The Syracuse Orange and Duke Blue Devils are both trying to keep bowl hopes intact this Saturday, so a win would certainly help out those goals. Though SU and Duke have struggled of late, you could argue the Orange have struggled more. There’s also the added wrinkle of seeing what this Syracuse defense looks like under new management.
Before this road game gets going on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on ACC Network, the TNIAAM staff weighs in on what’s likely to happen:
Duke 35, Syracuse 24
The SU defense is better than the exorbitant 58 points it allowed against Boston College. That said, I’m not sure it can turn around so quickly under a new interim coordinator, especially against a Duke team that has a solid running attack with both Deon Jackson and quarterback Quentin Harris. Syracuse’s offense will do all it can to keep pace, but it won’t be enough.
Duke 30, Syracuse 21
I do think the defense tightens up a bit, knowing that change has been made and is expected from the players. That being said, Duke is a smart team with a great coaching staff that will easily take advantage of weaknesses. While ’Cuse scores, they won’t be able to score enough on the road.
Duke 28, Syracuse 21
Under new ownership, the defense holds up alright against a team that’s put up a few forty plus point games, but ultimately the offense still can’t string it together. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some life from Syracuse, especially with the Jack Wohlabaugh injury likely causing some inexperience for Duke in the trenches, but not enough to hang my hat on. Duke unfortunately takes advantage of some blown coverage and finds a way to score one or two over the top and take it home.
Duke 31, Syracuse 23
At this point I’m not sure what we’ll get in terms of results from Syracuse. Will we see more younger players getting snaps? Will the defense really try different looks under Steve Stanard? Will the offense try some new things to help the offensive line? While a bowl game is still in reach I think most fans want something to provide optimism for next year and I think we’ll get some glimpses on Saturday but at this point it’s hard to predict a road win.
Duke 34, Syracuse 27
Duke has their own questions on the offensive end, but I don’t think Syracuse’s are corrected enough to pull out the win here — especially since the Blue Devils’ defense has been a capable group on and off this season. The game’s ultimately going to come down to which team is able to establish the run. Based on what we’ve seen all season, Duke’s a safer bet there. Having a mobile QB like Quentin Harris is also likely to shred our linebackers.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Duke game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and we live to fight at least one more week
Duke, and this season’s put out of its misery