Syracuse Football: Western Michigan vs. Syracuse prediction, odds, spread and over/under for college football week 2

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Save for committing too many penalties, something that seems to occur a lot for the Syracuse football program, the Orange was dominant in its 2023 season opener last Saturday on the Hill, both from offensive and defensive standpoints.

In destroying fellow Central New York foe Colgate, 65-0, the ‘Cuse scored the most points in head coach Dino Babers’ tenure with the team. Syracuse football set a squad record with 677 yards of total offense versus the FCS Raiders, and the Orange scored the most points dating back to 1998.

We all know that Colgate isn’t a particularly good team, and I mean no disrespect to the Raiders. So making any sort of grand proclamations at this juncture in the young 2023 term is silly.

That being said, I don’t care who the opponent was. Dropping 65 points and tallying 677 yards are impressive statistics. On defense, the ‘Cuse Mob didn’t allow Colgate to cross midfield until the Raiders’ final drive of regulation, and Syracuse football limited its foe to just 106 yards of total offense.

Up next, the Orange will stay in Central New York as it prepares to host Western Michigan out of the Mid-American Conference (“MAC”) this coming Saturday afternoon.

The Broncos are led by first-year head coach Lance Taylor, who most recently served as the offensive coordinator at fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Louisville. Western Michigan went 5-7 overall in 2022, and the Broncos kicked off their 2023 season by defeating Saint Francis at home this past Thursday, 35-17.

In the MAC preseason coaches poll released in late July, Western Michigan was forecast to finish at No. 6 in the league’s west division.

Western Michigan vs. Syracuse odds, spread and total

When I wrote this article, FanDuel had the Orange as a 23.5-point betting favorite, with the over/under set at 55.5 points.

Western Michigan vs. Syracuse how to watch

Date: Saturday, Sept. 9
Game Time: 3:30 pm
Venue: JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra and fuboTV
Western Michigan’s record: 1-0
Syracuse’s record: 1-0
Syracuse’s full 2023 schedule: Click here

Western Michigan vs. Syracuse key players to watch

Here is the week-two depth chart for the Orange against the Broncos, courtesy of SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister. I’m not seeing a lot of big changes. Per McAllister and other media reports, Babers has indicated that wide receiver/return specialist Trebor Pena is “doubtful” for the Western Michigan encounter.

Western Michigan

Redshirt freshman running back Jalen Buckley
In his first career start for the Broncos in week one, Buckley carried the ball 30 times for 194 yards and one rushing score. He was named co-offensive player of the week for the MAC’s west division.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jack Salopek
In the team’s win over Saint Francis, Salopek had 170 yards through the air along with a passing touchdown and one interception. He also had seven rushing attempts for 36 yards.


Senior quarterback Garrett Shrader
Again, keeping in mind that Colgate was a sub-par foe, Shrader still looked pretty darn good in week one. He was 18-of-24 through the air for 257 yards, four passing TDs and one pick.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Umari Hatcher
In the blow-out of the Raiders, Hatcher was awesome, hauling in four passes for a strong 105 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Freshman running back Ike Daniels
Starting RB LeQuint Allen Jr., a sophomore, led the charge on the ground, to the tune of 16 carries for 107 yards and one rushing touchdown.

However, I wanted to give some love to Daniels, who last weekend played in his first college game. Daniels, who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s rookie of the week, generated 63 rushing yards and 15 receiving yards versus Colgate. That’s solid.

Junior linebacker Marlowe Wax Jr.
In week one, Wax produced six total tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a sack.

Western Michigan vs. Syracuse prediction and pick

In their short all-time series together, the Orange is 2-0 versus the Broncos. The ‘Cuse won on the road in 2018, 55-42. The following season, Syracuse football dispatched of Western Michigan on the Hill, 52-33.

"Babers, in a statement from earlier this week, said, “We’re excited about being 1-0, looking forward to an opportunity to play Western Michigan and coach Lance Taylor. I know those guys are going be ready over there. Different opponent than last time. This is a mid-major opponent and I know the success I’ve had with my mid-major teams versus Power 5 teams. We’re definitely going to take that into consideration on how we approach this game. It’s something that we take very seriously, and we know that they have a lot of good athletes and they are more than capable of putting it on us.”"

I agree that Western Michigan is likely a “better” team than Colgate. Babers will have his boys ready to go. I don’t expect a 65-0 domination like in week one, but I will project Syracuse football to knock off the Broncos with relative ease, by a final count of 41-17.

After it welcomes Western Michigan to town, the Orange will head out on the road. The ‘Cuse will next square off against Big Ten Conference member Purdue on Saturday, Sept. 16. This non-conference affair will be an NBC prime-time game scheduled to commence at 7:30 pm.

Next. Syracuse Football: 4-star Willy Love focused on 2 schools, including ‘Cuse. dark