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Syracuse football opponents recap: Week 4

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Our next opponent made a compelling case that they’re good.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

We know the Syracuse Orange’s 2017 football schedule is difficult, and so far just one (LSU) of those very tough opponents is in the rear-view mirror. We’ll be using this space to look out at what our past and future foes accomplished this past week, and assess what’s ahead for the Orange.

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

Week Three

Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (1-3)

Result: 57-6 win over Walsh

This win might as well have been against a guy named Walsh. CCSU hosted a DII team this weekend, and ran all over them to the tune of 254 yards on the ground. You can take even less from this blowout win than any FBS-over-FCS victory.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (2-2)

Result: 24-13 win over Bowling Green

After a difficult showing against Minnesota, the Blue Raiders bounced back against Dino Babers’s old team with a strong defensive stand in the second half. Though Brent Stockstill is still out, John Urzua filled in admirably with 290 passing yards and two scores.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Central Michigan Chippewas (2-2, 0-1)

Result: 31-14 loss to Miami (OH)

CMU’s offense was held in check for the second straight week, as the RedHawks generated pressure all day and grabbed two Shane Morris interceptions. After such a big performance against Kansas a couple games back, these other efforts are starting to look like the anomaly for the Michigan transfer.

NC State Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0)

Result: 27-21 win over Florida State

NC State hadn’t upset FSU since 2012, but took advantage of the ‘Noles breaking in a new quarterback on Saturday. Ryan Finley had enough efficient outing, 230 yards and two scores on 22-of-32 passing. The defense also brought pressure throughout and never let Florida State get into rhythm. The Pack are right on the outside of the top 25 now.

Pittsburgh Panthers (1-3, 0-1)

Result: 35-17 loss to Georgia Tech

Pitt simply isn’t the same team up front this year -- on either side of the football -- and that was proven once again vs. Tech. The Panthers ran for just 37 yards, while allowing 436 on the ground from the Wreck. If not for four lost Georgia Tech fumbles, this game wouldn’t have been nearly as “close.”

Clemson Tigers (4-0, 2-0)

Result: 34-7 win over Boston College

With the Tigers’ passing game held in check against BC, the team leaned on the run game to impressive results. Clemson picked up 342 yards on the ground, which was where nearly all of the offense came from. Even in a “down” game, the Tigers still looked very good against the Eagles.

Miami Hurricanes (2-0)

Result: 52-30 win over Toledo

After shaking off some rust in the first half, the Miami offense came alive in the second, with 42 points in the second against the Rockets. Mark Walton had 204 rushing yards on just 11 carries. Malik Rosier had 333 yards through the air. The Hurricanes looked terrifyingly explosive.

Florida State Seminoles (0-2, 0-1)

Result: 27-21 loss to NC State

Game one was fine for freshman QB James Blackman, as he threw for 278 yards and a touchdown. But the FSU offensive line is still not getting much protection, and this run game is a shadow of its former self. The defense did tally 10 tackles for loss, however — removing some concerns on that side of the ball.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Appalachian State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-0, 1-0)

Result: 20-19 win over Appalachian State

Facing its first “better” opponent, Wake struggled but still road a strong second half to a victory. App State passed on them without much issue (372 yards), while the Deacons did enough to earn the win with a capable passing game. A win’s a win, but questions arose.

Louisville Cardinals (3-1, 1-1)

Result: 42-3 win over Kent State

Lamar Jackson played far from mistake-free football (three turnovers) vs. Kent State, but the Cards still coasted following an early first quarter lead. The defense recorded 14 tackles for loss, and Trumaine Washington scored a touchdown off an interception return. There’s still things to figure out, but UL’s very capable of beating the teams it’s clearly better than.

Boston College Eagles (1-3, 0-2)

Result: 34-7 loss to Clemson

At one point in the third quarter vs. Clemson, BC had managed to tie the game at seven. They’d dragged the Tigers into the mud with them and wouldn’t let them out. Then all hell broke loose and they still lost by 27. The Eagles completely shut down Clemson’s passing game, but never got one of their own going — an still couldn’t stop the run either. Under 250 offensive yards won’t cut it vs. most ACC teams.

Week three opponent W-L: 8-4

2017 total W-L: 26-18