Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
National Spirit Day, the most prominent day of support for LGBTQ youth, was started in 2010 by Brittany McMillan, who wanted to take a stand against bullying and remember gay teens who had died by suicide, in order to increase awareness and acceptance and to prevent more tragedies. This was at a time of heightened media focus on the suicides of gay teens, and the death of Tyler Clementi directly inspired the creation of the holiday. The day is led by GLAAD, who on the first year helped to get teachers, students, workplaces, media outlets, and celebrities to wear purple and to "go purple" on social media. Today, participants include a wide range of people and groups—schools, students, and parents; corporations and organizations; media professionals; celebrities; faith groups; sports groups; and more. The day is held on the third Thursday in October each year, during National Bullying Prevention Month.
(youtube; video; ESPN)
ESPN’s Matt Barrie is joined by Sean McDonough to preview Syracuse’s upcoming matchup against Clemson. #ESPN #CollegeFootball #Podcast #MattBarrie #Clemson #Syracuse #CFBonESPN #CFB
Courtesy of Ron Haun
Robert Anae started his coaching career in a small Idaho town 30 years ago (DO; Smith)
Aaron Roderick first walked into Robert Anae’s office at Ricks College nearly 30 years ago. Anae looked the 5-foot-9, 170-pound receiver up and down, unimpressed.
From there, Roderick worked to prove Anae wrong, earning All-American honors at the junior college in Rexburg, Idaho, and setting several school records. Eventually, he gained Anae’s respect. The coach fought for Brigham Young University to offer Roderick a scholarship, where he played three seasons before becoming a graduate assistant. Last year, BYU named Roderick offensive coordinator.
“He was the reason that I got the scholarship,” Roderick said. “I don’t know if any of that would have happened if not for coach Anae.”
Anae’s been offensive coordinator at Virginia, BYU and now Syracuse, which travels for a marquee matchup against No. 5 Clemson on Saturday. But it started with his first full-time job at Ricks, which became BYU-Idaho in 2001, where Anae served as an offensive line coach from 1992-95 and offensive coordinator in his final season.
Traits of Anae’s coaching style — the tough yet compassionate way he treats players, the technique teacher, the independent thinker who adapts to the personnel around him — all blossomed at Ricks. Other coaches emulate the strategies he used back then, and offensive linemen who played for Anae said the technique he taught them persisted throughout their careers collegiately and in the NFL.
“He understood the game like nobody else,” said Ron Haun, Ricks’ then-head coach. “You could just tell this guy was going to be a great coach.”
From 1982-2002, Haun led the Vikings, routinely sending players to Division-I and NFL teams. Haun hired Anae in 1992 after he completed his two-year stint as a BYU graduate assistant. Haun had a close relationship with then-BYU head coach LaVell Edwards, recruiting similar players including many Polynesians like Anae. Both schools were also affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Haun, looking to replace his offensive line coach, talked to Edwards, who said Anae was a future coaching star. Ricks coaches were also required to teach part-time, and the school had an opening for a sociology teacher. Anae holds a master’s degree in sociology.
Smith: Patience in Dino Babers, rebuild has guaranteed successful 2022 season (DO; Smith)
Syracuse players couldn’t agree on if the 2021 season was a success or not after its loss to Pitt in the season finale. Courtney Jackson said a losing season can’t be considered successful. Duce Chestnut said it was OK, but the Orange expected more. Sean Tucker declared it a success because of the four-win improvement from 2020.
I argued Syracuse’s 2021 season was successful — Dino Babers proved he was capable of orchestrating a bounce-back season. He found his star in the backfield, Tucker, and his quarterback, Garrett Shrader. Babers made the offensive coordinator change he needed to, and the defense continued to develop. Last season provided hope moving forward.
That hope — and then some — has come to fruition this fall. Shrader’s completion percentage has increased 17%, and he’s already thrown for more touchdowns (12) than he did all of last season (9). Tucker is still Tucker, and the defense, which ranked sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in points per game last season, is now sixth in the nation. After several questionable in-game decisions last year, Babers has been sharp through six games, with the exception of keeping his offense in late during the game against Wagner.
Regardless of how the rest of Syracuse’s season goes, it will be considered a success. A 6-0 start for the third time in 87 years, a top-15 ranking, bowl eligibility and one of the biggest Dome crowds this century. Check, check, check and check. There’s been blowout wins and last-second ones. There’s been games where Tony White’s defense paved the way, and other times when Robert Anae’s offense did so. Last year, there were questions of whether Syracuse had a successful year. This year, there shouldn’t be any.
Opponent Preview: What to know about No. 5 Clemson (DO; Cirino)
No. 14 Syracuse (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) pulled off a convincing, statement victory last Saturday against then-No.15 NC State. It’s still undefeated and will face its biggest test of the season in No. 5 Clemson (7-0, 5-0 ACC). The Orange are heading to Death Valley, a place where they’ve never won before, but with their highest ranking since 2018 and four Power Five wins under their belt, an upset against the Tigers may not be as far-fetched as it appeared before the season began.
Here is everything you need to know about Clemson ahead of Syracuse’s second road game of the season on Saturday:
Clemson leads, 8-2.
Last time they played
Last season, a then-unranked, 3-2 Clemson visited the Dome against a Syracuse team that had just lost two straight conference games by three points each. The game marked Garrett Shrader’s third start since taking over for Tommy DeVito three games into the campaign.
After going scoreless in the first quarter, Clemson broke the deadlock just over six minutes into the second quarter on a 19-yard reception from Joseph Ngata. Syracuse responded with a short rush from Shrader on the subsequent drive, but the Tigers led at halftime, scoring with nine seconds left in the half.
The third quarter also finished scoreless, and Clemson tacked on a 40-yard field goal to take a 10-point lead in the fourth. But Syracuse, though only recording two drives and 138 total yards for the rest of the game, pulled within three points on a Trebor Peña receiving touchdown.
