Yes, the season’s still happening. The Syracuse Orange (1-5, 1-4) host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-2, 2-2) this weekend and could really use a win following three straight losses. As we know, that’s easier said than done given the slew of injuries the team has suffered and just general offensive ineptitude of late. Still, perhaps last week’s better-than-expected showing vs. Clemson yields some positive results going forward...
Before yet another nooner on the ACC Network this Saturday, the TNIAAM staff makes their predictions about what’s likely to happen when these teams face off.
Wake Forest 30, Syracuse 21
While I think that Syracuse’s secondary can actually keep the middling Wake Forest passing attack in check, the bigger problem will be the run game. SU didn’t look half-bad considering the competition last week, but given what we’ve seen against other foes like Liberty and Duke, it would seem reasonable that the Orange are still susceptible to being carved up on the ground. The Deacons have at least two capable backs, so leaning on them — and avoiding throwing the ball into the waiting arms of ‘Cuse defensive backs — is probably the path to a Wake victory in the Dome, unfortunately.
Syracuse 21, Wake Forest 17
I’m purely basing this prediction on the assumption that Sean Tucker and Trill Williams plays. I think the presence of both of those guys is enough to turn the tide in SU’s favor. If even one of those guys can’t go on Saturday, it’s a Syracuse loss, easily. We know the two problem areas the Orange need to focus on: controlling Wake Forest’s run game and doing their best to contain Carlos Basham Jr. Tucker and Williams greatly help in both of those areas, and just having them on the field could help Syracuse do just enough to squeak out a win. However, the more likely option is that one of those guys can’t play and we’re looking at another loss for the Orange. But why not stay positive for at least one more week?
Wake Forest 27, Syracuse 17
I’m trying to be a rational optimist here and I just don’t see how the Syracuse offense is able to keep pace again this week. Even with Sean Tucker back we’ve yet to see any consistency in 2020 and I think in the end Sam Hartman is able to move the ball enough for Wake to hold off the Orange late in the game.
Syracuse 24, Wake Forest 21
The team has put up at least 20 points in the last four games. I know they’ve had some help from the defense a few times in there, but if they can ride Tucker on the ground and keep Rex within a comfort zone, I think they can put some points on the board. With some help back in the secondary (assuming Trill is healthy), and what they did against Clemson last week, the Orange control the Wake run enough to edge this one out.
Wake Forest 24, Syracuse 18
If you’re Syracuse, you take a page out of the old school Doug Marrone playbook here: keep the ball on the ground and in the air for short passes to keep the ball as much as possible. Wake is certainly easier to do this against than other teams they’ve played, so I think there’s a chance this actually works. However, turnovers have plagued the Orange since Rex’s takeover of the QB position, and I think more will happen this week, to the point it costs the Orange the game.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Wake Forest game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and all hope isn’t lost just yet!
Wake Forest, and... welp.