The Syracuse Orange (4-0, 0-0) open ACC play this Saturday when they host the Clemson Tigers (2-2, 0-2). Can the Orange get to 5-0 and send Clemson to 0-3 in ACC play? Will the Tigers bounce back from an OT home loss to Florida State?
Here’s what we’re watching for on Saturday:
Kevin: New wrinkles to generate offense
I don’t hold out hope that Syracuse can block the Clemson defensive line so how will Jason Beck call plays to move the ball? Will we see him try some new things like moving LeQuint Allen to a wide receiver spot in the formation? Will the Orange try to use Clemson’s aggressiveness against them with misdirection? Is this the week we #SendVillari? This feels like a game where Syracuse will need to put up 30+ points to win so I’ll be looking to see if we go deep into Beck’s bag on Saturday.
Dom: Stopping Mr. Shipley
That would be Will Shipley, Clemson’s top running back option who demolished the Orange on the ground back when then-#14 Syracuse nearly pulled off the road upset. Even with poor quarterback play from the Tigers, Shipley in last year’s game finished with career-highs in carries (27), rushing yards (172 yards) and total yards (242 yards) in addition to two touchdowns. Syracuse’s defensive front has got to limit Shipley’s impact as much as possible for the program to have a chance in this one.
Mike: Feed off the Doubters
If I’m an Orange player who sees how skeptical a lot of the fanbase is about their chances this weekend, I’m feeling a bit disrespected. After nearly taking down the Tigers in their own house last year, this 4-0 SU squad still poses a threat against a Clemson outfit that has legitimate issues. Those who do come to the Dome will be rocking, so look for playmakers to put on a show for the loyal geniuses while making those who stayed home wish they splurged on tickets.
Christian: We’re not in Indiana anymore
The offensive line held up pretty well in its first major test against Purdue. Similarly, there didn’t seem to be any major or glaring issues with the big guys up front against Army. Now the real test begins with the gauntlet run against Clemson, UNC and FSU. We know that this is a battered and bruised line that is not playing up to full strength or capacity. However, Garrett Shrader needs to stay clean. He and LeQuint Allen also need space to move. That’s Syracuse’s best form of offense and the line needs to provide those things for the Orange to take a step into the national rankings.
Now it’s your turn. Tell us what you’re watching for