The secret’s out on Oronde Gadsden. His NFL father says that’s a good thing for Syracuse (PS; $; Leiker)
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney praised three Syracuse football players by name during his weekly press conference.
Garrett Shrader, Sean Tucker and Oronde Gadsden II.
In just six games, the redshirt freshman wide receiver-turned-tight end has gone from relatively unknown to one of the top 50 receivers in the country and a must-scout player for SU’s opponents.
Gadsden’s father, former Miami Dolphins receiver Oronde Gadsden I, told Syracuse.com that’s a good thing for the Orange offense.
“He’ll definitely see some double teams, which is cool because that means Tucker can run,” Gadsden I said. “It’s all positive in the team concept, and that’s what makes the sport so great. It’s a team concept. If two people are on Oronde, you got nine other people.”
Gadsden leads Syracuse in receiving yards (507), receptions (31) and receiving touchdowns (5). He caught the Orange’s game-winner against Purdue to help keep the team undefeated five weeks ago and was the first to put points on the board Saturday against N.C. State in his third 100-yard performance of the season.
SU football midseason grades, superlatives, bowl picks: No, we didn’t see this either (PS; $; Staff)
Syracuse football is 6-0, ranked in the Top 15 of the national polls and about to play Clemson with a trip to the ACC Championship Game possibly at stake.
No, we didn’t see this coming either.
Before the season, we asked if Dino Babers would win enough games to cool his seat?
In less than two months, he’s gone from one of the betting favorites for being ousted to national coach of the year candidate.
With that question answered, we had to think of a new one.
Which bowl game will Syracuse play in?
We tackle that and more in our midseason report card.
Grade the offenseBrent Axe: A-
Robert Anae has put some flair, creativity and life into the Orange offensive attack. Syracuse is averaging 36 points per game, which is 29th in the country. Compare that to where it finished last year (24.9 ppg; 91st)
Emily Leiker: B+
For all the improvement it has made this season, Syracuse’s offense is still looking for a dominant, multi-score win over a top-40 opponent to be bumped up to an A- or A.
Garrett Shrader and company have proven they can make big plays and win last-minute games. They just need to be a smidge more consistent.
Nate Mink: B
Consistently good. Credit must go to the offensive staff: Robert Anae and Jason Beck have created a balanced offense and have cleaned up the communication gaffes that marred last year’s operation. Then there are the three Mikes: Lynch gets the pleasure of coaching Sean Tucker. Johnson has elevated the play of the receivers, and Schmidt has a unit that got recognized by the Joe Moore Award committee at midseason. The penalty issue is overblown, though the pre-snap jumpiness has stalled out some drive. Better red-zone execution will be a necessity for a championship season.
Beat writers split on if No. 14 Syracuse can defeat No. 5 Clemson (DO; Staff)
For the first time since 2018, No. 14 Syracuse simultaneously earned itself a spot in a postseason Bowl Game and defeated a ranked opponent. That win came without much pushback as it held a Devin Leary-less, then-No.15 NC State team to no touchdowns in its 24-9 win last Saturday.
Now the Orange have a bigger task at hand in No. 5 Clemson, in a matchup between two of the nine remaining undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. It’s the penultimate ranked matchup left on Syracuse’s schedule, but it’s against a team it hasn’t beaten since 2017 and at a venue where the Orange have been outscored 50-144 across four defeats at Memorial Stadium.
Alex Cirino (4-2)
Stick to the Bowl Game
Clemson 33, Syracuse 20
Syracuse has beaten four Power Five opponents thus far. Each game has made a long winning streak progressively more promising. Beating a ranked NC State and holding it to no touchdowns was a major plus and a big confidence booster going forward. Talks surrounding the Orange’s prospective College Football Playoff berth are slowly starting to formulate ahead of their trip to Clemson.
But it’s time for a reality check. Clemson is back to playing its best football in the post-Trevor Lawrence era. They aren’t the unranked team that Syracuse held to within a field goal last season. DJ Uiagalelei is now an established Heisman Trophy candidate, leading a Tigers offense that has scored at least 30 points in each game.
Syracuse won’t make it easy for the Tigers, but I believe Clemson’s defense will be the deciding factor, and Shrader will struggle to maintain the momentum he and the Orange offense have built up through the passing game. It’s been a fun, promising run for SU who clinched its first Bowl Game berth since 2018, but it will fail to reach 7-0 on Saturday.
Connor Smith (5-1)
Syracuse 27, Clemson 24
This Syracuse team is legit. Yes, the schedule has not been that tough so far, and the Orange’s best win came against a team without its starting quarterback. SU, though, didn’t even play its best football last Saturday, with Garrett Shrader throwing two interceptions and the offense putting up just 10 first-half points. They still won somewhat comfortably.
The Orange match up well with the Tigers on paper — their defense is statistically better, and both offenses have put up similar numbers. Syracuse has the better running back, and Shrader has performed comparably to D.J. Uigalelei. SU should compete in this game, regardless of the atmosphere in Death Valley.
Dino Babers has proved he can play Clemson tough. SU took down the Tigers in 2017, of course, but also (at least briefly) put a scare into Dabo Swinney’s team in 2018 and 2021. Babers seems to have figured something about Clemson out that few other schools in the ACC have. And with this arguably being Babers’ best Syracuse team, the time is now to pick up one of the school’s biggest wins this century and move closer to its first-ever ACC Championship Game appearance.
Anthony Alandt (5-1)
Syracuse 38, Clemson 31
Axe: Duce Chestnut has heard enough about Clemson: 'I feel bad for ‘em' (PS; $; Axe)
Syracuse cornerback Duce Chestnut’s changed his jersey number to No. 0 from No. 20 in the offseason with an icy purpose.
The decision came with the mentality of giving up zero catches to opposing receivers and, as Chestnut put it, “making it cold on that island for them.”
In the modern era of name, image and likeness, there’s even a “Sub Zero” T-shirt for that.
Chestnut declared with stone cold confidence at the start of training camp that Syracuse had a top-10 defense in the country.
