No team, even Alabama, has been a thorn in Clemson football’s side recently like the Syracuse Orange. In 2017, Dino Babers’ team stunned Clemson at the Carrier Dome, 27-24. Last season, the Tigers needed a fourth quarter comeback at home to beat the Orange 27-23.
Some of the shine came off of this game, which looked like it might be between 2-0 ranked teams, with Syracuse’s Week 2 shellacking at the hands of Maryland. The Orange were knocked off by Mike Locksley’s team down in College Park, 63-20.
There is still a ton of hype for the game up in Central New York, where the Dome will be sold out for the first time in years. The Tigers should expect a pretty rowdy atmosphere, which those who played in this game two years ago know.
Saturday. Our House.
Opportunities like this are what we work for. pic.twitter.com/T5QbAZ4kUr
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) September 13, 2019
‘Cuse and Clemson are getting prime time treatment for this one.
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Spread: Clemson -27.5
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor
That announcing team isn’t a typo. McDonough will be on the call at his alma mater, where he’ll receive a prestigious alumni award tonight. Herbstreit and Taylor’s normal play-by-play partner, Chris Fowler, will call Penn State-Pitt with Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe on Saturday afternoon on ABC.
In large part due to the Maryland blowout, Clemson is a huge, four-touchdown favorite in this one. Syracuse’s offense is yet to fire anywhere near full cylinders, a rarity for Dino Babers-coached teams. The defense looked great in Week 1 against Liberty, blanking Hugh Freeze’s offense, but was totally lost against Maryland.
Clemson hasn’t exactly played its A-game either, though that is rarely an issue for Dabo Swinney’s team. The Tigers have opened with a 52-14 win over Georgia Tech, and a 24-10 win against Texas A&M, though that last one was more decisive than the score would indicate. The Aggies scored a late garbage time touchdown to cover the spread.
Trevor Lawrence hasn’t been sharp, but you could argue the defense has been better than expected, and running back Travis Etienne looks like one of the most dynamic players in college football. He has 258 yards and three touchdowns on just 28 carries.
Given the struggles Syracuse had late in its game against Maryland’s rushing attack, which gained 354 yards and six touchdowns on 45 carries last week, Etienne could be in for a huge day.