"We have a little more chemistry with [Hunt] because he was here in the springtime when we were going through the new offense," Smith said. "Between extending plays and our chemistry being better, that's the difference."
SU crushed then-No. 23 Clemson, a two-point favorite, 41-0 in the Gator Bowl in front of 67,940 fans in Jacksonville, Fla. McNabb took home MVP honors after throwing for 309 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for a score in a standout performance to cap his first season under center.
If Syracuse maintains its up-tempo offense and Shafer is unable to spread his hay fever to the Clemson playmakers, the Tigers could very well leave the Dome with more than just a ‘W.’
But when Whigham was asked if Boyd has any noticeable weaknesses, he couldn’t think of any. "He’s a good quarterback," Whigham said, "because he doesn’t have many."
Speaking of the crowd, it needs to be loud. Make the Dome a home field advantage for once. The crowd is going to be big, so it might as well be loud, too. The crowd needs to get into Tajh Boyd’s head and rattle the Heisman hopeful. This does not just fall on the student section, but the entire stadium.
"We’ve got to get the ball out quick in this game," Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins said. "If they blitz the whole game, we’re just going to throw hot and do the little things they can’t stop. If you blitz the whole game, the defense is soft somewhere."
Should the Orange prevail against Clemson, a trend of big-time upsets — most of which are in the Carrier Dome — dating back to Shafer's first season as the defensive coordinator would continue. Once a year, it feels like, SU ups its game and knocks off the biggest name on its home schedule. Could Clemson be next?
"I was going to take my official to the Wagner game," said Roberts, a three-star offensive lineman from De La Salle Institute in Chicago. "But (White) changed his mind, the coaches did. They wanted me to come to this game just because they knew it would be a better atmosphere, a bigger game, people doubting them."
"It's great to be back," he said before kickoff. "This is where I should be. I'm always going to be a Cleveland Brown. I love this city and I love these fans."
Given that, I'm expecting the number to land in the mid-to-upper 40s for an announced attendance.
On the bright side of things, Clemson gets to travel into a new region and play in front of a new audience. This is the first time Clemson has played in the state of New York in 60 or so years. It is also the first time our Tigers have played the ‘Cuse since New Year’s Day, 1996 (man, that was a bad day).
The topics of the week? Well, we've got the Syracuse-Clemson game, Jim Boeheim's take on paying college athletes and, of course, the ever-developing saga of the Syracuse Chiefs.
In addition to McCullough, the Class of 2014 prospect who has already committed to Syracuse, the camp will include Thomas Bryant and Derrick Jones. Bryant, the 6-9 forward from Huntington Prep (by way of Bishop Kearney in Rochester) and Jones, the 6-6 forward from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), are two players in the Class of 2015 that Orange coaches are pursuing.
3) Syracuse - Jim Boeheim and the Orange do not have as much guard depth now that Brandon Triche has graduated and Michael Carter-Williams was drafted eleventh overall by the Philadelphia 76ers last June, but New York's College Team makes up for it with the best frontcourt in the nation, a unit led by arguably the most underrated player in the country, that being explosive senior wing C.J. Fair.