Certainly you remember four years ago, when the Syracuse Orange football team hosted the Clemson Tigers at the Carrier Dome on a Friday night in October, and scored a big upset. Well, the ACC wanted to see if they could tempt fate once again by sending the Tigers to Syracuse on an October Friday night yet again. So can we expect another upset?
Before things kick off at 7 p.m. ET from CNY (ESPN for those of us that can’t be there in person), the TNIAAM staff weighs in with its own predictions (and so do you).
Clemson 17, Syracuse 13
While I believe that this is a game Syracuse can win I’m thinking this is another close loss. There will be opportunities for the Orange to hit a deep pass early and they’ll need to convert to take Clemson’s focus off the running game of Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker. We could see both teams struggle to sustain drives against two of the better ACC defenses but I think in the end it’s a defensive touchdown for the Tigers that makes the difference.
Clemson 20, Syracuse 3
Call me #disloyal, but my gut says this is the week the Orange’s predictable and less than dynamic offense ends up really hampering the Orange. Clemson has had a bye week to figure out how to stifle the Cuse rushing attack, and normally I’d be ok predicting a closer score, but special teams for Syracuse have been atrocious, and if Clemson is getting a 45 yard field every drive, they’ll put up enough points to never worry about Cuse.
Clemson 21, Syracuse 17
This one feels weird. Not in a good way or bad way, just weird. Clemson is down but still extremely talented. Their weaknesses are on the interior defensive line and the entire offense. That seems to play to Syracuse’s strengths, but I can’t call for more Friday night magic until we know that Shrader and Tucker can pressure a Brent Venables defense in ways we haven’t seen.
Clemson 19, Syracuse 6
I have very little faith in Syracuse to do the things offensively it needs to do in order to break down the Clemson defense. That means the Syracuse defense will bend just enough for the Tigers to eek away with a win. Who knows - maybe Tucker and Shrader pound the ball enough to take advantage of a banged-up Clemson defensive line. However, the Syracuse offense needs to figure out a way to confuse Brent Venables and his defense.
Clemson 24, Syracuse 20
We know the Tigers aren’t what they usually are, which immediately invites thoughts of another upset. And for what it’s worth, I think this Syracuse team can pull it off — but they just miss doing so here. The Orange rushing attack probably gets stifled early, which will force Garrett Shrader to throw more. If he can complete passes and move the chains while avoiding turnovers, SU has a shot. If not, this is one that could get away from them, even against a Clemson team that struggles on offense.
Now it’s your turn...
Who will win the game between Syracuse and Clemson?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and time for another round of gloating
Clemson, and welp... onto next week