Last week didn’t go too well for the Syracuse Orange football team (1-1, 0-0) and week three’s opponent, the No. 1 Clemson Tigers (2-0, 1-0) could provide a second helping of some unfortunate football results for SU. That said, we’ve thought as much for the last two years, and we’ve wound up with two of the best football games of recent vintage (including 2017’s thrilling upset win for the Orange).
Before this one gets going on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, the TNIAAM staff weighs in on whether or not Syracuse can do the unthinkable at the Carrier Dome again.
Clemson 49, Syracuse 21
I think there are a million reasons to believe that Syracuse won’t beat Clemson on Saturday and almost all of them are right. But in my opinion, the main thing that makes me inclined to believe the Tigers will win handily is that Tommy DeVito is not comfortable yet. His numbers improved against Maryland, but he has not yet tasted success or developed the confidence to take on a giant like Clemson.
Clemson 45 Syracuse 24
I don’t think this game is as close as the score shows, but I do think the first 15 minutes are interesting when ’Cuse comes out swinging and Clemson attempts to hold back some plays. A second and third quarter of Travis Etienne up the middle and Trevor Lawrence shredding the deep middle of the field on play action puts the Tigers up comfortably enough that the 4th quarter is a non-contest. The real game will be playing the over/under on how many students are in the white-out student section at the start of the third quarter.
Clemson 41, Syracuse 30
I think the Orange are able to put last week behind them and come better prepared to compete against the #1 team in the country in front of a packed Dome. Syracuse can’t afford early turnovers and I think being at home helps the offense to find a better rhythm. Like last year, Clemson’s going to put the ball in Travis Etienne’s hands down the stretch and he’ll help them run clock and leave with a close than the final score victory.
Clemson 42, Syracuse 28
I think Syracuse comes out and improves on a lot of the things that plagued them in the early running during the Maryland game, but ultimately doesn’t have the dogs to stick with the best team in the country this week. I see the offense improving and the defense figuring things out a little, but being overmatched man for man. While the upset would be great, its not going to happen this week. This may be a week we look back on as the start to fixing a few of the ailments in the offensive line and linebacking corps though, which pays dividends later in the year.
Clemson 45, Syracuse 21
Syracuse isn’t the team we saw last week, but they’re also not the team that played Clemson tight down in Death Valley last season. Somewhere in the middle lies what we’ll actually see, and that’s how we get to SU covering but still losing by 20-plus points. This Clemson offense is a juggernaut if needed, and against a team that’s pushed them to their limits for two straight years, they’re probably looking to prove something. Unless Syracuse’s linebackers suddenly make some major strides, the run game seems likely to chew us up all evening.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Clemson game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and WELCOME TO THE ACC DRIVER’S SEAT!
Clemson by 1-10 points: We can work with this
Clemson by 11-20 points: We covered
Clemson by 20+ points: Next game, please