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Syracuse football opponents recap: Week 9

Spoiler: Florida State did not do well.

Florida State v Boston College Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange took a week off — outside of a win over the Fightin’ Byes, of course — but their opponents did not. And looking at their respective results in week nine, it starts giving us a more accurate picture of how Syracuse’s final four games may shake out on the way to (potential) bowl eligibility. Looking at previous opponents also lets us better contextualize what we’ve actually seen through eight games.

So how’d Syracuse’s opponents fare in week nine? And how might that affect SU going forward?

Week Nine

Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (5-3, 3-0)

Result: Bye week

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (3-5, 1-3)

Result: Bye week

Central Michigan Chippewas (4-4, 2-2)

Result: Bye week

LSU Tigers (6-2, 3-1)

Result: Bye week

North Carolina State v Notre Dame Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

N.C. State Wolfpack (6-2, 4-0)

Result: 35-14 loss to Notre Dame

Though State looked plenty impressive in the early parts of this season, they also hadn’t faced an opponent like Notre Dame. The Irish pounded the Wolfpack on the ground (318 yards) and forced them to pass on the other end to detrimental results. NC State didn’t look terrible, but they also looked physically dominated by a bigger Notre Dame team in the trenches. Still, the Pack’s in solid position to keep in the Atlantic race.

Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5, 2-3)

Result: 31-14 win over Virginia

Since falling to Syracuse a couple weeks back, Pitt’s reeled off two straight wins behind Ben Dinucci at quarterback helping stabilize the offense a bit — plus an offense that suddenly looks like it has a pulse. Beating Duke and UVA is progress for the Panthers, who do have some real designs on making the postseason again.

Clemson Tigers (7-1, 5-1)

Result: 24-10 win over Georgia Tech

After a bye and some early back-and-forth, Clemson’s defense buckled down and helped deliver an impressive victory over the Yellow Jackets. Tech’s run game was largely held in check, while Kelly Bryant appeared healthy in a bounce-back game, accounting for over 260 total yards and two scores.

Miami v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Miami Hurricanes (7-0, 5-0)

Result: 24-19 win over North Carolina

North Carolina’s been garbage this year, but that didn’t stop Miami from letting them hang around until the end anyway (as has become the norm for Hurricanes opponents). Despite a strong passing game and four forced turnovers, it still took recovering an onside kick to make this work in Miami’s favor. I’m just not sure what to think of this team anymore.

Florida State Seminoles (2-5, 2-4)

Result: 35-3 loss to Boston College

It’s been quite some time since Florida State was embarrassed like they were against the Eagles on Friday. The ‘Noles were listless against BC’s defense, failing to move the ball on the ground at all and getting nothing from the passing game either. Boston College didn’t really do much on the other end to beat them. FSU just sort of gave up, inexplicably. Let’s hope this is a trend.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-3, 2-3)

Result: 42-32 win over Louisville

Revenge finally comes for #WakeyLeaks, as John Wolford throws five scores and runs for another and the Deacons roll. Though it wasn’t Wake’s most impressive defensive showing, it did what it needed to, turning Louisville over once and registering seven sacks. We knew the defense would be good this year, but the offensive fireworks have been a surprise. Even against the Cards, it’s impressive.

Louisville v Wake Forest Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Louisville Cardinals (5-4, 2-4)

Result: 42-32 loss to Wake Forest

Lamar Jackson’s still as good as they come, but without much help from the run game, offensive line or defense, he’s really the only weapon this team has anymore. His line lets him get hit repeatedly. The run game had less than 30 yards without him. The Cards are likely to get to bowl eligibility, but this defense’s clear struggles (above all else) could still derail that.

Boston College Eagles (5-4, 3-3)

Result: 35-3 win over Florida State

A win over a 2-5 Florida State team isn’t worth rushing the field, but BC’s defense dominated the Seminoles and got a very impressive victory at home on Friday night. AJ Dillon’s become a workhorse back as well in recent weeks, with 149 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries. He’s the main reason this team’s been able to convert opponents’ struggles into points (even without an explosive attack of their own).

Week nine opponent W-L: 5-3

2017 total W-L: 59-38