Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
Staff member
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Ombuds Day!

Ombuds Day recognizes the ombuds profession, which has existed for centuries but is underutilized and relatively unknown. The main goal of the day is to improve the public's awareness of ombuds, also known as ombudspersons or ombudsmen. The public is educated about the role of ombuds, the wide variety of services they provide is explained, a greater use of their programs and services is encouraged, and the value they bring to institutions and the constituents they serve is highlighted. The secondary goals of Ombuds Day are to recognize the important work of ombuds and to connect ombuds in their respective communities. It is set on the second Thursday of October to coincide with Conflict Resolution Month and Meditation Week. Each year there is a different theme. For instance, in 2021 the theme was "Ombuds: Exploring Options to Resolve Conflict Together."

According to the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, the founders of Ombuds Day, ombuds are "confidential, impartial, and independent conflict management professionals" who do alternative dispute resolution (ADR) work in government, universities, healthcare facilities, and other organizations. They may work with constituents within an organization, such as with students or employees, or with constituents outside of an organization, such as with visitors to it. Some work as advocates, while others investigate complaints. One reason ombuds are often misunderstood is there are so many types of them. Similarly, compared to other approaches to conflict resolution like mediation, litigation, and arbitration, the role they play and the services they provide is relatively unknown. Because of their relative obscurity and the importance of their work, ombuds are recognized today with Ombuds Day!

SU News


Syracuse linebacker core uses ‘mob mentality’ to revamp defense (DO; Vasudevan)

Syracuse’s linebacker core needed a change in persona if it wanted to become a threat after giving up the fifth-most rushing yards nationally in 2020. During the first spring practices of the season, the group landed on a name for this shift — they created a “mob mentality.”

“It was the mentality that we had all summer and all winter because of the season we had last year,” linebacker Geoff Cantin-Arku said. “We knew that we had to get our things together.”

This mindset made its way to the entire 3-3-5 defense, linebacker Marlowe Wax said. But like “The Sopranos,” there are only a few players at the forefront for the Orange. Mikel Jones and his eight armbands make him the unanimous Tony Soprano of the bunch, referred to by head coach Dino Babers as the defense’s “quarterback.” Cantin-Arku, Wax and Stefon Thompson make up Jones’ inner circle, following him on each snap or making plays on their own. After struggling last season, the four players have split up reps this year, combining for 142 tackles and 8.5 sacks through six games.

Defensive coordinator Tony White brought the 3-3-5 defense to Syracuse in 2020 after serving as the cornerbacks coach and defensive passing game coordinator at Arizona State for two years. In the 3-5-5 scheme, three linebackers are on the field, and they’re not required to drop into pass coverage as much as before with the presence of five defensive backs.

With the exclusion of Wax, the rest of the linebackers had experience with this setup in high school as the system has grown in popularity with the emergence of pass-heavy offenses around the country. Thompson said this introduction to the scheme was key to learning some of the fundamentals, like which gaps defensive linemen filled and where linebackers were supposed to be.

“In high school, I just ran the same defense but with different calls,” Thompson said. “When we got here it was really the fundamentals, like knowing who’s the key.”

Despite prior experience, the set didn’t get off to a good start in 2020. Syracuse’s defense allowed 209.1 yards per game and ranked 104th in the country. The linebacker core in general struggled with stopping the run, giving up a total of 2,300 rushing yards.

Defensive linemen Josh Black said the struggles were because of the lack of offseason preparation due to COVID-19,which canceled spring practices and shifted meetings to a virtual setting. It took the team three-quarters of the season to finally get comfortable in the setup, he said, but the Orange still allowed an average of 37 points in their final three games due to miscommunications between the defensive line and the linebackers.

“Last year we were not on the same page with the defensive linemen,” Cantin-Arku said.

Without Taj Harris, Anthony Queeley could be SU's top option for WR (DO; Smith)

Up 7-3 at the start of the second quarter, Anthony Queeley went into motion before the snap. As the ball was snapped to Garrett Shrader, Queeley lined up directly behind Courtney Jackson outside the right hash, and began running toward the middle of the field.

But once Queeley got to the 16-yard line, he cut toward the right side of the field. As he got closer to the end zone, Queeley was wide open. Shrader dropped the pass in, and Queeley put his hands up in front of the Syracuse crowd, signaling the touchdown he had just hauled in.

Queeley’s touchdown reception put SU ahead 14-3 against No. 19 Wake Forest, and it gave the redshirt sophomore his second score of the season. After recording no receptions in two of the Orange’s first four games, Queeley scored a touchdown in each of Syracuse’s last two games.

The increase in production comes following the departure of SU’s top receiving option, Taj Harris, who entered the transfer portal on Oct. 3. Harris’ departure opened the door for Queeley, Jackson and Damien Alford to see more passes from Shrader.

“Whoever’s not out there, we just have to step up as a unit,” Queeley said. “We’re a whole family, we just gotta get the job done and step up.”

