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Syracuse football opponents recap: Week 11

We didn’t hod up our end of the bargain, but how’d our opponents fare?

Virginia v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange lost a third straight game this weekend, which is not great. At all. So now we’re left in the unenviable spot of needing two wins in two games in order to make a bowl game. That’s not great. But it’s sort of feasible, despite the relative success our future opponents seem to be experiencing right now.

So how’d Syracuse’s opponents fare in week 11? And how might that affect SU going forward? We take a quick look...

Week 11

Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (7-3, 5-0)

Result: 28-27 win over Duquesne

CCSU hasn’t lost since September and now they’re your 2017 Northeast Conference champs. Considering the rocky start for the Blue Devils, this would definitely count as a bit of a surprise — and it almost didn’t happen on Saturday, given the tight margin with the Dukes. Down 27-14 with seven minutes to play, they needed a furious comeback and somehow got it. Impressive stuff for a team that looked listless vs. SU.

Middle Tennessee v Florida International Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

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

Result: 35-21 win over Charlotte

Brent Stockstill’s back in action again, and with that, the Raiders are winning again. He had 255 passing yards and three touchdowns against Charlotte to get MTSU back to .500 this weekend. Since he’s been back, the team’s looked far more explosive and that was the case once again here. They scored 28 in the first half and coasted from there. Bowl eligibility is likely now, which must be nice for them.

Central Michigan Chippewas (6-4, 4-2)

Result: 42-30 win over Eastern Michigan

Not only did CMU beat rival Eastern Michigan last week, but they also clinched bowl eligibility. The Chippewas have won three straight and have looked impressive doing it. The offense seemed to have righted with Shane Morris at the helm, and there’s actually an outside shot they can win the MAC West with some help. CMU’s defense lent a big helping hand vs. the Eagles too, with five turnovers. Those certainly come in handy, right? Defenses...

LSU Tigers (7-3, 4-2)

Result: 33-10 win over Arkansas

Arkansas has been trash this year, but LSU did what you do to bad teams (when you’re a good team): beat them, soundly. The Tigers held the Hogs in check while their running game did all the heavy lifting. Derrius Guice had nearly 150 yards and three touchdowns. Danny Etling threw for two scores, but really didn’t have to. LSU seems like a good bet to win nine games this year.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

N.C. State Wolfpack (7-3, 5-1)

Result: 17-14 win over Boston College

State tried desperately to give this game away against Boston College, with three missed field goals, and a truly bad game from Ryan Finely. But the Pack defense rose to the occasion, shut down whatever offense the Eagles seemingly had going in recent weeks and got a (difficult) win.

Pittsburgh Panthers (4-6. 2-4)

Result: 34-31 loss to North Carolina

In a Thursday battle of two not-great ACC teams, Pitt fell short against UNC and its suddenly capable offense. The Panthers couldn’t really throw the ball, and also didn’t try to -- instead choosing to lean on its capable run game (265 yards). Defensively, they struggled mightily to halt the Heels’ attack, though the difference could also be chalked up to a kick return score by Anthony Ratliff-Williams.

Clemson Tigers (9-1, 7-1)

Result: 31-14 win over Florida State

Clemson followed its typical script to a comfortable win: run the ball well and get after the opposing quarterback. Five different players logged sacks and three Tigers players managed 40 yards or more on the ground. Even when the ‘Noles looked to be applying some pressure in the second half to make it 17-14, Clemson leaned on its strengths and ran to a win in the fourth. They’ll play in the ACC title game once again.

Miami Hurricanes (9-0, 6-0)

Result: 41-8 win over Notre Dame

Miami started hot and never cooled in a dominating primetime victory over Notre Dame. The box score shows a strong rushing effort for the ‘Canes, and sure, that was part of it. But the game was about the defense, causing turnovers and announcing the return of the swagger the U used to display every week. We had a very real chance to beat this team a few weeks ago, as you’ll recall. Now they’re stomping the life out of top-10 teams.

Florida State Seminoles (3-6, 3-5)

Result: 31-14 loss to Clemson

Whatever Cam Akers did to find success against Syracuse, he sure didn’t repeat it against the Tigers. Akers had just 40 yards against Clemson, and looked fairly pedestrian with the rest of the offense. FSU’s defense played reasonably well, and helped keep them in the contest by pressuring Kelly Bryant and registering tackles for loss. It just wasn’t enough with an offense that could move the ball.

NCAA Football: Virginia at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals (6-4, 3-4)

Result: 38-21 win over Virginia

A 17-14 lead against a bowl-bound Hoos team at half made things look tepid at best for Louisville. But then Lamar Jackson started doing Lamar Jackson things, AND the defense actually stood their ground for the second half. Jackson finished with over 340 total yards and four touchdowns. This win was the best the Cards have looked since a 55-10 W over Murray State months ago.

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

Result: 17-14 loss to NC State

Without Harold Landry, one would think BC would struggle on that side of the ball, but they looked just fine against NC State holding Ryan Finley in check all afternoon. The Eagles were the beneficiaries of some missed field goals, sure. But AJ Dillon still ran for nearly 200 yards. The defense still managed six tackles for loss. And despite losing Anthony Brown to injury, they were still up 14-10 after three quarters. If we’re 5-6 going into the 12th game vs. BC, I’m still very concerned.

Week 11 opponent W-L: 9-3

2017 total W-L: 74-44