the Orange, and none of them are shockers, are: wide receiver Adrian Flemming, left tackle Justin Pugh, punt returner Steven Rene and defensive end John Raymon, who's still waiting to hear back from the NCAA about his eligibility.
For the Trojans, they could be without starting defensive end Wes Horton and sophomore place kicker Andre Heidari. Last week, Heidari was injured early in USC's 49-10 blowout victory over the Hawaii Warriors, which led to the Trojans going for 2-point conversions after each touchdown. Not sure if that trend will continue with sophomore walk-on Craig McMahon serving as today's possible starter.
As for Horton (6'5, 255-pounds), he's started 22 games, compiled 72 tackles and eight sacks during his four-year collegiate career.
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.