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Syracuse Football: Colgate vs. Syracuse prediction, odds, spread and over/under for college football week 1

Syracuse (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Syracuse (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Who is ready for some Syracuse football? The Orange kicks off its 2023 season this Saturday, Sept. 2, when the ‘Cuse hosts Central New York foe Colgate beginning at 4 pm inside the JMA Wireless Dome.

A season ago, the Orange raced out to a 6-0 start but slumped down the stretch. The ‘Cuse would end up at 7-6 overall, and the team made a bowl game. Head coach Dino Babers has several new assistant coaches on staff in 2023, and the squad boasts numerous offensive and defensive players who are on preseason watch lists for national and Atlantic Coast Conference honors.

Some national and ACC experts aren’t super high on Syracuse football as the 2023 term gets underway, but that’s why the games are played on the field. About a week ago, I projected that the Orange will go 8-4 in the regular season and make a bowl appearance for the second straight year.

Colgate is a FCS group out of the Patriot League. Per SU Athletics, the Raiders are the Orange’s third-most frequent opponent ever, with their all-time series currently at 31-31-5. However, Syracuse football has won 16 battles in a row against Colgate.

Colgate vs. Syracuse odds, spread and total

On Saturday morning, FanDuel had the Orange as a 37.5-point betting favorite, with the over/under set at 49.5 points.

Colgate vs. Syracuse how to watch

Date: Saturday, Sept. 2
Game Time: 4 pm
Venue: JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra and fuboTV
Colgate’s record: 0-0
Syracuse’s record: 0-0
Syracuse’s full 2023 schedule: Click here

Colgate vs. Syracuse key players to watch

For the Orange, the team’s depth chart for week one was released a few days ago, so I wanted to pass that along, as there were a couple of surprises and things to monitor on it. For example, it’s unclear if junior wide receiver/return specialist Trebor Pena is going to play against Colgate.

Secondly, redshirt sophomore linebacker Stefon Thompson, who missed virtually all of the 2022 season due to injury, was not listed as a starter at this position, although Babers says he expected Thompson will play a good amount versus the Raiders.


The Raiders, by the way, finished last season at 3-8 overall and 2-4 in conference play. Ahead of the 2023 campaign, Colgate was projected to be No. 3 in the Patriot League’s standings, according to the conference’s preseason poll.

Five Raiders were named to the 2023 preseason Patriot League All-League team, including junior quarterback Michael Brescia, who is a player to watch for Colgate.

Per the Raiders, as a sophomore in 2022, the dual-threat Brescia tallied 751 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns on the ground, 1,656 passing yards and seven touchdowns through the air.


Senior quarterback Garrett Shrader
Shrader had a solid 2022 stanza, but he did miss some time due to injury, and that also extended to the team’s spring practice. However, reports indicate Shrader is fully healthy, and I think he’s going to be stellar this coming term.

Junior tight end/wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II
Gadsden has picked up a ton of preseason national and ACC accolades after being on the All-ACC first team in 2022. Without question, opposing defenses are going to key in on him, so let’s see how Gadsden – and the rest of the ‘Cuse receiving corp – fares in the early part of the season.

Sophomore running back LeQuint Allen Jr.
No need to delve into the off-season stuff any longer, as Allen is the starting RB on the week-one depth chart. He has some big shoes to fill in attempting to replace former All-American Sean Tucker, but I believe Allen will be up to the challenge.

Junior linebacker Marlowe Wax Jr.
Big things are anticipated for Wax in 2023. He is a key leader on the Syracuse football team this season, being a captain and a veteran among the linebackers. I think that Wax can produce an All-ACC stanza in 2023.

Oh, and I want to give a shout-out to the Orange’s six captains who were revealed earlier this week. They are Shrader, Wax, junior Damien Alford, redshirt senior Isaiah Johnson, junior Justin Barron and sophomore Brady Denaburg.

Colgate vs. Syracuse prediction and pick

Babers reiterated this week that the Orange can’t look past Colgate, and I agree with him. Sure, the ‘Cuse has a more talented roster than the Raiders do, but anything can happen on any given … Saturday.

That being said, I envision that Syracuse football players are going to come out this Saturday afternoon all pumped up to start the 2023 season, with a loud and frenetic Dome crowd cheering the Orange on.

I’m a homer. I recognize that. Still, I just don’t see the ‘Cuse having too much trouble defeating Colgate. I’ll go with Syracuse football to commence this term by soundly handling the Raiders, 49-13.

The Orange will then host Western Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 9, with the kick-off scheduled for 3:30 pm.

Next. Syracuse Football: Projecting the Orange’s record during the 2023 season. dark