Harris was a three-year starter at wide receiver for Syracuse, and he earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2020 after ranking fifth in the league in receptions per game. In head coach Dino Babers’ up-tempo, pass-first system, Harris was the go-to guy for quarterback Tommy DeVito to pass to for two straight years.

Without Harris, Shrader will likely look to Queeley increasingly more as a passing target, Babers said. While Harris was a lanky, 6-foot-2, 180-pound speedy option at wideout, Queeley is a stronger 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. Queeley’s path to Syracuse started in the weight room at Lake Nona (Florida) High School, and it has continued after he arrived in central New York.


At 17 years old before committing to Syracuse, Sean Tucker had a private meeting with Orange legend Floyd Little.

A look back at Sean Tucker’s meeting with former No. 44 Floyd Little (DO; Fernandez)

When 17-year-old Sean Tucker came to Syracuse University for an unofficial visit in September 2019, he and his father were among a group of recruits on campus for the Syracuse-Clemson game. But at a certain point during the visit, the two were pulled aside from the others — SU legend Floyd Little wanted to meet with Tucker, privately.

Steve Tucker, the current running back’s father, said he wasn’t sure how often Little met with other recruits one-on-one. But to him and his son, it was a special opportunity. Tucker had never met a Pro Football Hall of Famer or anyone who’d worn the famed No. 44 jersey for SU. Steve and his son had walked past the bronze statue of Little, part of SU’s Plaza 44 outside the football practice facility. And Tucker looked up to Little.

“It felt like a big moment,” Steve said.

During their conversation, Little pointed out similarities between himself and Tucker. Both were running backs of similar heights with similar styles. Both could potentially end up on similar paths, going from SU to the NFL.

“It definitely had an impact, just knowing what he’s done in his past and in football,” Tucker said. “It definitely meant a lot to me.”

Little died on Jan. 1 this year after being diagnosed with a rare cell cancer. All season, the Orange have commemorated the Syracuse legend by wearing a patch with the No. 44 embroidered with Little’s initials. On Friday, the Hall of Fame running back will be honored during a halftime ceremony — Floyd Little Life and Legacy Day — in the Carrier Dome.

“We’re looking forward to the Floyd Little weekend,” head coach Dino Babers said during his press conference on Monday. “He means a lot to this program — he’s the first person who I allowed to speak to the team. I can still remember that talk, I can still remember that speech, and it was very moving.”

Little, a three-time All-American for Syracuse from 1964-66, went on to play nine seasons with the Denver Broncos. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection before being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

SU football midseason grades, superlatives, revised predictions (PS; $; Staff)

Syracuse football is 3-3 heading into the second half of the season.

Before Dino Babers and the Orange take on Clemson at 7 p.m. Friday in the Carrier Dome, our team of writers hands out midseason grades, superlatives and revised season predictions.

Can the Orange win at least three more games and make a bowl?

Who is the offensive MVP? Defensive MVP?

Will someone other than Clemson finally win the ACC?

We tackle those questions and more.

Grade the offense

Brent Axe: C+

I’m tempted to give the passing game and running game a separate grade here because Syracuse basically has two different offenses going here.

The running game behind Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader would grab an A-. The passing game would get a note home from the teacher. Syracuse has to find some shred of a passing attack in the second half of the season to make a bowl game.

Chris Carlson: B-

The two-headed rushing machine of Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader is better than anything SU has put on the field offensively since Eric Dungey and appears to be getting better with time.

But you can’t ignore the first few games when the unit was atrocious, and I still have some concerns that the lack of a deep passing game will be an issue against opponents physical enough to defend the run.

Mike Curtis: B

Syracuse’s offense isn’t the prettiest, but it’s effective. The Orange is averaging 31.5 points per game, eighth in the ACC, behind the run-focused duo of Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader. The Mississippi State transfer showed last week against Wake Forest that he’s slowly adapting to his new group of receivers after the departure of Taj Harris.

The only major concern is the health of the offensive line after recent injuries to key players such as Chris Bleich and Airon Servais. But as long as Shrader and Tucker can sustain their health, look for the offensive unit to improve.

Nate Mink: B

Syracuse has one of the most dynamic rushing backfields in the country in Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker playing behind a much-improved offensive line.

They’re gobbling up most of the explosive plays, and if SU can get to a place where it hits on a higher rate of downfield throws, then we’re talking about having the makings of a special season.

Syracuse could be better on third- and fourth-down conversions and in the red zone (58.3% touchdown rate), but this is an offense that has taken a step forward each week since making a season-defining quarterback change and is averaging 31.5 points per game.

That’s the kind of improvement Babers needed to show this season.

Orange Zone: Syracuse football looks for first ACC win, prepares for Clemson (; video)

Syracuse football continues their two game homestand on Friday. The Orange (3-3) host Clemson (3-2) at 7 p.m. SU looks for their first conference win of the season while Clemson searches for their first road win of the 2021 campaign.

Syracuse head coach laughs off questions about Clemson's lack of talent (; Hood)

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers didn’t have to answer many questions about Clemson during his weekly press conference as the local media focused on last week’s last-second loss to Wake Forest. However, when he was asked about Clemson not being very good this season, Babers responded with laughs.

