Bowl projection has Syracuse football facing 4-star QB commit who flipped

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports) /

Several updated bowl projections that were published on Sunday include Syracuse football, which snapped a five-game losing streak a day earlier and is inching closer to attaining post-season bowl eligibility.

On Saturday from Yankee Stadium in New York City, the Orange’s passing attack was non-existent, but the team’s rushing game and Mob defense more than made up for that, as the ‘Cuse put the clamps down on long-time rival Pittsburgh, 28-13.

With Syracuse football redshirt sophomore tight end Dan Villari, a former quarterback at Michigan who hails from Massapequa, N.Y., going full beast mode versus the Panthers, the Orange was able to notch its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the 2023 season.

By extension, the ‘Cuse (5-5, 1-5 in the ACC) needs only one more win over its final two regular-season contests to qualify for a bowl game for the second year in a row. The Orange will travel to Georgia Tech this Saturday night before hosting Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Syracuse football, if it reaches six triumphs, could head to the Sunshine State for a 2023 bowl game.

On Sunday, I didn’t see the ‘Cuse included in the latest bowl predictions from 247Sports. And others are likely to arrive on Monday or early this coming week, and those may or may not include the Orange.

But two bowl projections on Sunday did have Syracuse football in the mix, with each forecasting the Orange to suit up at the Gasparilla Bowl, which will commence at 6:30 pm on December 22 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., with television coverage on ESPN.

Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the ‘Cuse playing Marshall out of the Sun Belt Conference. The Thundering Herd, at present, is 5-5 overall and 2-4 in league affairs.

Oliver Hodgkinson, the lead analyst at the College Football Network, has Syracuse football going toe to toe with Southeastern Conference member South Carolina. The Gamecocks, so far in the 2023 term, are 4-6 overall and 2-5 in SEC play.

One of the backup signal-callers on the South Carolina roster is 2023 four-star quarterback LaNorris Sellers, who verbally committed to Syracuse football but ultimately flipped his commitment to home-state team South Carolina.

Sellers was a star at South Florence High School in Florence, S.C., leading his program to a state championship in his senior year before heading to the Gamecocks.

In South Carolina’s 47-6 home blowout of Vanderbilt this past Saturday, Sellers boasted a 36-yard touchdown run. Through the air this season, he’s 4-of-4 for 86 yards and two passing touchdowns.

By the way, following the Orange’s win over Pitt, Syracuse football moved up three spots in ESPN’s Football Power Index (“FPI”), to No. 49 nationwide. Currently, the FPI gives the ‘Cuse an 82.6 percent chance to get to a half-dozen victories in 2023 and advance to a bowl game for the second consecutive stanza under head coach Dino Babers.

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