The Syracuse Orange (3-3, 1-1) have yet to pull off an upset in 2017. Might Friday night be the moment to spring one on the No. 2 Clemson Tigers (6-0, 4-0). For as much as the Virginia Tech win last year was a huge spark for the program, it lacked the follow-through of tangible progress afterward. A victory here would certainly do that (and put bowl chances very much back on the table).
Syracuse and Clemson will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN (or WatchESPN for those streaming).
So what does the TNIAAM staff think will happen in this game?
Clemson 33, Syracuse 20
Dino Babers has been moving Eric Dungey out of the pocket the last few weeks and it's allowed the Orange to move the ball against strong defenses, so I think Syracuse can stay in this game. I don't think running the ball is going to be an option against this Clemson defensive line and I think eventually a one-dimensional offense will sputter. A lot of the focus will be on Kelly Bryant, but Travis Etienne's explosiveness could be a deciding factor when Clemson has the ball.
Clemson 45, SU 21
Syracuse's defense just can't hold off the second best team around. Things might start promising but as time goes on 'Cuse gets worn down and loses steam. Dungey and Babers throw something crazy together for three touchdowns to keep people happy with the offense. Families come with energy but go home sad.
Clemson 41, Syracuse 10
The Orange just need to get out of this game healthy. Syracuse's offensive line has struggled all season and isn't physically or mentally equipped to block anyone on Clemson's defensive front. Syracuse's defense will make this one interesting for maybe a quarter, but the Tigers are on their way to the National Championship. The only thing worth watching may be the matchups on the outside. Clemson plays a lot of man so one question that may be answered: How good is Steve Ishmael?
Clemson 31, Syracuse 17
Syracuse’s offense is starting to round into form, and the defense is bending far more than it’s breaking. If we were facing a lesser team this week, I’d absolutely buy into a win by virtue of momentum and us repeating the positive progressions from last week. But against an aggressive defense like Clemson’s, which will punish our offensive line all game, I’m not sure the Orange can move the ball enough to stay in it. Kelly Bryant’s mobility will also pose an issue for SU, making all the difference in a game the Tigers just sort of walk through.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Clemson game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse WINS AND I’M RUNNING OUT OF THINGS TO SCREAM WHILE SPRINTING AROUND THE INTERNET
Clemson wins by 1-14 points and we can build on this
Clemson wins by several TDs and SU looks like trash :(