Clemson enters Friday's game with a 3-2 record, including a 2-1 mark in league play, and ranked No. 25 in the AFCA Coaches Poll. The Tigers and Orange have played some memorable games in recent years and Babers knows his team squad will face another solid Clemson team on Friday night.

“We are looking forward to playing Clemson. We understand what type of game this is,” Babers said. “You are talking about a team that has won the conference the last six years...Ton of athletes. Have a ton of respect for Dabo and his players. They are a class act, and we are looking forward to the game on Friday.”

One media member asked about Clemson not being the same as it's been in the past, and Babers stopped him in mid-sentence.

“Wow. I went to media day. Their quarterback was bigger than Josh Black (Syracuse DT who is 6-3, 290). They have about 150 stars over there,” Babers said. “They are the top-ranked recruiting class all the time, we can't touch them, how come we can't recruit four- and five-stars over here, and now you're saying they're no good?

"That's the Clemson Tigers over there, man. C'mon. Sheesh.”

Clemson's defense ranks among the best in the nation. The Tigers are second nationally in scoring defense, allowing 12.2 points per game. In addition, the unit ranks second in red zone defense (.625).

Offensively, quarterback DJ Uiagelelei has completed 76 of his 140 attempts for 793 yards and three touchdowns. He's also rushed for 160 yards. Running backs Kobe Pace and Will Shipley lead the Tigers' ground game. Pace, who earned ACC Running Back of the Week on Oct. 4, has 218 yards on 38 carries, while Shipley is right behind with 211 yards on 44 attempts. However, Shipley suffered a leg injury against NC State and is out for this game.

Meanwhile, Syracuse's last three games have been decided with 0:00 on the clock. The Orange defeated Liberty with a last-second field goal, and they had the same done to them at Florida State. Last weekend, Syracuse took No. 19 Wake Forest to overtime before falling short in the extra frame. The 'Cuse is 3-3 overall heading into Friday's contest.

Stock Up/Stock Down: Week 6 – Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage (; Eads)

The dust has settled from Syracuse’s 40-37 overtime loss to #19 Wake Forest. Perhaps SU fans are starting to put the result in retrospect now that it has been a few days. Of course, moral victories don’t count in the record books but this is certainly one. This is a game ‘Cuse was getting blown out in last season. With that said there are some stock ups and downs to discuss, this week’s list heavily favors the upward trajectories.



The gadget receiver seems to be the go to guy in this offense now with Taj Harris in the transfer portal. Jackson’s getting the majority of targets and new career high with 64 receiving yards against Wake Forest. On top of that, the Pennsylvania native is getting opportunities in the ground game. Jackson had just one carry for seven yards but he’s being motioned a lot as a decoy and used to try and stretch the field horizontally.


As we outlined last week every receiver on the Syracuse team stood to benefit from Harris’ departure. Queeley took a massive step though reeling in a touchdown for the second consecutive week. If the Florida native can get open consistently downfield, perhaps the SU passing game can be a threat in some capacity.


Cooper didn’t light up the stat sheet but that’s because he couldn’t hold onto the ball. Still the upside is there for the experienced pass catcher. He was on the receiving end of a plethora of targets, now it’s just a matter of making the catches.


I’m not sure many people even noticed that Chris Bleich wasn’t even playing. That’s a testament to how good the Florida transfer has been. On the flip side, Ellis didn’t draw any attention to himself and was fitting in seamlessly. The true freshman was paving holes for the SU run game and was a member of the front five that only allowed two sacks against Wake Forest. Ellis’ emergence is huge for the depth of the offensive line and perhaps he could earn a start at guard in the future.


Following the same storyline, many people may not have noticed that Airon Servais wasn’t playing early on in the contest. The Wisconsin native did end up getting in later on but not before Josh Ilaoa could flash his abilities. The second-year freshman looked comfortable at center and could definitely log snaps in the future. Even if he doesn’t put a pin in it because this will be SU’s starting center next season.


The Canadien has been overshadowed thus far by the excellent play from Mikel Jones and Marlowe Wax. The linebacker tallied three tackles and a half-sack. Don’t forget about Cantin-Arku, he still plays a critical role in the front six of this defense.


Thompson’s another player who hasn’t received his due credit early on in the season. Perhaps by now Syracuse fans just expect big games from the second-year freshman. Well in that case he met expectations again leading the team with nine tackles. Thompson is an all-ACC caliber linebacker, it’s only a matter of time before he receives recognition for it.


Linton logged snaps for the second consecutive week as an edge defender. He possesses a high upside that should continue to be used in Tony White’s 3-3-5 scheme. He tallied two tackles and a quarterback hurry against Wake Forest.

Syracuse's Babers has a particularly fond memory of Swinney (; Potter)

It’s hard not to notice the four-letter names of the head football coaches at Clemson and Syracuse just a couple of letters from being carbon copies of each other.

