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Syracuse football opponents recap: Week Eight

Running backs run amok in Week 8

NCAA Football: Louisville at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange lost another game on Friday night, and now the schedule gets far more harrowing the rest of the way as there are numerous questions about SU. Even if the same’s true about many opponents, there’s only so many games left to get to six wins, and the Orange’s doubts may outweigh those around every remaining foe. Here’s how everyone on the schedule fared last week:

Liberty Flames (5-2, N/A)

Result: 59-44 win vs. Maine

Homecoming weekend at Liberty is known for winning football games, as the Flames improved to 32-14 all time when bringing its alumni back home. Senior wideout Antonio Gandy-Golden hauled in nine receptions for 149 yards, giving him the most receiving yards in program history with 3,295 and counting. A tough four-game road stretch is up next for Liberty, starting off with the first-ever meeting between the Flames and the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers in Week 9.

Maryland Terrapins (3-4, 1-3)

Result: 34-28 loss vs. Indiana

Junior running back Javon Leake’s career day of 158 rushing yards and two touchdowns weren’t enough for Maryland to add another game to the win column, falling to below .500 yet again. Indiana threw for 334 yards on the day and out-possessed the Terps by over 10 minutes. Maryland will next play undefeated Minnesota in Minneapolis next weekend.

Clemson Tigers (7-0, 5-0)

Result: 45-10 win over Louisville

Junior running back Travis Etienne and the Clemson defense both continued their strong stretch of play in a second straight dominant win over an ACC foe. Etienne ran for 192 yards on 14 attempts — the first time in his career 100-plus yards in three consecutive games since 2018 — while the Louisville offense was held to just 263 total yards. Clemson has now won 68 of its last 70 games against unranked opponents, and will look to make that 69 out of its last 71 next weekend against Boston College.

Western Michigan Broncos (4-4, 2-2)

Result: 34-27 loss at Eastern Michigan

It was a back-and-forth battle for the in-state rivals, as three touchdowns in the final 6:26 resulted in three lead changes — end with the final nail in the coffin for the Broncos by way of a 34-yard pass from the EMU quarterback with 36 seconds to play. Senior running back LeVante Bellamy did his best to carry Western Michigan, running for 113 yards with three scores. Up next is a bout with Bowling Green on Saturday.

Holy Cross Crusaders (3-4, 1-0)

Result: 31-21 loss to Harvard

It was a sad ending to homecoming weekend, as Holy Cross’ early deficit was too much to overcome in the second half — ending their two-game win streak. Crusaders senior tailback Domenic Cozier had 150 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, but 24 first-half points and 37 minutes and 13 seconds of possession by Harvard was enough to seal the deal. The loss was also Holy Cross’ eighth-straight homecoming defeat. They’ll next host Colgate for family weekend on Saturday.

Florida State Seminoles (3-4, 2-3)

Result: 22-20 loss at Wake Forest

Seminole kicker’s Ricky Aguayo had a go-ahead attempt from 50 yards out sail to the left with just over two minutes remaining, giving the win to Wake Forest on Saturday. Junior running back Cam Akers had a career day — 30 carries, 199 total yards and two scores — but a third-quarter fumble took at least three points off the board and halted Florida State’s momentum despite a 14-12 lead. The Seminoles will host a visiting Orange squad on Saturday as a part of their homecoming weekend.

Boston College Eagles (4-3, 2-2)

Result: 45-24 win against NC State

The Eagles ran rampant on the Wolfpack defense this past weekend, totaling 523 yards (429 on the ground) as they improved to 4-3 on the season and .500 in conference play. Junior running back AJ Dillon was another rusher on Cuse’s schedule to go off in Week 8; carrying the ball 34 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles also converted on 60 percent of their third-down attempts and won the time of possession battle too. Next up is a bout with Clemson on Saturday night.

Duke Blue Devils (4-3, 2-2)

Result: 48-14 loss at Virginia

Duke failed to score more than 14 points for the first time since its opening game against Alabama, as the Cavalier defense held the Blue Devils to a 2-of-14 performance on third downs and just 118 passing yards. On the flip side, the Duke defense allowed 307 yards of total offense and was on the field for nearly 35 minutes of play. Looking to move past the embarassing loss, Duke will travel to UNC next weekend.

Louisville Cardinals (4-3, 2-2)

Result: 45-10 loss vs. Clemson

The Cardinals struggled to get anything going on offense this past weekend, passing for only 107 yards and converting just five of its 14 third-down attempts. Louisville came out the gates strong on defense, forcing two early interceptions from sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence and trailing just 3-0 after 15 minutes, but the Tigers eventually picked things up and blew past the Cardinals. Another daunting task stands in their way next week, as the Cardinals host Virginia.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-1, 2-1)

Result: 22-20 win against Florida State

Two fourth-quarter scores helped overcome a 14-12 deficit for Wake Forest, despite leading the game with a 9-0 lead into the second quarter. Sophomore kicker Nick Sciba knocked the pigskin through the uprights on five difference occasions, aiding the Demon Deacons in their first win over Florida State since the 2011 season. They’ll get their second bye week this weekend before hosting NC State on Nov. 2.

Week 4 opponent W-L: 4-6

2019 total W-L: 49-30