For the third time in three years, the Syracuse Orange football team is hosting the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the Carrier Dome. So the same weirdness between these two teams always applies, of course. But add to it the fact that we still have a lot of questions about the SU offense, and Wake Forest is ranked and undefeated. Sounds like another recipe for something random to occur (or a blowout to happen — either/or).
Before things get going at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, the TNIAAM staff takes a crack at predicting what happens in this game.
Syracuse 27, Wake Forest 23
Putting my perfect record on the line with this one but I just think there’s something dumb about to happen. I mean we’ve seen dumb the last three weeks but dumb in the sense that a game the Orange would seem to have no business winning they find a way. I think Wake is going to stack the box and dare Syracuse to beat them on the outside and somehow the Orange will move the ball enough to keep the Wake offense on the sideline. A score from the defense is enough to push Syracuse far enough ahead to completely ruin the ACC’s CFP hopes....but keep Sean Tucker’s Heisman invite campaign going.
Wake Forest 27 Syracuse 24
I usually stay pretty close to the altar of SP+, who likes the Orange by 0.1 points over Wake this weekend, but I think SP+ is underrating Wake and overrating the Syracuse run game. While FSU wasn’t able to stuff the Orange all game, they were in key downs (3rd and Red Zone) and forced Syracuse into tough situations that they did not convert and it cost them the game. Wake Forest is a team that thrives on this kind of game strategy, and I have not seen enough evidence that the Orange can pass their way out of tough situations to believe they can beat a good team.
Wake Forest 31, Syracuse 27
The Orange put up a fight for most of the game, but are limited by a lack of verticality (it’s not just the USMNT in that boat). While Syracuse puts up a fight, Clawson ultimately wears down the defense with a few too many sustained drives compared to Orange three and outs, and the Deacs take it late, in another Syracuse nail biting ending. Tucker will get his against an average defense, and if the Orange can find another source of offense reliably, they pull the upset, but I don’t see it.
Wake Forest 38, Syracuse 27
Wow, I suck at predictions.
This could turn into a track meet in a weird way like the Florida State game. There’s been gaps in both team’s defenses this season. Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader could still cause problems with their feet, but the Syracuse secondary hasn’t faced a throwing threat this year like Sam Hartman. The Wake Forest defense has graded out all that well in ACC play, but the Orange offense is probably too one-dimensional to take advantage of that fact. Syracuse can’t keep up the massive play type difference between the run and pass game if they want to succeed in conference games.
Wake Forest 31, Syracuse 23
Since Wake has more tape on both Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker running the football, I’m curious if Syracuse’s offense can really replicate some of the things that worked on the ground against Florida State — specifically, Sharder’s ability to move the pocket and occupy a defender. If the offense can look proficient and SU can avoid mistakes, I think they have a shot to pull off an upset. But the Deacs don’t give things away, and this year’s Orange squad isn’t necessarily prone to causing turnovers like they have been the last few seasons.
Now it’s your turn...
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Wake Forest?
This poll is closed
Syracuse, and it’s time for a post-game locker room speech!
Wake Forest, and we are who we thought we were