He was right.
The Orange is eighth in total defense in college football.
In a Q&A this week ahead of a matchup between No. 14 Syracuse and No. 5 Clemson, Chestnut spoke with purpose and with that icy confidence like a villain in a sports movie delivering a stinger (think Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” saying, “I must break you”).
Our conversation is below:
Axe: How do you get ramped up to not only go on the road again, but you are going into a pretty tough environment there in Death Valley
Chestnut: It’s going to be a good game. They’re a good team. We’re also a good team. It’s not just that we got to play them, they also got to play us. We are just treating it as another game on the schedule.
Axe: They have a chance to set an ACC record for consecutive home wins. Does that give you an extra edge to go in and play spoiler on that?
Chestnut: Yeah, I feel bad for ‘em because we’re definitely planning to spoil that. That’s definitely on our mind, but we just want to win the game. That’s what is most on our mind.
#FakeNunes previews Syracuse vs Clemson (TNIAAM; Wall)
It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means... time for the blog that gives you the internet’s most ridiculous college football preview series- it’s #FakeNunes time. Have we found some creative ways to get #jokesandgarbage into a Syracuse Orange preview? You be the judge...
Now onto this week’s opponent
Opponent: Clemson Tigers
Location: Clemson, SC
Students: 20,796 students who still want Dabo to coach basketball in the off-season.
The 2022 Fake Nunes Statistical Index (#FNSI)
We continue to look to innovate our analytics model so we here’s what the lab cooked up for this season.
NEW Rivalry Trophy
The FNSI staff realized that some of what’s missing in these games is that the Orange aren’t playing for any rivalry trophies and they are out to fix that injustice. Each week the winner of the FNSI will get to take home a new trophy. This week we give you
The Dabo Trophy
Clemson Football: 3 Bold Tigers Predictions For ACC Game Vs. Syracuse (clutchpoints.com; Villas)
It’s the battle of undefeated ranked teams this coming weekend at Clemson Memorial Stadium down in South Carolina, as the No. 5 Clemson Tigers and the No. 14 Syracuse Orange clash in what is essentially a matchup of two of the best ACC teams right now. With that said, it’s time to take a look at three predictions we have for Clemson football in Week 8 of the 2022 college football season.
3. Tigers bottle up Garrett Shrader
Clemson is quite familiar with Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader. After all, the Tigers faced him a year ago when they defeated the Orange on the road, 17-14. Shrader has gotten better since, though, and he is now a bigger threat to the Tigers’ defense than he was to them in 2021. Last season, Shrader passed for 1,445 yards and nine touchdowns against four interceptions across 12 games. He’s already bested those numbers in just six games this season.
After six appearances in 2022, Shrader has accumulated 1,427 passing yards with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The picks will most likely surpass the four he threw in 2021, but his efficiency has taken a big leap, making him one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. In fact, Shrader is third in the conference so far this season with a 171.09 rating. This is why he is going to be a big challenge for Clemson’s pass defense which needs to make a strong statement after its struggles last week against Florida State.
Following the conclusion of Clemson’s win over the Seminoles, Kirk Herbstreit said on the broadcast (h/t Gavid Olver of The Clemson Insider) that the Tigers still have some things to learn, especially on how the team’s defense can keep consistent energy from start to finish regardless of the score.
“I think he (Swinney) saw what you and I saw – he saw a Florida State team that didn’t give up when they were down 20,” Herbstreit, ESPN’s lead college football analyst, said to play-by-play man Chris Fowler. “He said my defense was playing to the scoreboard. I think he was right a little bit there. So you get a win, 34 to 28, and yet you can still walk away and go to the film room and say guys, second half, what’s going on here? So, you can keep your team hungry, you can keep your team motivated to get ready for that next game against Syracuse.
On the season, Clemson football is 85th nationally with 255.2 passing yards allowed per game. In Week 7, the Tigers let Jordan Travis of Florida State pass for 254 passing yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions on 24-of-42 completions.
2. Syracuse football gets limited by Clemson to its fewest rushing yards output this seasonWhile Shrader has shown massive improvement for Syracuse, it might be Orange sophomore running back Sean Tucker that Clemson football is most worried about. For one, Tucker has already torched Clemson’s defense before.
In last year’s meeting with Clemson football, Tucker’s freshman season, he bullied the Tigers’ stop unit for 157 rushing yards on 22 carries. He was not able to find the end zone, but he did have a 54-yard run. This season, Tucker is second in the ACC with 107.33 rushing yards per game. He is one of only two players in the league averaging at least 100 yards on the ground per contest.
Moreover, Tucker is averaging 5.19 yards per carry for Syracuse, which is rushing the ball more (55.9 percent rushing play rate). Clemson’s defense against the run is still one of the stingiest in the nation, as it is top 10 in both rushing yards allowed and in rushing yards per carry, but it has also just been punched in the mouth by Florida State which racked up over 200 rushing yards with two rushing scores in Week 7. Clemson football has the perfect opportunity to restore its pride and confidence in its rushing defense by taking the wheels off Tucker and the Tigers’ ground attack.
1. Clemson football covers the spreadAs of this writing, Clemson football is a 13.5-point favorite to take care of business on Saturday against Syracuse. After a “disappointing” win against Florida State, the last thing to expect of the Tigers in this upcoming matchup against the Orange is for them to be lethargic.
You can imagine Dabo Swinney reminding his players for an entire week to not take their collective foot off the pedal even when things are going right for the Tigers. Again, Clemson needs a strong statement and the Tigers can’t afford to lose this game, especially since they are playing at home. Clemson is 4-3 against the spread this season and 1-2 ATS at home. Moreover, the Tigers have covered the spread in each of their last three games overall.
No. 5 Clemson, No. 14 Syracuse battle for ACC Atlantic (seattletimes.com; Iacobelli)
There is always time to make history for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
The two-time national championship coach will lead the fifth-ranked Tigers against No. 14 Syracuse (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) on Saturday, the first-ever match up at Death Valley between two teams 6-0 or better. And if Clemson (7-0, 5-0) stays perfect, it will have the ACC record with its 38th consecutive win at home.
