Syracuse will play its first ever ACC conference game when it hosts No. 3 Clemson on Saturday at the Carrier Dome:
HEISMAN CANDIDATE: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has shown why he is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman this season. After accounting for five touchdowns against then-No. 5 Georgia in a 38-35 Week 1 win, Boyd has continued his stellar play. Through Week 5, Boyd has thrown for 994 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions, while rushing for four more on the ground. Boyd needed only three quarters to accumulate 311 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and 69 yards and one touchdown on the ground, in a 56-7 rout of Wake Forest on Saturday. “The biggest thing for me is just to go out and enjoy,” Boyd said to reporters following the game. “I’ve pretty much accomplished everything you can accomplish in a college career, minus a couple of things. But, now I’ve got to enjoy this last go-round with my guys.” Boyd now has 102 touchdowns on his career, only the second ACC quarterback (Phillip Rivers was the first) to accomplish that.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Boyd boasts one of the top receivers in the ACC in Sammy Watkins. He leads the team with 25 receptions for 355 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Tigers defense has been overlooked this season with the Heisman hype surrounding Boyd. They’ve given up just 17.3 points per game, good for 25th in the FBS. If you take away the 35 points the defense gave up to Georgia, they’ve allowed just 34 points in the three games since then. Defensive lineman Vic Beasley already has six sacks this season. “They’ve created turnovers that have put 42 points on the scoreboard this year,” Syracuse coach Scott Shafer said during his Thursday press conference. “They have great pass-rushing ends, a very long, athletic group of kids on that side of the ball that can run.”
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse and Clemson have only met one other time in school history. The Orange defeated the Tigers 41-0 in the 1996 Gator Bowl, as Donovan McNabb threw for 309 yards passing and three touchdowns.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: ABC.