The Syracuse Orange (2-2, 0-1) take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-3) on Saturday at noon ET. As you’ve been reminded numerous times, this one’s taking place at MetLife Stadium. Notre Dame opened as a 13-point favorite, though that line’s floated down to around 10 points over the course of the week.
Here’s a game preview you can read, and here’s another you can listen to. Based on all of that, what does the TNIAAM staff think will happen on Saturday?
The Invisible Swordsman
Notre Dame 45, Syracuse 31
Have you ever been thrown under the bus? You know, a co-worker covers their ass and blames you for not putting a cover on the TPS Report, or a classmate calls you out for not being prepared for a presentation when said classmate spent all night and half of the morning at Flip Night? It makes you simultaneously embarrassed and EXTREMELY pissed-off, right? Like "I am going to destroy that person and show them who's carrying this company/study group" pissed off! We'll the entire Notre Dame team has been basically getting thrown under the bus regularly by Brian Kelly and his staff. And following their shock home loss to Duke, it is a lock guarantee that the Irish players are going to be angry, focused and looking to prove something against a Syracuse team that is still showing growing pains on both sides of the ball. The Meadowlands non-home home game jinx gets us one last time, and The Orange will fall once more in the swamps of New Jersey as Doc Gross' neutral site folly mercifully comes to an end.
Notre Dame 37, Syracuse 29
I'm basing this prediction on the fact that there is still a lot of injury uncertainty on the Syracuse OL. If three starters are missing, I think the Orange are going to continue the pattern of not being able to put together a solid four quarters of offense. Yes, the Irish D has been horrible this year, but the coaching change and all of Brian Kelly's public scolding will probably get that unit to be more focused this weekend. I expect the Orange to fall short of the upset bid because DeShone Kizer makes enough plays to hold them off.
Notre Dame 45, Syracuse 35
The angry momma bear has sharpened its claws and is ready to attack. After an embarrassing loss to Duke that dropped Notre Dame's record to 1-3, the Irish are in desperate need of a bounce back win, and they'll get one Saturday. There has been plenty of talk regarding how poor Notre Dame's defense has been through four games, resulting in the team firing defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, but let's not forget Syracuse's defense has not fared much better. Expect Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer to carve up the Orange's secondary, and, despite Eric Dungey and Amba Etta-Tawo's best efforts, watch as the new-look Irish defense will do just enough to come away with the win.
Notre Dame 52, Syracuse 41
If not for the injuries on both sides of the ball, maybe I’d buy into the upset talk. But with three of five offensive linemen potentially out, and several starting defenders out too, it’s tough to see it happening. Yes, Notre Dame’s 1-3, but they’ve lost to more talented teams than the Orange. And despite the terrible numbers that Irish defense has put up, they still have enough talent to get after the Orange. Plus, there’s the matter of DeShone Kizer, who’s just the type of mobile QB that’s given SU fits this year (and many other before it). Syracuse hangs around for three quarters or so, but the offense stalls at the wrong time. Still, a respectable defeat that shows some growth across the board.
Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 35
Oh man, I really, really want to pick Syracuse to win this game, and I think it's possible, but I also think we're all talking ourselves into the idea of Syracuse winning a bit too much. Notre Dame has looked bad on defense, but as Dino Babers said, better to face them last week when the fire is still burning instead of this week with the fire put out. Plus, they looked bad against decent teams. The one bad team they played, the crushed. Sure, Syracuse is coming off a win, but let's not kid ourselves that we looked like world-beaters. We continued to prove we can put points on the board but we haven't proven we can stop a decent offense. Notre Dame's offense is talented enough to score plenty on us, and while I think we'll give them a good game, I think their talent will win out in the end.
Now it’s your turn...