Against our better judgement, the remainder of the Syracuse Orange football schedule will occur as planned (for now, anyway). That trek begins with a trip down to South Carolina to face the top-ranked Clemson Tigers. Hooray?
Before the game kicks off at noon ET on Saturday (televised on ACC Network), the TNIAAM dares to predict what’s going to happen in this mismatch for the ages.
Clemson 63, Syracuse 13
Assuming a loss is very much a given at this point, the Orange should play to slow the tempo and give the run game a shot at driving this bus. Sean Tucker’s a great back, and deserves a showcase. Maybe this isn’t the game for it, given Clemson’s strength up front. But might as well see if he’s up to the task. It’s a far better alternative than trying to have Rex Culpepper throw screens to blanketed receivers, and it eats up more clock. I think SU’s lone touchdown comes well into garbage time — maybe by way of one of its young QBs.
Clemson 59, Syracuse 20
Last week Dabo Swinney showed he doesn’t care about sportsmanship so while I think he’ll pull his starters early in this one, he’ll spend the second half “running the offense” while giving a number of players a chance to score against the Orange. No sour grapes there either. You know he wants to be the fun HC and rewarding players with snaps doesn’t hurt him on the recruiting trail. Even with the backups in, Clemson’s going to stay aggressive on defense so I think Syracuse hits a couple of big plays against the reserves to give us some small sliver of hope to cling to heading into next week.
Clemson 63, Syracuse 14
Channeling my inner Jim Ross, this one should be a slobbernocker. And not in the good way. This may be the best defensive front the Orange have seen and it’s definitely the best offense that they have seen. The Tigers just boatraced a team that the Orange beat at home. I know crazy things can happen, but I’m having a hard time seeing a way that the Orange can come out of this one in a remotely close manner. That said, playing a squad like this can show the young guns what they’re up against when they want to play the best of the best.
Clemson 56, Syracuse 17
I don’t know if ‘Cuse will come out conservative, but I know that Travis Etienne and Lawrence will almost guarantee that the Orange defense is off the field just as quick as the offense has been in recent weeks. I do think that Dabo will use this game as a chance to do what he normally does in a season and rest his starters in order to preserve them over the long haul. With the backups in, the tempo for Clemson slows, and Syracuse is able to scratch across some points on the back of Tucker.
Clemson 62, Syracuse 10
The last thing Syracuse needs after two rough losses is to face a team with the potential for explosive offensive points. Clemson has, by some margin, the best offense that Syracuse has and will face this season. This is where youth and inexperienced will be greatly exposed and the defense might gas out even earlier than we’ve seen before. The best result that Syracuse can hope for is for the first team players to not get injured. An added bonus would be if players can prove they deserve playing time later in the season, as Babers and the coaching staff will certainly looking at who’s willing to make a play against opponents who are more physical than Syracuse’s personnel.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Clemson game?
This poll is closed
SYRACUSE! WE’RE GOING TO THE ‘SHIP!
Clemson, which makes sense