Syracuse (2-2, 0-1 ACC) will try to climb back over .500 when it heads to East Rutherford, NJ to play the Fighting Irish on Saturday. Here is a quick look at the game:
NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: When Syracuse plays Notre Dame this weekend, it will be going against a retooled defense. Head coach Brian Kelly fired beleaguered defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder after an embarrassing home loss to Duke on Saturday. The numbers aren’t pretty, with the Fighting Irish (1-3) allowing 134 points through its first four games, and a defense that ranks 103rd nationally in total defense. Defensive analyst Greg Hudson was promoted in VanGorder’s place. “I’m going to obviously be much more involved on the defensive side of the ball and have been this week,” Kelly said during his weekly press conference. “We need to get that morale up on defense, and we will do that with a lot more players involved in what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”
SCOUTING THE IRISH: While the defense has been a weak area for Notre Dame, its offense has not. The Irish have scored 149 points through four games, and quarterback DeShone Kizer has already thrown for 11 touchdowns and 1096 yards, with another five touchdowns on the ground. His favorite target has been sophomore Equanimeous St. Brown, who has 359 yards and four touchdowns to date. Notre Dame is ranked 87th in passing defense, and Kelly is fully aware of SU’s Amba Etta-Tawo. “You gotta know where he is at all times, and you have to factor into your game plan a very gifted and talented player,” Kelly said.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Notre Dame leads the all-time series between the two teams, 4-3. The last time the two teams met in the 2014 season, Notre Dame defeated SU 31-15. Everett Golson threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns at MetLife Stadium.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12:00 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. TV: ESPN.