“We’ve had 81 years at Death Valley and there’s never been a match up like this,” said Swinney, who’s won six ACC titles and two national crowns in his 14 full seasons.
And it’s one of the most important showdowns in Swinney’s career. The winner is the clearcut favorite in the ACC Atlantic.
Clemson and Syracuse are among nine undefeateds left in college football, something Orange coach Dino Babers told his players to savor.
“You should cherish it and understand this moment and not let it just go past you,” Babers said. “You should look at it and be proud.”
Should the Orange keep it going with their first victory at Memorial Stadium, they’d have won seven straight for the first time since 2001.
Clemson reached 7-0 for the sixth time in eight seasons, but had a slow start and some fourth-quarter breakdowns on defense at Florida State last week in a 34-28 win after entering the final period up 34-14.
Swinney counted 24 missed tackles from his team at Florida State. The Tigers escaped Syracuse 17-14 a year ago despite several defensive lapses. Swinney said they missed six tackles behind the line of scrimmage and three sacks due to Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader’s strength and elusiveness.
If that happens this time around, given Syracuse’s level of play, Clemson likely won’t be as lucky.
“We have to clean that up, especially with as poorly as we played” at Florida State a week ago, Swinney said.
After five weeks at home, what's Syracuse football facing on the road this weekend? (cnycentral.com; Hodges)
Six weeks ago the then unranked Syracuse Orange hit the road to Storr's, Connecticut to face a UConn Huskies team looking to usher in a new era for their football program. The Orange rolled, 48-14 and returned home with a 2-0 record and a rising level of confidence.
Six weeks, four home games and a bye week later the Orange are 6-0, ranked 14th in the nation and prepping for a plane ride that will take them to Clemson, South Carolina for a date with the perennial conference favorite and 5th-ranked team in the nation in the hometown Tigers, and they'll go from hearing a sea of orange cheering them to victory, to feeling the weight of an ocean of orange working against them.
Syracuse starting QB thinks this is the year the Orange take down Clemson in Death Valley usatoday.com; Turri)
Dabo Swinney and his undefeated Tigers have a big matchup this week as the only other undefeated team in the ACC, Syracuse, takes a trip to Death Valley Saturday for a battle between unbeaten teams.
Things are shaping up for this one to be an exciting one at home for No.5 Clemson, with No.14 Syracuse starting quarterback Garrett Shrader making things a little more interesting. Shrader recently joined the Gramlich and Mac Lain podcast this week to discuss his team’s matchup with the Tigers, with Shrader showing a ton of confidence in the Orange.
According to Shrader, he believes this is the year Syracuse takes down Clemson for the first time since 2017.
“Playing a top-ranked team in the country, obviously you want to play ’em tough,” he said. “I can’t pinpoint one reason, but just schematically, they’ve got a great club. That D-line they’ve got is very stout. That kind of sets the tone for their defense. Coach Swinney has been doing a good job too as well just building that program.
“So, I don’t know why, but I’m excited – I think this is our year to take them down, and there’d be no better way to do it than in Death Valley.”
Clemson has had some close games with Syracuse in recent seasons, with Clemson’s 17-14 win over the Orange last season being no different. We will see whether Shrader and Syracuse can keep things competitive again on Saturday.
Syracuse vs Clemson Prediction, Game Preview (CFN; Fiutak)
Syracuse vs Clemson How To WatchDate: Saturday, October 22
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
How To Watch: ABC
Record: Syracuse (6-0), Clemson (7-0)
Syracuse vs Clemson Game Preview
Why Syracuse Will WinThe Orange defense has been fantastic.
The offense is balanced, there’s more of a passing game this season, and the versatility is allowing the team to make adjustments last year’s team couldn’t. But it’s the other side of the ball that’s coming through to get to 6-0.
Syracuse leads the ACC in total D, it’s not allowing much of anything on the ground – no one has been able to hit 150 yards – and after a bit of a rough start, the secondary has tightened up in a big way against the short-to-midrange passes.
On the other side, Clemson might be playing well, but it faced one team so far that can run well. Florida State came up with 206 yards on the ground last week – the most anyone gained against the Tigers so far – and now it’s time to pound a bit. Sean Tucker hasn’t needed to be a workhorse yet, but this is the game to keep feeding him the ball.
Why Clemson Will WinWelcome to a real road game, Syracuse.
It’s going to be October 22nd, we’re past the midway point in the season, and the Orange have gone on the road just once so far. Going to Death Valley is a wee bit different than traveling to UConn.
No, Clemson hasn’t faced a slew of killers on the ground so far, but Syracuse really hasn’t had to deal with anyone pounding away. The defensive front has been great, and Clemson isn’t going to tear off 200 yards, but averaging five yards per carry like Virginia did should get the job done.
And about the idea of Tucker and the Orange pounding away, good luck. The Clemson defensive front showed it could be run on last week against Florida State, but it was able to hold up when it had to – it was 34-14 before FSU came up with two late touchdowns.
What’s Going To HappenClemson continues to be challenged, and it continues to come through.
The running game has been good, DJ Uiagalelei has been great – 12 touchdown passes in the last four games – and it should all click just enough to go along with a terrific day from the defense.
Syracuse will hang around and keep this in range, but the Tiger D will hold firm in the fourth quarter when needed.
