No. 19 Northwestern vs. Syracuse: Game info, how to watch, TV, preview, and more

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats are 16.5-point favorites against a BCS opponent that won a conference championship last year. AHHHHHHH. Here's everything you need to know about Northwestern's home opener against Syracuse.

Today is game day! It's not quite as fun as the first game day of the year, but it's still game day, darnit! We compiled everything you need to know in this one here post.

We'll obviously have a game thread here, but during NU-Syracuse, we'll also have the fancy SB Nation Live going for both Georgia-South Carolina and Michigan-Notre Dame, the time frames of which happens to include this game. Because they pay me money I'll be over there in part, but I'll also be over here. Now let's talk about this game!

Game time: 6 p.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. Northwestern time,

Location: Ryan Field, Evanston, Ill.

TV: Big Ten Network

Announcers: Matt Devlin, Glen Mason

Radio: WGN720 (Dave Eanet, Ted Albrecht)

Kickoff forecast: 84 degrees, 30 percent chance of precipitation, isolated thunderstorms

Odds: Northwestern -16.5

Over/under: 53

Rankings: Northwestern, 19 AP, 20 USA Today, Syracuse, unranked

What this means to each team

Northwestern The Wildcats are 1-0, and although they won by two touchdowns, their 44-30 win against Cal wasn't the most convincing. The margin of victory can be explained away by a pair of pick-sixes off of deflections by Collin Ellis -- yes, he had two -- and  true freshman Jared Goff had 445 yards passing with the Golden Bears leading into the second half. Moving to 2-0 against Cuse would further legitimize a team with huge expectations. Big questions include the shaky play of freshman CB Dwight White, who was absolutely horrendous after a season-ending injury to starter Daniel Jones, and the health of starting QB Kain Colter and star running back Venric Mark, both of whom were hurt in some capacity against Cal. NU won Game 1 without them for the most part, banking on backups Trevor Siemian and Treyvon Green, and could win again without them, but seeing them effective would go a long way towards quelling NU fans.

Syracuse: The Orange, on the other hand, are looking to win their first game under Scott Shafer. They lost everybody last year, most notably their coach, Doug Marrone, and QB, Ryan Nassib. Drew Allen is the man under center, and he was a brutal 16-for-37 with two picks and no touchdowns in the season opener against Penn State, and the running game wasn't effective either. Any signs of life from the running game will be greatly appreciated. The defense was good, generally shutting down the Nittany Lions attack, but gave up two 50-plus yard touchdown passes to a true freshman quarterback -- were those flukes, like their coaches seemed to say, or were they indicative of a season-long problem from a team whose defensive MO is aggressiveness rather than safety? A modestly okay offensive performance or defensive performance without huge screwups would be nice for a team not even expected to win by its own fans -- a win would be tremendous.

Syracuse blog: Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

Northwestern injury report: Questionable: QB Kain Colter, RB Venric Mark. Probable: LB Damien Proby, DT Will Hampton, LB Chi Chi Ariguzo. Out: CB Daniel Jones

Syracuse injury report: WR Adrien Flemming (out)

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