Teams: Syracuse Orange (3-3, 1-1) vs. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 4-0)
Day & Time: Friday, October 13, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse opened as 21.5-point underdogs, and that’s risen to 22.5 points in most places. Bovada hasn’t put up a line yet, likely waiting for news on Kelly Bryant.
TV/Streaming: ESPN! (or WatchESPN, for streamers)
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Clemson blog: Shakin the Southland
Rivalry: 1-4, in favor of Clemson
Current Streak: Tigers, 4
First Meeting: Both teams headed to the Gator Bowl at 8-3 in 1996, but only one squad would leave with a resounding 41-0 victory. Behind freshman phenom Donovan McNabb, the Orangemen ran right past the Tigers in first quarter and never looked back. Following the game, a young “Jimmy” Slater wrote into the Syracuse Post-Standard about the disrespect SU exhibited by not honoring Clemson’s Southern heritage and allowing them to score some garbage time points.
Last Meeting: Time is a flat circle. Clemson won 54-0 down at their place last year, knocking Eric Dungey out for the season in the process. It was a bummer of a game and it set us on course for the rest of a sadly lost second half of the season.
Head Coaches: SU: Dino Babers (2nd year, 7-11), Clemson: Dabo Swinney (10th year, 95-28)
Coach Bio: William Christopher Swinney played wide receiver at Alabama, then spent the next eight seasons on the Crimson Tide coaching staff. He departed to work in real estate for a couple years, only to head to Clemson in 2003 as a wide receivers coach. He’d end up the interim in 2008, coaching the Tigers to a 4-3 record down the stretch (with a Gator Bowl loss). Since taking the permanent job in 2009, his teams have won six bowl games, five division titles, three ACC championships and one national title.
Last Year: We know how to lose to Pitt, yet have never been gifted with a national title for the trouble. Clemson’s loss to the Panthers ended up knocking them down to the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, giving them (an easily dispatched) Ohio State instead of Washington. They’d beat Alabama in the closing seconds of the National Championship, avenging a loss to the Tide the year before. It was a good game, begrudgingly, though I preferred the original edition.
Last Game: Wake Forest put up a fight, but not enough of one to truly challenge Clemson. The Tigers won 28-14, though also lost quarterback Kelly Bryant to an ankle injury. Dabo says he’s alright, and that seems likely. It’s still worth looking at how said injury may inhibit his running ability, however.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Quite a few names to choose from here, but let’s go with defensive end Austin Bryant. The junior has notched 19 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and five sacks this year, along with an interception and a forced fumble. This entire line can cause quite a bit of chaos, but he’s likely to do the most damage and poses the biggest (direct) risk to Eric Dungey’s production.
If Syracuse Wins: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA... prepare yourself for a week of schadenfreude the likes of which this website has never seen before. Also, Dino Babers is going to give a post-game speech people will be quoting at weddings, births, funerals and any other event for years to come. Please let this happen.
If Syracuse Loses: I mean, we’re not going to be happy about it, but we wouldn’t necessarily be surprised, would we? Still several more tries for upsets this year. Just leave the game without any significant injuries.
Fun Fact No. 1: Though Clemson has had more success on the field historically -- though really, not by a large margin until recently -- Syracuse is the only one of these two schools with a Heisman Trophy winner (Ernie Davis). It’s not hard to argue we should have three of those, by the way... The Tigers have an argument for Deshaun Watson in recent years.
Fun Fact No. 2: Maybe you forgot about this, since BC football is irrelevant, but the Tigers and Eagles have a rivalry trophy: the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy. If you were asked to name every rivalry trophy in college football, this one would be the most oft-forgotten.