Syracuse vs Clemson Prediction, LineClemson 30, Syracuse 17
Line: Clemson -13.5, o/u: 49.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Syracuse vs Clemson Must See Rating (out of 5): 4.5
Clemson vs. Syracuse preview, prediction: Week 8 college football picks (SI; Parks)
Clemson vs. Syracuse preview, prediction
Week 8 college football picks: Clemson vs. Syracuse
How to watchWhen: Sat., Oct. 22
Time: 12 p.m. Eastern
TV: ABC network
Odds, point spread, betting lines
Odds courtesy of SI
Line: Clemson -13.5
Moneyline: SYR +400, CLEM -654
FPI pick: Clemson 83.5%
Clemson vs. Syracuse: What you need to know
1. De facto division title game? It's a little early to sort out the Atlantic Division chase right now, but this game will no doubt go a long way in doing that. If Clemson wins, it would still need to take down Miami or Louisville in the next few weeks to take the division. But it means more for the Orange, who still have trips to Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. Syracuse comes in at 6-0 overall and 3-0 in ACC play, compared to Clemson's 7-0 overall mark and a 5-0 record in conference. Winning the head-to-head here is vital.
2. Clemson up front. Coming into last week, Clemson boasted the 4th stingiest rushing defense in college football, but Florida State ran through it for over 200 yards, a number the Tigers had allowed on the ground just four times in the last six years. Dabo Swinney said his team missed 26 tackles in that game, being out of position, slow at the point of attack, or missing their angles of pursuit. That issue has to be corrected as Clemson lines up against Syracuse's 1-2 punch on offense.
3. Shrader and Tucker. Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader is a legitimate threat moving the ball in the air, averaging 171 yards per game with 12 TDs and three picks while completing almost 70% of his attempts. He'll have opportunities against Clemson's secondary, which allows almost 256 passing yards per game. Tucker had 157 yards rushing in this game last season and is hitting over 5 ypc this year with 6 of Syracuse's 12 rushing scores. Shrader has five of those other TDs while adding 300 yards on the ground. This duo can challenge Clemson's front seven, one of the nation's best making plays behind the line.
Fast Facts+ Clemson and Syracuse are 2 of 9 undefeated teams left in FBS
+ Syracuse has start 6-0 two other times since World War II, and finished undefeated both times (1959, 1987)
+ Clemson has won 37 straight games at home
+ Syracuse is 26 of 28 (.929) in the red zone this season
+ 5 of Clemson's last 7 teams to start 8-0 went on to play for the national championship
Syracuse Football: 3 Reasons Orange Are For Real After Win Over NC State (clutchpoints.com; Briscoe)
Syracuse football: 3 reasons Orange are for real after win over NC State
Syracuse football is off to its best start since 1987, as they sit a cool 6-0, with impressive wins over Purdue, who may crack the Top 25 soon enough, and current No. 20 North Carolina State. Sure, the Wolfpack didn’t have their star quarterback Devin Leary, who appears to be out for the season, but the Orange still won by two scores, which is impressive considering North Carolina State’s stout defense.
As they set their eyes on a road showdown with No. 5 Clemson, a game which could decide the ACC Atlantic division, let’s take a look at the 3 reasons that Syracuse are a legitimate threat for at least a New Years Six bowl.
3. Garrett Shrader is a very good quarterbackAfter an impressive freshman campaign at Mississippi State in 2019 under Joe Moorhead, you wouldn’t have been crazy to suggest that Shrader might develop into one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC. However, on came 2020, and with it, exited Moorhead, who was replaced by Mike Leach, and another freshman star in Will Rogers.
Shrader found himself on the bench for 10 of Mississippi State’s 11 games in 2020, and his lone appearance was as a receiver. He transferred to Syracuse that offseason, and in 2021 guided the Orange in a transitionary year between outgoing quarterback Tommy DeVito (now at Illinois) and himself. He threw for 1,445 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions, and through just six games he’s already nearly matched those statistics.
As he’s grown more comfortable with the Syracuse football offense, he’s expanded his passing range, and so far he sits fourth in the ACC in passing touchdowns. Shrader may not have grown into one of the best in the SEC, but he’s definitely grown into one of the best in the ACC.
2. They’re well coachedIt’s easy to forget Syracuse football at times, given the reputation of their basketball team under Jim Boeheim and the gigantic shadow it casts, but don’t forget that just four years ago, Dino Babers guided Syracuse to only their sixth ten win season since 1960. Sure, Babers still sits under .500 all time with Syracuse, but he’s still a very good coach who can put together some good teams.
Ranking the remainder of Syracuse football’s schedule - The Juice Online (the juice; Gustin)
Syracuse has surged to a 6-0 start and is currently 14th in the country in the AP and Coaches Polls. But the second half of the season gets significantly harder.
Here is the ranking of their six remaining games from most winnable to least, as Syracuse tries to defy the odds during the toughest stretch of their schedule.
1. Boston College
At 2-4 on the season, Boston College is definitively the most winnable remaining game for Syracuse this season in the very last game of the regular season on Nov. 26.
The Eagles have won one game in the ACC this year, securing a 34-33 win at home against Louisville. Besides the Cardinals, BC has not played competitive conference games against Virginia Tech, Clemson, or Florida State.
BC quarterback Phil Jurkovec has 1,300 passing yards in six games, but he’s been inconsistent. After he threw for 304 yards against Louisville, he followed that performance by just 108 passing yards against Florida State.
Boston College is 224th in college football with 20 points per game, while Syracuse is sixth in the country with 13.2 points per game allowed. This combination trends toward a very winnable game.
2. Florida State
After a Week 4 win against Boston College, Florida State was 4-0 and ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll, the first time they appeared in the rankings in four years.
Since then, the Seminoles have dropped three straight, although against some of the strongest ACC teams in Wake Forest, NC State, and Clemson.
Despite the three game skid, the Seminoles have played well and down to the wire with these teams. Their offense is run-heavy and leans on sophomore running back Treshaun Ward, who with almost 500 rushing yards by Week 7 is already only 27 yards from breaking his season total from last year.
Florida State allows 157 rushing yards per game, well outside the Top 50 in the country and one of the worst in the ACC. That could bode well for the Orange.
3. Notre Dame
Perhaps the most confusing team on this list is Notre Dame, who Syracuse will host after they play Clemson.
They were ranked as high as No. 5, but an infamous loss at Marshall dropped the Irish to 0-2 and out of the top 25.