“Our first names start with the same letter,” Syracuse’s Dino Babers told reporters this week. “Kind of ends with the same letter, too.”

But that’s not what necessarily resonates the most with Babers when he thinks of Dabo Swinney.

Four years ago, with Clemson undefeated and ranked No. 2 nationally at the time, Babers’ team snapped the Tigers’ 11-game winning streak dating back to the previous season. Syracuse, which went on to win just three more games during the 2017 season, shocked Clemson at the Carrier Dome with a 27-24 win.

During their postgame handshake near midfield, TV cameras caught Swinney telling Babers, then in just his second year leading Syracuse’s program, “I’m so happy for you.” Then Swinney did something highly unusual for any opposing coach, much less one that had just lost the game.

It’s still fresh on Babers’ mind as the teams get set to renew their series Friday back at the same place.

“The last time we beat them, he came in and spoke to the team, which I thought was really cool,” Babers said.

Dabo just solidified my respect for him. Came in our locker room, shook our hands and congratulated us. WOW. That's a dude right there
— K Sam (@EZ_Jacksterr) October 14, 2017
Swinney made his way to Syracuse’s locker room to congratulate the Orange’s players on their win. Syracuse linebacker Zaire Franklin told ESPN after that game Swinney even took photos with some of them.

“That’s one of the classiest things I’ve seen in my life,” Franklin said, according to ESPN’s David Hale.

So it came as no surprise this week when Babers said he has a good relationship with Swinney. He also heaped more praise on Swinney when asked if there’s anything he admires about Clemson’s coach.

“I think he does it the right way,” Babers said. “I like his values. I like what his kids stand for. You can see he does a good job raising young men because I like, when they do their interviews, what come out of their mouths. I think they’re a family down there. I always appreciate programs like that.”

Syracuse (3-3, 0-2 ACC) hasn’t had much luck against Clemson (3-2, 2-1) since pulling off that upset. The 25th-ranked Tigers have won the last three games in the series by an average of 21.6 points, including a 41-6 victory in its last trip to the Carrier Dome in 2019.

Tough times ahead for Syracuse football, former TE Nesheiwat says - The Juice Online (the juice; Cheng)

Syracuse football has been struggling since starting its non-conference schedule 3-1, and we spoke to former Syracuse tight end JJ Nesheiwat about his thoughts on the team in this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast presented by

Nesheiwat played at Syracuse from 2005 to 2007 where he started 15 games. As a senior, he started 10 games and finished with 17 receptions for 270 yards and two touchdowns.

Nesheiwat has been frustrated by the lack of progress the program has made under current head coach Dino Babers.

“Coach Babers is under the hot seat with his game management skills, so it’s going to be the tough time for the end of this year and next year as well,” he said. “It’s going to be a rough patch for a little bit until we figure out the coaching situation because when there’s uncertainty at the coaching position, there’s going to be uncertainty with the student athletes.”

One thing in particular that has stalled under Babers is recruiting, Nesheiwat said.

Syracuse has traditionally been a difficult place to recruit because of the weather and general lack of blue chip recruits in New York. But with the Orange going a combined 6-17 in 2019 and 2020, including a dreadful 1-10 season last year, it’s made recruiting that much more difficult.

“If you’re not winning and placing a number of high NFL draft picks, it’s hard to recruit student-athletes,” Nesheiwat said. “Those three-star athletes that are deciding between NC State, UNC and Syracuse, I think that’s where we’re having a tough time with.”

Nesheiwat himself was recruited by Dennis Goldman, an assistant coach under Paul Pasqualoni. But Nesheiwat broke his foot early in his senior year at Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie, NY, and instead enrolled at Hudson Valley Community College.

He played one season at Western Carolina under scholarship before returning back to New York, this time, as a walk-on at Syracuse under then-head coach Greg Robinson and tight ends coach Brian Pariani.

Nesheiwat was particularly drawn to Pariani, who coached NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe with the Denver Broncos.

“I thought, ‘This must be a great spot for a tight end,'” Nesheiwat said. “I told (Pariani) I wanted to walk-on, and I just worked my butt off to try to prove myself to get a scholarship.”

And that’s exactly what happened when he earned a scholarship in 2006.

Beat writers split on outcome of Syracuse’s game against Clemson (DO; Staff)

Syracuse faces off against an unranked Clemson for the first time since October 2014. The Orange had their last three contests decided by a single play as time expired — the first was a game-winning field goal against Liberty, the next was from Florida State’s game-winning field goal and the most recent was No. 19 Wake Forest’s walk-off touchdown in overtime.

Halfway through the regular season, SU (3-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) is still in search of its first conference win. The Orange play a Clemson (3-2, 2-1 ACC) team that’s coming off its bye-week, and the Friday contest means Clemson had one less day of rest than usual.

Here’s what our beat writers predict will happen when the Tigers visit the Carrier Dome on Friday night:

Roshan Fernandez (4-2)
Is Clemson still Clemson?
Syracuse 20, Clemson 17

When Dino Babers was asked about Clemson’s passing offense, which ranks second-worst in the conference, he responded, “That’s the Clemson Tigers, c’mon … They’ve got about 150 stars over there,” in reference to their top-tier recruiting classes. He said that the Tigers are still the most talented team in the conference, and they’re still good, despite their uncharacteristic record and performances as of lately.

