The Syracuse Orange have managed to play up to competition this year, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy sledding from here on. SU’s remaining schedule still features plenty of difficult foes, and they’ll need to get past at least two of them to get back to a bowl game. We’ll be using this space to look out at what our past and future foes accomplished this past week, and assess what’s next for the Orange.
So how’d Syracuse’s opponents fare in week eight? And how might that affect SU going forward?
Central Connecticut Blue Devils (5-3, 3-0)
Result: 31-14 win over Bryant
Following the 0-3 start to the year, CCSU has turned things completely around. The Blue Devils jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first and never looked back. It’s impressive that despite a lack of real gaudy numbers, the offense has shifted into a different gear and the defense is doing its part too and earning necessary wins for a program turnaround.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (3-5, 1-3)
Result: 38-10 loss to Marshall
And MTSU keeps getting smoked. Marshall used a 24-7 second quarter to put the Blue Raiders away pretty early. The run game didn’t exist, Marshall sacked them six times and Middle Tennessee looked as hapless as they have in every game since Brent Stockstill went out with an injury. This loss isn’t aging well but might’ve put the Orange on the right track.
Central Michigan Chippewas (4-4, 2-2)
Result: 56-9 win over Ball State
Ball State’s not a terrible team, but CMU made them look like one on Saturday. After over a month of Shane Morris failing to look great at quarterback, the redshirt senior seemed to revert back to the player he was against Kansas. His four touchdowns set the tone, and he was backed up by a very strong rushing attack (256 yards on 45 carries). CMU might make a bowl yet.
LSU Tigers (6-2, 3-1)
Result: 40-24 win over Ole Miss
Be very glad we didn’t have to face a full-strength Derrius Guice back in September. The LSU running back had 276 rushing yards on just 22 carries on Saturday, tearing up the Rebels. He was also assisted by the Tigers’ defense, which picked off Ole Miss three times. The Rebels were never out of it, but also didn’t look great.
N.C. State Wolfpack (6-1, 4-0)
Pittsburgh Panthers (3-5, 1-3)
Result: 24-17 win over Duke
Pitt’s passing game was garbage, but they ran incredibly well (336 yards on the ground) and forced two Duke turnovers. After a strong start to the year, Duke’s Daniel Jones hasn’t lived up, and the Panthers took full advantage. This isn’t proof the Panthers are a great team. But it’s proof they can beat peer programs.
Clemson Tigers (6-1, 4-1)
Florida State Seminoles (2-4, 2-3)
Result: 31-28 loss to Louisville
FSU’s offense has been stalled all year, and despite some better production against Louisville, they still picked up another loss. The ‘Noles turned it over three times, couldn’t move the ball much on the ground and were inconsistent passing (while James Blackman was under constant pressure). They’re still more talented than SU, but it’s tough to say if that means “better” right now.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-3, 1-3)
Result: 38-24 loss to Georgia Tech
John Wolford looked pretty good passing the ball against Tech, with 252 yards and two touchdowns. But come the second half, it just wasn’t enough to keep up with the Yellow Jackets’ rushing attack. That’s not surprising, but the offensive output from Wake is. Beating the Deacons this year doesn’t just require scoring 20 points or so.
Louisville Cardinals (5-3, 2-3)
Result: 31-28 win over Florida State
Lamar Jackson was “held in check” while tallying about 330 yards against the ‘Noles. FSU’s anemic offense was able to move the ball, but still not enough to keep up. Louisville’s attack was definitely slowed by the Seminoles, and the Cards’ defense has holes. Louisville’s defense needs a fix quickly.
Boston College Eagles (4-4, 2-3)
Result: 41-10 win over Virginia
BC’s finally figured something out on offense. Young quarterback Anthony Brown had his best game so far — 275 passing yards and three scores -- and the run game had 237 yards. The Eagles’ tough defense also turned the Hoos over three times. This was a complete domination by Boston College, the likes of which we haven’t seen from them in awhile. We might want to reevaluate that end-of-season game.
Week eight opponent W-L: 7-3
2017 total W-L: 54-35