It’s week five, and the Syracuse Orange are STILL undefeated. On Saturday, SU puts its 4-0 (1-0 in the ACC) record on the line against the Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0). While we beat Clemson last time around, this one’s on the road and their quarterback will actually be fully healthy at the start of the game — for whatever that’s worth.
Las Vegas is under the impression this will be a blowout, as the line as has drifted up from 21 points to 25.5 as of Thursday night (likely to help encourage some more action on the Orange). Over/under is also around 66, if you’re interested.
Before things kick off at noon ET tomorrow at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium (and on ABC), the TNIAAM staff predicts what might happen in this one...
Clemson 38, Syracuse 28
This will be Syracuse’s biggest test for their defense this year so far, even against a true freshman QB. I’m not entirely sure they can hold them down for good but I think this is a better defense than we saw at the beginning of the season. The Clemson defensive front will be a hell of a test for the Orange as well. But I think Eric Dungey and Co. can at least put up a few on them. I think the Orange have a shot, but it’s definitely a long one down in Death Valley.
Clemson 45, Syracuse 28
I think Clemson is just too talented a team for Syracuse to take down on the road—in Death Valley of all places. This team has been good in the past but incapable of winning on the road and we haven’t seen anything yet to tell us that anything is different this time around. I also think people are overblowing potential hiccups Trevor Lawrence may have in his first start. A 17-point loss could still put the Orange within striking distance of the Top 25.
Clemson 42, Syracuse 20
The Tigers are loaded on both sides of the ball with playmakers, they’re at home, and they have at least a little added motivation. (Dabo has certainly reminded his troops about their loss in the Dome last year.) For SU to have any shot, it needs to get the pass rush going early on defense and it needs Eric Dungey to keep drives alive—avoid too many three-and-outs, especially in the first quarter. I think that can happen here and there, but not for all four quarters. Now, this doesn’t mean the Orange are a typical patsy here. It’s just that there’s Clemson and its talent and then there’s everyone else in the ACC.
Clemson 38, Syracuse 23
It’s imperative that Syracuse gets out to a quick start and keeps the crowd feeling uneasy and the Tigers the ones under pressure. Controlling the ball with quick passes to slow the Clemson rush would be an ideal way to operate in the 1st half. Dabo made a gutsy (and correct) call handing the reins to Trevor Lawrence, but now there’s no safety net so forcing him to play from behind is how Syracuse needs this one to play out. In the end I think the talent gap is big but the final score doesn’t reflect how close this game is throughout.
Clemson 35, Syracuse 28
We’re going to come out of this game incredibly annoyed, as I see Eric Dungey doing all he can to drag this team into the game, only to watch miscues that have plagued the team all year (drops, secondary) be the difference. I think the defensive line plays better than the score suggests, and special teams continues to do all they can to win the field position battle, which lays the foundation for team succeeding going into the most important stretch of the season.
Clemson 42, Syracuse 27
I’d love to entertain a Syracuse upset here, but the mistakes have been growing over the last couple weeks, and I think they finally bite us against a VERY good Tigers team. Trevor Lawrence tests the SU secondary early, and Clemson’s line also gets after Eric Dungey pretty frequently. The Orange end up covering, but without the usual fast start, plus some turnovers, they just can’t keep up with Clemson. That’s fine, however, as long as no one gets injured.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Clemson game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse WINS AND OHMYGOD WE’RE A TOP 15 TEAM NOW!!!
Syracuse loses by a 20 or fewer points and it’s fine, we can build on this
Syracuse loses by 21 or more and we’re a little less confident than we were going in