Syracuse, on the other hand, has affirmed preseason claims that this team isn’t like last year’s. The Orange have been on the brink of three straight victories, but they still lost two of three. They’ve caught some tough breaks over the past two weeks, and despite what Babers said about Clemson being talented, this isn’t the same Clemson that we know. This week could mark a massive turning point in SU’s season, and this team has shown it has the pieces and the potential to pull the win.

Connor Smith (3-3)
Party like it’s 2017
Syracuse 17, Clemson 13

Clemson has only scored more than 21 points once this season — against South Carolina State, a Football Championship Subdivision team. Since Syracuse joined the Atlantic Coast Conference eight years ago, the Tigers have only lost a total of 14 games. They have won two national championships and six conference titles.

But the Tigers that Dabo Swinney will lead into the Carrier Dome on Friday night aren’t the same team SU has faced over the last eight seasons. Instead of a No. 1 draft pick in Trevor Lawrence throwing touchdown pass after touchdown pass, Syracuse will face a relatively-inexperienced sophomore quarterback in DJ Uiagalelei who ranks ninth in the ACC in passing yards.

In 2017, Syracuse overcame the then-second-ranked Tigers 27-24 after Clemson’s starting quarterback, Kelly Bryant, was knocked out with a head injury. In his place, freshman backup Zerrick Cooper couldn’t lead Clemson to any fourth-quarter points. SU fans stormed the field after Dino Babers’ first significant victory. Without the same strong offense as years past, Swinney and the Tigers will again leave central New York with an upset loss, and Syracuse fans will party again — just like 2017.

Anish Vasudevan (3-3)
Go Tigers
Syracuse 17, Clemson 25

Garrett Shrader said that the Orange are “trending in the right direction” but that they are just not winning games. There’s no way to dispute that this is the case, as Shrader’s promotion to starter has amplified Babers’ fast-paced offense even more. And with Sean Tucker as Shrader’s Robin, Syracuse has averaged 30.3 points in the last three games.

While Syracuse has been trending upwards, Clemson has been going downhill, falling to unranked for the first time since 2014. But this fall for the Tigers is from a high pedestal, and they’ve only dropped a few games. Clemson is still one of the best teams in the country, and its offense led by Uiagalelei will be a threat on Friday night. The Tigers scored 47 points against SU’s 3-3-5 defense, and they will still find success despite the Orange’s improvements in the front. Syracuse’s fans will not flood the Carrier Dome field Friday night. This isn’t 2017.

Clemson vs. Syracuse Football Prediction and Preview (; Ferguson)

The ACC is as wide open as it has been in years, and Friday night's contest might provide a chance for Syracuse to slay six-time reigning champion Clemson's conference hopes once and for all.

The Tigers are unranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2014 as they prepare to make the trip to the Carrier Dome for a Friday night showdown. Prior to the loss to NC State earlier this season, Clemson's last one to a current ACC team had come at the Carrier Dome on a Friday night back in 2017. The Tigers come in with a record of 3-2 overall and 2-1 in ACC play. The conference wins are a pair of six-point home victories over Georgia Tech and Boston College.

The Orange (3-3, 0-2 ACC) have suffered heartbreaking losses in each of the last two weeks and on the game's final snap. After falling to Florida State on a last-second field goal, the Orange fell to undefeated Wake Forest in overtime last week, 40-37. Clemson is coming off a bye week. Since the 2017 upset, Clemson has won three straight meetings against Syracuse, including a 47-21 win last year at Memorial Stadium.

Clemson at Syracuse

Kickoff: Friday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. ET
Spread: Clemson -14

When Clemson Has the Ball

There was Deshaun Watson and then there was Trevor Lawrence. D.J. Uiagalelei was supposed to be the next great quarterback for the Tigers, but at the midway point in 2021, the sophomore has struggled. The California native has completed less than 55 percent of his passes this season and has just three touchdowns compared to three interceptions in five games. As a whole, the Clemson offense ranks last in the ACC in yards and points per game. Against FBS competition, the Tigers average less than 12 points per game, including just 10 in regulation. Head coach Dabo Swinney hopes the bye week will provide a spark to Uiagalelei and the entire offense. Uiagalelei has the size (6-4, 250) and all the physical tools needed for success, but the first five games this fall have been rough.

Clemson has had to replace a lot at the skill positions, but running backs Kobe Pace and Will Shipley have had a decent start to the season in the backfield. Each has rushed for more than 200 yards with seven touchdowns between them. Shipley's five touchdown runs rank sixth in the ACC. Uiagalelei has added 160 yards on the ground. Out wide, Joseph Ngata and Justyn Ross are the two players to watch. Ngata leads the team with 333 receiving yards, while Ross has three of Clemson's four touchdown catches this year.