Things seemed to improve for head coach Marcus Freeman, with Notre Dame winning three in a row, including against No. 16 BYU. But then the Irish inexplicably lost to Stanford, 16-14, which gave Stanford their first FBS win in a year.
At just 23.7 points per game, the Irish offense ranks 181st in college football. QB Drew Pyne is struggling with under 900 passing yards on the year, not even in the top 100 for quarterbacks.
The Syracuse defense that is top 10 in almost every defensive stat along with what should be a very loud JMA Wireless Dome may not bode well for Notre Dame.
In Week 10, Syracuse travels to face Pitt in what could be a tough contest for the Orange. The Panthers are currently 4-2 and have looked like two different teams depending on the week.
Their loss to Tennessee is understandable, but their loss to Georgia Tech was not. Despite these losses, Pitt has looked strong in wins against West Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Averaging just over 430 yards per game, their offense is explosive and can attack in multiple ways. Senior QB Kedon Slovis has thrown for over 1,000 yards, and their defense is just outside the top 25 in yards allowed per game.
If Pitt plays up to their ability, this road matchup for the Orange presents a challenging test.
5. Wake Forest
In November, Syracuse travels to Wake Forest to play the second toughest remaining game on their schedule.
The Demon Deacons’s one loss came in a double OT game against Clemson, which was a back and forth offensive affair that came down to the wire.
Wake Forest has one of the best offenses in college football, averaging a remarkable 41.2 points per game. Junior Sam Hartman has thrown 16 TDs already this season and averages 9.4 passing yards per attempt.
On the other side of the ball, Wake’s defense allows the fourth most yards per game in the ACC. However with their dominant offense, a lot of their wins have resulted in blowouts.
The combination of a road game and Wake Forest’s high-powered offense makes this a difficult game to win.
Late Kick: Clemson will take care of business at home against Syracuse (cbssports.com; video; CBS Sports)
Syracuse vs Clemson analysis/preview
Jury still out on Syracuse football's surprising rise to No. 14 (yardbarker.com; Petrik)
Picked to finish last in the ACC preseason poll, Syracuse entered the 2022 season without high expectations. At the season's midway point, however, the unbeaten Orange are No. 14 in the AP Top 25 and second in the ACC Atlantic division.
How did the Orange (6-0) fly so far under the radar? For one, Syracuse finished second to last in the Atlantic division in 2021 and 2019 and last in the ACC in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
Syracuse’s six opponents own a combined record of 18-22, with its stiffest competition coming at home against Purdue and No. 23 NC State—which lost starting quarterback Devin O’Leary the week prior. Plus, the Orange own one win over a top-25 opponent and one over the top team in the receiving votes category (Purdue).
You may not know, however, that Syracuse boasts a No. 8 total defense and No. 6 scoring defense. Plus, it has one of the top RBs in the conference in sophomore Sean Tucker, who has 644 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Syracuse’s status could be determined on the field Saturday at No. 5 Clemson. If it wins or plays well and loses, few can doubt Syracuse.
Orange head coach Dino Babers said his team looks forward to putting their unblemished record to the test against a “fine” Clemson team.
“It is going to be fun,” he said.
Babers wants Syracuse players to embrace the team's first 6-0 start since 1987.
"You should cherish it," he said. "You should understand this moment and not just let it go past you."
Locked On Syracuse - Daily Podcast On Syracuse Orange Football & Basketball: Don Munson Gives Us The Inside Scoop On The Clemson Tigers on Apple Podcasts (apple.com; podcast; Locked on Syracuse)
Matt Bonaparte and Owen Valentine talk with the voice of the Clemson Tigers, Don Munson. Don gives the guys insight on all things Clemson football leading up to this weekend's noon game between the Orange and the Tigers. Find out everything you need to know on your Thursday episode.
ORANGE ZONE: #14 Syracuse football at #5 Clemson (youtube.com; podcast; Orange Zone)
After a more than month long homestand, the #14 Syracuse Orange (6-0) are set to hit the road for just the second time this season in a game that could define the rest of the 2022 season. In this episode of "The Orange Zone Podcast" Tommy Sladek, Samantha Croston and James Mungro discuss the mindset as the Orange enter Death Valley, and face off against a Clemson Tigers (7-0) team that, while similar in terms of personnel with Syracuse, comes with both championship history and pedigree. The winner of this game also takes control of the ACC Atlantic division. It's a college football matchup that no Orange fan will want to miss and we break it all down on this week's episode of "The Orange Zone Podcast".
Newhouse at Night 10-19 (ESPN; radio; Newhouse at Night)
Andrew Della Piana and Jack Gordon interview ESPN play-by-play announcer and SU alum Sean McDonough about the upcoming Syracuse-Clemson game this Saturday. Then, Johnny Gadamowitz and Jake Gourwitz discuss their thoughts about the game as well.
On The Block On Demand 10-19 (ESPN; radio; Axe)
Brent discusses the similarities between this year’s Syracuse team and the last undefeated Syracuse team. Later, Josh joins Brent for their weekly props segment.
ACC power rankings: Is Syracuse legit? (cardiachill.com; Parra)
There were plenty of teams this past Saturday that were given a well deserved rest week. Now we get to turn our attention to the second half of the season and see who exactly will be challengers in a crowded ACC.
#1 Clemson (7-0, 5-0)
The Clemson Tigers were able to hold off a late rally against Florida State to keep their undefeated season alive. This extended the streak to seven straight years defeating Florida State. Climbing to No. 4 in the national polls, the Tigers are in the driver’s seat to represent the ACC in the College Football Playoff.
#2 Wake Forest (5-1, 1-1)
Wake Forest was one of many teams with the week off. Even with not playing anyone, Wake Forest was able to climb one spot to move into No. 13 nationally due to Penn State losing against Michigan.
#3 Syracuse (6-0, 3-0)
In the lone matchup between ranked teams in the ACC, it was the Syracuse Orange who came up with the convincing 24-9 victory. This will set up the biggest matchup in the ACC this week as now Syracuse will travel to Clemson in a battle of unbeaten teams, with control of the Atlantic division on the line.
