Syracuse football vs. South Florida prediction, odds and more in Boca Raton Bowl

Syracuse football will suit up versus South Florida on Thursday night in the 2023 Boca Raton Bowl.
Syracuse football will suit up versus South Florida on Thursday night in the 2023 Boca Raton Bowl. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse football, which has seen a whirlwind of recruiting developments over the past two-plus weeks under new head coach Fran Brown, looks to end its 2023 season on a high note when the Orange competes in a bowl game on Thursday evening in the Sunshine State.

Brown was formally introduced as the team’s new head coach on December 4, replacing Dino Babers.

While Brown is expected to be with the team as Syracuse football prepares to battle American Athletic Conference member South Florida in the 2023 Boca Raton Bowl, media reports indicate that Nunzio Campanile will, for a second game in a row, serve as the Orange’s interim head coach.

Campanile, the squad’s tight ends coach in 2023, will be the ‘Cuse quarterbacks coach moving forward, based on the profile on his X page.

In late November, only a few days after SU Athletics dismissed Babers, the Orange managed to defeat fellow Atlantic Coast Conference school Wake Forest at the JMA Wireless Dome, 35-31, to reach bowl eligibility for the second year in a row.

Syracuse football, by the way, hadn’t advanced to bowl games in back-to-back seasons since the 2012 and 2013 terms. While the ‘Cuse lost its bowl game in 2022, finishing 7-6 overall, the team has an opportunity to win the Boca Raton Bowl and get to 7-6 in the current 2023 stanza.

It won’t prove easy, though, as the Orange is dealing with numerous injuries, and a boatload of ‘Cuse players have entered the NCAA’s transfer portal.

South Florida vs. Syracuse football odds, spread and total

At the time of this writing, FanDuel had the Orange as a 2.5-point betting favorite against the Bulls, with the over/under set at 56.5 points.

South Florida vs. Syracuse football how to watch

Date: Thursday, Dec. 21
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Florida Atlantic University Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.
TV/Streaming: ESPN and fuboTV
South Florida’s record: 6-6, 4-4 in the AAC
Syracuse’s record: 6-6, 2-6 in the ACC
Syracuse’s full 2023 schedule: Click here

South Florida vs. Syracuse football prediction and pick

In their all-time series together, the Orange is just 2-8 versus the Bulls. Both of these programs used to reside in the Big East Conference.

As I noted in another recent column, per SU Athletics, the ‘Cuse owns an all-time record of 16-10-1 in bowl games, which is solid.

However, to attain a bowl victory on Thursday night, the Orange will have to prevail while not being anywhere close to full strength.

The team had previously lost a handful of players to season-ending injuries throughout the course of the 2023 campaign. What’s more, SU Athletics announced this past Monday that senior quarterback Garrett Shrader would not play in the Boca Raton Bowl after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of the regular season.

The ’Cuse, like many other college football squads nationwide, has seen guys depart the program for the transfer portal. Here’s a look at the Syracuse football depth chart and who will be coaching the Orange this Thursday in the Boca Raton Bowl, courtesy of’s Emily Leiker.

Naturally, I’d love to see our beloved ‘Cuse finish the 2023 term on a stellar note by picking up a bowl-game success. It’s going to be an immense challenge, however, given the Orange’s depleted line-up.

For that reason, I’ll reluctantly go with South Florida to prevail over Syracuse football, 31-27. I hope that I’m wrong. And I usually am.

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