Syracuse got off to a hot start defensively before taking a step back over the last couple of weeks. It starts with the pass rush, which leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally with 22 sacks. Cody Roscoe is tied for the conference lead with 6.5 sacks, but the Orange have five other players with multiple sacks so far this season. Syracuse has fallen to the middle of the pack in the ACC in scoring defense after allowing 73 points over the last two weeks, but only NC State and Clemson allow fewer yards per game.

Clemson vs. Syracuse: Prediction, pick, football game odds, spread, live stream, watch online, TV channel (; Patterson)

While the season has already been marred by two disappointing losses in month of September, Clemson remains in the hunt for a seventh-straight ACC championship and will put those hopes on the line in a tough road trip to Syracuse on Friday night.

Clemson was off last week following a hard-fought 19-13 win against Boston College on Sept. 25 that left the Tigers in much need of some time to heal. The injuries have been piling up through the first weeks of the season, but by the end of the game against the Eagles, the preseason ACC favorites were without 16 players from the preseason depth chart. A few of those players could be back on Friday, but a majority won't because of long-term injury or departure from the team. After a week to regroup from the chaotic start, the Tigers team that takes the field on Friday night will be far from what we expected in July but closer to what we'll see in November when it comes time to hand out bids for the ACC Championship Game.

Syracuse enters the contest 3-3 overall but still in search of its first ACC win after losing back-to-back division games to Florida State and Wake Forest on last-second field goals. The Orange have played Clemson close in their short time as ACC Atlantic Division rivals and hope that competitiveness leads to a breakthrough win for the 2021 team in front of the home crowd and a national television audience.

Clemson vs. Syracuse: Need to know

Both teams are well-adjusted to close games: The Orange are not the only team in this matchup that has been caught in some nail-biters. While Syracuse has been on the losing end of last-second field goals in its last two outings, basically every has been a dog fight for Clemson. All four games against FBS opponents have been decided by one possession, and according to the school this is only the seventh time in the 126-year history of Clemson football that four of the first five games have been decided by eight points or fewer. Much of how that's played out in 2021 is due to Clemson both having offensive struggles and still having one of the better defenses in the country, leading to a lot of close, low-scoring games on a weekly basis.

Syracuse has an emerging star in Sean Tucker: While Syracuse at times under Dino Babers has relied on a wide-open passing attack, the 2021 Orange have found lots of success with a ground game powered by freshman running back Sean Tucker. Entering Friday's game, Tucker is leading the nation in all-purpose yards with 165.83 yards per game. Defending this backfield isn't easy to key in on either because quarterback Garrett Shrader has eight rushing touchdowns on the season and is coming off back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.

Links, news and rumors - 2021-10-13 (RX; HM)

Links, news and rumors - 2021-10-13

First, for all ACC fans, from

Phillips says Comcast and ACC Network 'really close' to deal

..."We're down to Comcast, and I am really optimistic about where that's going," Phillips said Tuesday during a news conference at ACC men's basketball media day. "We're getting really close."

...The old, 10-year-old overall deal between Comcast and Disney/ESPN was due to expire last month but has been extended so it can remain in effect while the negotiations for a new deal continue, according to a source familiar with the situation. That source said that with the TV landscape having changed so much in the last 10 years — such as the rise of streaming services providing new competition to cable companies — negotiations for a new deal have been complicated.

The Commissioner didn't try to predict when the contract would be signed this time, having apparently learned his lesson... but he remains optimistic.

From SouthernPigskin: Pitt - VT to meet with contrasting styles

...Virginia Tech hopes this weekend’s game ends up reminding fans of the Big East. Meanwhile, Pitt wants the matchup to be as “modern” and high-flying as possible...

Wide open passing versus "Beamerball"
All Sports Discussion thinks the problem with the Hokies' offense could be the lack of stability at the QB position as laid out in "A Minor Twitter Deep Dive Into The Virginia Tech Quarterback Room Under Justin Fuente". Hokie Smash writes that under Head Coach Justin Fuente,

...Virginia Tech has never had a quarterback with 24 consecutive starts.
Is the same QB two years in a row too much to ask?
Related article: Sons of Saturday says "the fan base deserve more"

2021 Week 7 TV, Radio, Announcers (RX; HM)

2021 Week 7 TV, Radio, Announcers​

Here are the kickoff times, TV networks, radio stations, and announcers for this week's games...

