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Perhaps the biggest game of the weekend is our game, Clemson at Syracuse, from the Carrier Dome in upstate New York. Fairly new to the conference (ACC), these two teams have only met six times since 1997 with Clemson winning five of six. The last two have been by a single score, including Syracuse’s lone upset victory in 2017.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 P.M ET and the game will be the featured ABC night game.
As expected, the Clemson Tigers have started the season 2-0 with wins over two big-time programs, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Week 1) and Texas A&M Aggies (Week 2). Combined, the defense for Clemson has allowed just 24 points in two games.
Syracuse, on the other hand, has been a disappointment in 2019. The Orange entered the season ranked in the Top 25 but barely snuck past Liberty in Week 1 and received a massive, 43-point butt-kicking from Maryland in Week 2.
Clemson Keeps Rolling
Coming into the season, the Clemson Tigers were supposed to do great things. Through two weeks, it seems like they’re living up to their end of the bargain and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop anytime soon. Clemson has outscored opponents 76-24 in two games and both were legitimate programs. Rather than playing cupcakes to start the year, the Tigers have opted to play two conference games (Georgia Tech, Syracuse) and one ranked non-conference opponent (#12 Texas A&M) in their first three games.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) September 11, 2019
Heading into their road game at Syracuse, the Tigers can proudly say they’re one of the most balanced teams in the country. On offense, they rank No. 19 in total yards per game (510) while averaging 38 points per game. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 13th in point allowed per game (12) and 23rd in total yards allowed (291). Keep in mind these ranks would be even higher had they played some cupcake games right off the bat like some of their peers did.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) September 11, 2019
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the most important player on Clemson and someone who was a Heisman favorite to start the year. Unfortunately, Lawrence hasn’t set the world on fire through two games, throwing more picks (3) than touchdowns (2). These numbers are even more surprising when you realize that as a freshman, Lawrence threw just four picks in 397 attempts. Rather, Travis Etienne has been the guy who looks like the Heisman favorite, averaging 9.2 yards per carry on 28 rushing attempts with three touchdowns.
Cuse Has Been a Letdown
Thanks to their 10-win explosion last year under third-year head coach Dino Babers, the Syracuse Orange were nationally ranked entering the 2019 season. Previously, the Orange hadn’t won 10 games in almost two decades (2001).
The hype quickly dissipated, however, as the Orange had an unimpressive win in Week 1 over lowly Liberty and followed it with a massive blowout against Maryland in Week 2. The Terps hung 63 points (nine touchdowns) on Syracuse while their offense was only able to get in the endzone three times.
Classic is back. The Orange return to the traditional home uniform look on Saturday.
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) September 11, 2019
The struggles have been pinned on first-year QB Tommy DeVito, who had a lot of hype coming into the season but has yet to deliver. DeVito earned preseason All-ACC honors by several publications, largely because he was a blue-chip prep prospect. Through two games, however, he’s been a disappointment. Besides falling to unranked Maryland as a ranked team, he’s also thrown three interceptions, taken six sacks, and failed to make anything happen with his legs (13 carries, 2 yards).
“When reads weren’t available for DeVito, he threw the ball away (for better or for worse). When there was nothing in front of Dungey, he made something out of nothing,” wrote Paul Esden Jr. on Inside The Loudhouse, referring to DeVito’s predecessor, Eric Dungey.
Defensively, they could be in for a long day against Clemson. At Maryland, a team not known for explosive offense, the Orange allowed 650 yards and 11 third-down conversions on 15 tries.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU loss of more than 20 points.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
Updated on Sep 14 at 8:50am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Clemson has gone from -26 up to -275 while grabbing 60 percent of the bets. That is consistent with the line movements.
Injury / Weather Report
Clemson’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: DE Xavier Thomas and LB Bryton Constantin
Out: WR Josh Jackson
Syracuse’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: WR Ed Hendrix, DL Kenneth Ruff, and Backup QB David Summers
Doubtful: OL Sam Heckel
Out: TE Jesse Conners
Weather: No weather– Domed Stadium
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s a lot to like about Syracuse this Saturday evening. First off, the last time Clemson visited Syracuse, which is a longgg trip, the Orange upset the Tigers 27-23. This time around, the Orange have a better quarterback under center and more talent around him, even though the stats through two games don’t show as much. DeVito is one of the highest-rated recruits Syracuse has ever had and it’s quite possible that his first home game is when he’ll finally break out and satisfy the fanbase. The Orange might not pull the upset but they’ll keep it within four touchdowns.
Prediction: Syracuse +28
Full-Game Total Pick
The over for this game is 62, one point less than Syracuse allowed Maryland, a mediocre Big Ten team, to score in Week 2. On Saturday night, you can expect the Clemson offense to hang a big number on that same defense. After all, in Week 1, against a similar unit from Georgia Tech, they scored 52 points. As for Syracuse, they haven’t impressed on offense yet this year but in the dome, with their hometown fans behind them, they’re due for a breakout. Experts had Cuse ranked 21st heading into the season, experts touted DeVito as a four-star prospect, so maybe all they need is a little turf to get their offense flowing the way they want.
Prediction: Over 62