Syracuse will host Clemson on Friday night at the Carrier Dome, with the Orange looking to notch its fourth win of the season against the defending National Champions. Ahead of the game, our staff gave its predictions:
STEVE AUGER: Good news, Syracuse fans! Clemson QB Kelly Bryant WILL play against the Orange on Friday night despite leaving last week’s game with a sprained ankle. *Crickets*
The monumental task of taking down the Tigers just got monumentally harder. Clemson can boast about wins against Auburn, Louisville, and Virginia Tech (the latter two on the road) while Syracuse can *gulp* gloat about close calls at LSU and North Carolina State. Records and resumes aside, this is going to be a very tall order for the Sons of Babers.
The Orange attack is going to have to find a way to score – touchdowns, not field goals – against a Clemson defense that allows 11.3 PPG and has held three opponents to seven points or fewer. If Dungey and his receiving corps can trade haymakers with the Clemson offense, the Orange has a shot.
Syracuse will be wearing blue helmets, orange jerseys and blue pants on Friday night. To emerge victorious against Clemson, the Orange better don red capes as well. Clemson 42, Syracuse 21.
JIM STECHSCHULTE: Syracuse faces its toughest foe Friday night when Clemson comes to the Dome. The Orange have failed their two toughest tests to this point, dropping road games at LSU and North Carolina State.
The unfortunate news is that being at home will likely not make any difference. In their four matchups since moving to the ACC, the Orange are winless and the Tigers have been ranked in the top four nationally in three of those games, two of them blowouts.
The third, however, was a game where SU refused to go away, a trait the Orange have shown this season. They have trailed by 14 points or more for just over 25 minutes total in those two toughest games and fought back within one possession in the fourth quarter of both.
These Tigers are a different animal than the ones at LSU, as well as the Wolfpack in Raleigh. Dino Babers will not let Syracuse quit, but that will not be enough. Clemson 37, Syracuse 20.