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Syracuse Prepares For Toughest Task Of Season Against No. 2 USC

You never know.

The Syracuse Orange are coming off of a near-comeback win against the Northwestern Wildcats.

Northwestern defeated the Orange 42-41 at the Carrier Dome. Doug Marrone's 0-1 team heads to the Meadowlands for what will be its most challenging game of the season against Matt Barkley and the No. 2 USC Trojans.

Syracuse's fifth-year senior quarterback Ryan Nassib is coming off of a career game in which he threw for 470 yards and four touchdowns. As of Thursday, the Orange are the top team in passing yards in the FBS rankings.

The Orange will need to put the Northwestern loss behind them and realize they are playing against one of the best defenses in the country. Oh, and not to mention, a quarterback that is already being talked about as a Heisman hopeful.

One update of note: The Orange were without senior wide receiver Alec Lemon last week, as he was tending to a leg injury, but it appears he'll be able to suit up tomorrow.

There is no doubt that USC is the favorite in this one, but that does not mean SU doesn't have a shot. Syracuse has showcased the ability to pull off unexpected wins before, especially last season when it buried No. 15 West Virginia 49-23 at the Carrier Dome. This game is different though. USC is the second best team in the nation -- not quite the same as a decent West Virginia squad.

Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.