#4 North Carolina (6-1, 3-0)
In one of the more exciting games of the weekend, The North Carolina Tar Heels were able to beat rival Duke in the final seconds of the game. Drake Maye threw the game-winning touchdown pass to a toe-tapping Antoine Green with only 16 seconds left in the game. The win keeps the Tar Heels in the driver’s seat to represent the Coastal.
Syracuse football: Dino Babers’s Clemson week preview (TNIAAM; Ostrowski)
A new week is here, and Syracuse Orange fans should have their hearing back after Saturday’s 24-9 victory over NC State. Head Coach Dino Babers held his longest press conference of the season on Monday, so I’ve got plenty to relay ahead of this weekend’s clash at No. 5 Clemson:
Undefeated FeelingNow 6-0, the No. 14 Orange are one of only nine undefeated teams left in the FBS. Most of the others are national powerhouses like Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, and, yes, Clemson. Babers spoke to his players on Sunday about what this feeling should mean to them.
“You should cherish it and understand this moment and not let it just go past you,” Babers said. “You should look at it and be proud.”
The players seemed to be well ahead of their coach, judging by their postgame celebrations on Saturday:
This is the best start for SU since their unbeaten 1987 campaign, and the highest AP ranking since Week 11 of the 2018 season, when the Orange reached the No. 12 spot.
LOUD (HOUSE) NOISES!For those who were unable to attend Saturday’s game, let me tell you: It. Was. LOUD. The Dome certainly lived up to its namesake and Babers was quick to recite that.
...“One of the advantages of this institution is home games in that Dome, and when it is filled like that, it is a true 12th man,” Babers said. “I’ve been in stadiums where your 12th man is not a 12 man... The Dome, the JMA at Syracuse University, that is a true 12th man.”
Danny Kanell Asks If 3 ACC Teams Can Make College Football Playoff (thespun.com; Audilet)
College football analyst Danny Kanell has come up with a scenario where three ACC teams punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff.
First the now 6-1 North Carolina Tar Heels win out and take down Clemson in the ACC Championship — moving their record to 11-1. This would be the Tigers' only loss of the year, poising them at 11-1 as well.
Undefeated Syracuse plays Clemson this weekend. If the Orange put up a good fight against their ACC Atlantic rival then win out, they'd also be 11-1.
Here's Kanell's full scenario:
"Since we love hypotheticals so much... Could the ACC get three teams in the playoff??? If this looks stupid it's because it is. But it's the same as the 3 SEC teams in. Literally the exact same thing," he wrote.
This scenario is wildly unlikely and would completely upend recent College Football Playoff history. Clemson is the only ACC team to make the postseason in the CFP era — except for Florida State in 2015.
Week 8 ACC football power poll (dailyprogress.com; Barber)
It’s the mid-point of the season for most ACC football teams and the final conference divisional races are starting to crystalize.
Clemson appears poised to put away the Atlantic Division, while every team other than Virginia and Virginia Tech has life in the race for the Coastal.
The undefeated and fifth-ranked Tigers, with wins over Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Florida State already under their belts, can effectively wrap things up with a home win over also-undefeated Syracuse this weekend. Clemson is a two touchdown-favorite in that matchup.
Around the league, promising starts for FSU and Duke have fizzled, a season-ending injury to quarterback Devin Leary has derailed North Carolina State. First-year coaches at Virginia and Virginia Tech are taking their lumps, but at Miami, Mario Cristobal seems to have righted the ship after a shaky start.
The top four teams in this week’s Lee Enterprises ACC Power Poll are a combined 24-2. The rest of the league? It’s 32-32.
Voters: Mike Barber and David Teel (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Greg Madia and John Shifflett (Daily Progress), Aaron McFarling (Roanoke Times) and John Dell (Winston-Salem Journal)
1. Clemson (7-0, No. 1 last week): While Dabo Swinney’s former coordinators — UVa’s Tony Elliott and Oklahoma’s Brent Venables — struggle in their new gigs, Clemson has asserted itself yet again in the ACC and on the national scene. No one in the league is winning by a more comfortable margin than the Tigers, who rank third in scoring (38.6 points per game) and third in scoring defense (19.7). Next: vs. Syracuse, Saturday
2. Wake Forest (5-1, No. 2 last week): The Demon Deacons' only loss came in a double-overtime thriller against Clemson. Wake isn’t atop the ACC because of that game, but it’s clear Dave Clawson and Sam Hartman have this team very close. Next: vs. Boston College, Saturday
3. Syracuse (6-0, tied for No. 4 last week): The Orange is one of nine remaining undefeated teams in the nation. Who would have guessed? That impressive run may come to an end this weekend, but Dino Babers certainly has cooled off his seat for the moment, though a brutally-challenging second-half schedule awaits him. Next: at Clemson, Saturday
Deacon Sports Xtra: Jurgens Leadership Helps Beef Boys Be Versatile as an Offense - Wake Forest University Athletics (godeacs.com)
Fifth-year junior center Michael Jurgens picked up ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors following the Demon Deacons 31-21 win over Florida State in Tallahassee, adding to a long list of accolades for his performance.
It's the second time in his career he earned player of the week honors, and he's also a three-time Rimington Award Watch List member, given to the top center in college football; and was additionally recognized as a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy — given to the college football player with the best combination of academics, community service and on-field performance.
"It's always good to get recognized," Jurgens said about the accolades. "I'm going to steal from Sam's (Hartman) playbook and say that's really an award for all my teammates. We don't really read into that stuff too much, it's just great to get the win."
Known for a prolific vertical passing attack fueled by Hartman and a dangerous group of receivers, the Demon Deacons have really relied on a potent rushing attack in back-to-back wins over Florida State and Army.