Friday Oct. 15TimeTVSiriusXMApp/Web
Clemson (3-2 2-1) at Syracuse (3-3 0-2)7 p.m.ESPN818181
Series: Clemson leads series 7-2; Last meeting: Clemson 47-21 (2020)
ESPN: Anish Shroff (play-by-play) Mike Golic Jr. (analyst) Taylor McGregor (sideline)
Saturday Oct. 16TimeTVSiriusXMApp/Web
Duke (3-3 0-2) at Virginia (4-2 2-2)12:30 p.m.RSN135193955
Series: Virginia leads series 39-33; Last meeting: Virginia 38-20 (2020)
RSN: Tom Werme (play-by-play) James Bates (analyst) Lauren Jbara (sideline)
Miami (2-3 0-1) at North Carolina (3-3 2-3)3:30 p.m.ACCN135193955
Series: North Carolina leads series 13-11; Last meeting: North Carolina 62-26 (2020)
ACCN: Wes Durham (play-by-play) Roddy Jones (analyst) Alex Chappell (sideline)
Pitt (4-1 1-0) at Virginia Tech (3-2 1-0)3:30 p.m.ESPN2858585
Series: Virginia Tech leads series 11-9; Last meeting: Pitt 47-14 (2020)
ESPN2: Jason Benetti (play-by-play) Andre Ware (analyst) Paul Carcaterra (sideline)
#22 NC State (4-1 1-0) at Boston College (4-1 0-1)7:30 p.m.ACCN135193955
Series: Boston College leads series 10-7; Last meeting: BC45-24 (2019)
ACCN: Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) Tim Hasselbeck (analyst) Kelsey Riggs (sideline)

Links, news and rumors - 2021-10-14 (RX; HM)

Links, news and rumors - 2021-10-14

From FanSided: Wake Forest Football: What are chances Demon Deacons go unbeaten?
Yes, the Deacs are undefeated so far, but... their best win to date is probably at UVA. Wake Forest first six games were:

  • Old Dominion
  • Norfolk State
  • Florida State
  • at Virginia
  • Louisville
  • at Syracuse
The tough games are still ahead.
Remaining Wake Forest 2021 Football Schedule:

  • at Army
  • Duke
  • at UNC
  • NC State
  • at Clemson
  • at Boston College

2021 Week 7 ACC Factoids (RX; HM)

2021 Week 7 ACC Factoids

ACC Notes
• Two key divisional matchups are on tap during Week 7 of the ACC football schedule. In the Coastal Division, Pitt travels to Virginia Tech for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2. Both teams are 1-0 in league play. In the Atlantic Division No. 22 NC State visits Boston College at 7:30 p.m. on ACC Network. Both teams are 4-1 overall.
Pitt, which was off last week, leads the nation in scoring (52.4 ppg), is third in total offense (554.4 ypg) and ranks fourth in passing offense (389.0 ypg). Panthers' QB Kenny Pickett has thrown 19 touchdown passes and just one interception through the first five games of the year.
Virginia Tech blanked Pitt 28-0 in the most recent series meeting at Blacksburg in 2019 and has won seven of the previous nine games at Lane Stadium. The programs first met in 1993 as members of the Big East and played 11 consecutive seasons (through 2003). Saturday’s game will be the fifth home contest of the season for the Hokies, who also play host to Syracuse next week before playing four of their final five on the road.
• Both NC State and Boston College had last weekend off. The Eagles hold a 9-6 edge versus NC State since joining the ACC. The series began in 1936 with Boston College winning 7-3 at Fenway Park. NC State returned the next season to post a 12-7 win in Chestnut Hill, and the teams didn’t meet again until 2005. Boston College snapped a two-game losing streak versus NC State in the most recent meeting two seasons ago, winning 45-24 as RBs AJ Dillon and David Bailey combined for 404 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 50 carries.
• Action gets underway on Friday night when Clemson travels to Syracuse for a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. Clemson seeks its fourth consecutive victory in the series. QB Trevor Lawrence led a 41-6 Clemson win at the Carrier Dome in 2019, and the Tigers won 47-21 last year as the defense forced a momentum swinging strip-sack in the third quarter that was returned for a touchdown by Andrew Booth Jr. Clemson has won seven of the eight ACC meetings between the schools, but the Tigers have had their share of difficulty versus the Orange during that stretch, falling in 2017.
• Saturday's schedule begins with Virginia hosting Duke at 12:30 p.m. on RSN. The Cavaliers scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter last week to down Louisville and enter with one of the nation's top offenses. QB Brennan Armstrong leads the nation in passing and is on pace to break the ACC single-season mark for passing yards per game. The Blue Devils travel to Charlottesville for the third consecutive season. Virginia seeks its seventh consecutive win in its series vs. Duke, which was first played with a pair of games in Richmond in 1890 and 1891.
Miami travels to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. on ACC Network. UNC seeks to defeat the Hurricanes three consecutive years for the first time since 2007-09. The teams met seven times in non-conference play between 1946 and 1963 before the series went on a
41-year hiatus. The Tar Heels have won six of the previous nine meetings at Kenan Stadium, but all three Miami wins have come since 2011.
From "Breaking Down Week 7" on FBSchedules, here are their ACC-related factoids:


Friday, Oct. 15

7pm ET – ESPN – Clemson at Syracuse
Syracuse is quietly ranked No. 11 in the nation and No. 1 in the ACC in rushing offense. It’s a strength that pairs up well against a Clemson D that is currently No. 21 in the FBS and No. 3 in the ACC vs. the run. Where the Orange are fresh off hanging up 354 ground yards and three scores on (16) Wake Forest, the Tigers gave up a meager 46 yards rushing in their last outing vs. Boston College. Though the star of the ground game is Syracuse freshman RB Sean Tucker (#34) (No. 2 in the FBS in yards per game) don’t miss out on Orange senior DL Cody Roscoe (#18) (tied for No. 2 in the FBS in sacks and No. 6 in tackles for a loss).

