Syracuse last played Sept. 22, falling 17-10 at Minnesota. Ryan Nassib threw for 228 yards and a touchdown for Syracuse (1-3), but he was intercepted twice and lost a fumble. The Orange also committed 10 penalties, including four false starts. The Gophers held Syracuse’s pass-heavy, no-huddle offense to 350 total yards.
Alec Lemon had nine catches for 106 yards for Syracuse, surpassing Scott Schwedes and Shelby Hill for the career receptions record at the school with 145. He was about all the Orange had against Minnesota on a disappointing night for the high-powered offense that averaged more than 533 yards in its first three games and slugged it out in competitive losses to Northwestern and USC earlier this season.
Pittsburgh beat Gardner-Webb 55-10 on Sept. 22. Tino Sunseri passed for 344 yards and three touchdowns and Mike Shanahan caught five passes for a career-high 144 yards and two scores for the Panthers (2-2).
Pitt compiled 626 yards in total offense (397 passing, 229 rushing), its highest single-game production since 1997, when it had 645 yards (470 passing, 175 rushing) in a double-overtime victory at Rutgers (55-48). Pitt has produced consecutive games with more than 500 yards in total offense (626 vs. Gardner-Webb and 537 vs. Virginia Tech). The last time Pitt accomplished that feat was the 1992 season when it had three consecutive 500-yard games (558 vs. Rutgers, 596 vs. Minnesota and 552 vs. Maryland).
Pitt’s 55 points against Gardner-Webb marks its highest single-game output since the 1999 season when the Panthers defeated Temple, 55-24, in Pitt Stadium. Sunseri has been a major catalyst during Pitt’s offensive surge. The senior has completed 71% of his passes for 627 yards and six touchdowns with only one interception the past two contests. He is the Big East’s most efficient passer (15th nationally) with an impressive 166.80 rating on the year.
Pitt is riding a seven-game winning streak against Syracuse. The Panthers’ last defeat in the series occurred in 2004, when they were outlasted, 38-31, in a two-overtime affair in the Dome. Pitt won last year’s meeting, 33-20, at Heinz Field. Pitt and Syracuse have met every year since 1955 and the annual rivalry will continue when both schools join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013. While they will be playing in separate divisions, the Panthers (Coastal) and Orange (Atlantic) will still meet every year as annual primary crossover opponents.
WagerWeb.com trends: Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Syracuse. Favorite is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings. Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings. Orange are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week. Orange are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Friday games. Orange are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. Orange are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.