Boston College Football Banter: Could BC Win the ACC? (; Staff)

How are we feeling about heading back into ACC play after the bye week?

Will: I will stand by what i have said, even with Dennis Grosel BC can win the ACC. It will just won’t be easy and there are a lot of games we can lose just as easily as we can win.

Arthur: Which goes to show how bad the ACC is this year. One thing that’s painfully obvious from the Clemson game is that Grosel, certainly on his own, is not the ticket to the promised land.

Will: Which goes to show how bad the ACC is this year. One thing that’s painfully obvious from the Clemson game is that Grosel, certainly on his own, is not the ticket to the promised land. It will likely be a nail-biter each and every game from here on out.

Curtis: NC State is a good all-around team that will prove a healthy challenge as BC gets back into it. It should be a good game, and even better with an atmosphere under the lights at Alumni. In short, I’m excited to dive back in! Every week is going to be a journey with this squad.

Grant: Alright, I’ll be the Debbie Downer... I think we’re getting too far into the realm of the crazy thinking we can win the ACC. We should probably win, you know, an ACC game first. The problem right now is that our best win isn’t that impressive and the loss to Clemson was not a good showing for how we’re going to need Grosel to play against decent competition. Because even though the ACC is bad... well, we’re ACC too.



Researchers have discovered the first known population in New York of an orchid named Spiranthes odorata, or fragrant ladies' tresses. The plant, spotted in a shady swamp near Onondaga Lake, had never before been spotted north of Delaware. The flowers are about a half-inch in diameter and smell like vanilla. Michael HoughMichael Hough

Fragrant orchid found near Onondaga Lake, 350 miles from nearest known location (PS; $; Coin)

Joseph McMullen first spotted a batch of slender plants with small white flowers in September 2014, in a mucky, shaded tract near Onondaga Lake.

He knew they were orchids but couldn’t distinguish the species, so he shot some photos and snipped a small piece of flower.

McMullen, a botanist and environmental consultant, emailed the photos to experts. The reply from Charles Sheviak, the former botany curator at the New York State Museum, piqued McMullen’s interest: The plant was likely Spiranthes odorata, an orchid with a strong vanilla scent that had never been confirmed north of Delaware.

“It is a remarkable, and in my experience, unique, population,” Sheviak wrote back.

The plant, also known as fragrant ladies’ tresses, is so closely related to another orchid species that only a detailed genetic test can differentiate them. McMullen couldn’t find anyone to do the genetic work in 2014, so he was left with a pair of mysteries: Could the plant found in snowy Syracuse really be odorata, whose native range lies in the hot, humid Southeast? And if this was odorata, how did it leapfrog 350 miles from Delaware to Geddes?

To get answers, McMullen needed to find the plant again. Late each summer, when the half-inch flowers bloom, he returned to the same spot and looked among the green ashes and silver maples. Each time, he came up empty handed.

His persistence paid off on Aug. 29, 2020, when he finally stumbled upon the plants again. During several visits over the next few weeks, McMullen and local botanists found nearly 30 plants, in bloom and, true to their species name, emitting a strong scent.

“You could smell them from probably 200 feet away,” said Michael Hough, a SUNY Cortland botanist who walked the site with McMullen last year. “It was a very, very strong kind of vanilla fragrance.”

The vanilla in your spice cabinet is also a member of the orchid family.

Hough prepared the dried sample from McMullen – about 1 one-thousandth of an ounce – and shipped it to Cornell University. The lab in Ithaca confirmed the find: Spiranthes odorata.

Scientists say it’s a major discovery.

Hokie Mark

2nd String
Apr 15, 2013
Raise your hand if, before the season began, you thought Syracuse would have the #1 rushing attack in the ACC when the Orange play Clemson... put your hands down, you liars!


2nd String
Aug 27, 2011
I'm not ashamed to say tears welled up in my eyes while reading the daily Orange article on Sean Tucker. I'm fortunate enough to remember Jim Brown, who recruited Ernie Davis, who recruited Floyd Little, who recruited Sean Tucker. The last I heard, was some years ago, that Jim Brown was against it. But as a youngster I and many others were inspired by it. I believe #44 should come down from the rafters and given to Sean.


All Conference
Aug 20, 2011
I'm not ashamed to say tears welled up in my eyes while reading the daily Orange article on Sean Tucker. I'm fortunate enough to remember Jim Brown, who recruited Ernie Davis, who recruited Floyd Little, who recruited Sean Tucker. The last I heard, was some years ago, that Jim Brown was against it. But as a youngster I and many others were inspired by it. I believe #44 should come down from the rafters and given to Sean.
It's great every time someone who has been a fan since Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little played. Shows there are a few of us left. It's time for us to get back to being revelant again.

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