"There's always some good and some bad," Jurgens said. "There are things to clean up, especially on third downs. But really happy with how we're doing and DeVonte has taken the next step in his game. It's great having Je'Vionte' (Nash) back, as he's so firm in the run game. Obviously, Sean (Maginn), Loic (Ngassam Nya) and I are extremely comfortable with each other.
"It's a good feeling for us. Justice (Ellison) and CT (Christian Turner) are guys you're always happy to see succeed. In our offense, it always depends on what the opposing team is going to give us. When teams give us good run boxes, we like to capitalize on that."
Any conference road win is reason for celebration, according to Jurgens.
"Every time you get an ACC win on the road, I can basically picture each one of those in my head, since 2018," he said. "It's a really great feeling. There's just so much work put into this. To see how this team bounced back after the Clemson game was a really good feeling. We're at that point where we're starting to form our own identity, and we're happy the way it's gone."
2022 Week 8 ACC Factoids (RX; HM)
2022 Week 8 ACC Factoids
From the official ACC release...
ACC NotesFive conference games make up week eight of the ACC schedule, which is highlighted by a matchup of undefeated ranked teams in the Atlantic Division. No. 5 Clemson (7-0, 5-0) hosts No. 14 Syracuse (6-0, 3-0) Saturday at noon on ABC in the only game in the country this week between unbeaten teams. It is the first time Clemson and Syracuse have faced each other when both teams are ranked.
The Clemson-Syracuse game matches two of the top quarterbacks in the country who enter the contest with similar statistics this season. Syracuse signal caller Garrett Shrader is averaging 289.0 total yards of offense, including 239.0 per game passing and 50.0 rushing. Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei is averaging 286.0 total yards of offense, including 237.9 passing and 48.1 rushing.
Clemson leads the series vs. Syracuse, 8-2, and is seeking its fifth consecutive victory against the Orange. This will be the eighth time in 11 meetings that Clemson has entered the game as a top 5 team. Last year, QB DJ Uiagalelei passed for 181 yards and one touchdown as the Tigers held off the Orange, 17-14, in the Dome. Clemson is tied with Florida State (1992-2001) with the longest ACC home win streak at 37 games and can stand alone with a win in Death Valley on Saturday.
The ACC slate kicks off on Thursday with Georgia Tech hosting Virginia (7:30 p.m./ESPN). The Yellow Jackets have won two in a row under interim head coach Brent Key and a win would keep them in Coastal Division contention. Virginia is seeking its first conference win of the season and has won two in a row over Georgia Tech.
Duke travels to Miami on Saturday for a key Coastal Division contest at 12:30 p.m. on RSN. Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke has thrown for more than 350 yards in each of his last two games, including last week’s 351-yard performance in a win at Virginia Tech. Duke QB Riley Leonard had an outstanding game last week vs. North Carolina, throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown. This Saturday’s game will be the first between the teams at Miami Gardens since 2018, when Duke won by a 20-12 score.
Odds to reach CFP, fire coach 2022 Oct 20 (RX; HM)
Odds to reach CFP, fire coach 2022 Oct 20
SportsBetting.ag has updated their odds for some teams to reach the College Football Playoffs (including 2 ACC teams), and for others to fire their football coach (including 1.5 ACC teams).
First, let's look at CFP odds...
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: These odds are provided strictly for informational purposes. We recognize that many fans appreciate knowing how outsiders view their team's "odds of wining". However, neither Hokie Mark nor ACCFootballRx supports, endorses, or condones gambling. We strongly urge you NOT TO GAMBLE! Use this information as it is intended by us: for informational and entertainment purposes only.
Which teams will qualify for the CFP?Georgia -500
Ohio State -500
Reminder: Syracuse at Clemson this Saturday at noon on ABC!
ACC Stats: Scoring 2022 Oct 19th (RX; HM)
ACC Stats: Scoring 2022 Oct 19th
From the official ACC Football Stats:
SCORING OFFENSEFive ACC teams are scoring, on average, at least 5 touchdowns per game:
1 N. Carolina 41.7 ppg
2 Wake Forest 41.2 ppg
3 Clemson 38.6 ppg
4 Syracuse 36.0 ppg
5 Pitt 35.0 ppg
On the other hand, four ACC teams are averaging less than 3 touchdowns:
11 Boston College 20.0 ppg
12 Virginia Tech 19.1 ppg
13 Virginia 17.8 ppg
14 Georgia Tech 17.3 ppg
This appears to have a pretty strong correlation with winning. In 2022, if you can't score at least 35 points per game, you aren't going to win a lot of them.
SCORING DEFENSEFour ACC teams are holding their opponents under 3 TDs per game:
1 Syracuse 13.2 ppg
2 NC State 16.9 ppg
3 Clemson 19.7 ppg
4 Miami 20.5 ppg
Meanwhile, there are three ACC teams allowing 4 or more TDs:
12 Georgia Tech* 28.0 ppg
13 Boston College 29.0 ppg
14 North Carolina 32.4 ppg
* In all fairness to the long-suffering Yellow Jackets fans, GT hasn't yielded more than 26 points since Geoff Collins was fired.
College football predictions for Week 8's biggest games: UCLA-Oregon, Syracuse-Clemson highlight schedule (247sports.com; Crawford)
Several unbeaten nationally-ranked teams will be put to the test in Week 8 after a scintillating weekend altered the College Football Playoff picture a bit at the midseason point. Predictions are in for the 10 biggest games, including unbeaten UCLA's trip to Oregon in a top-10 showdown and a battle of top-15 teams in the ACC when Clemson puts its home winning streak on the line versus Syracuse.
Unbeaten Ole Miss is now a betting underdog against LSU. Brian Kelly's team is 5-2 coming off an impressive showing at Florida and has only lost once at home this season to third-ranked Tennessee.
Season results: Brad Crawford (44-16 overall; 37-22-1 against the spread); Chris Hummer (42-18 overall; 36-23-1 ATS). I'm taking a bow after last week's perfect 10-0 mark against the spread. That's my first unblemished week in 2.5 seasons and it put me 15 games over after seven weeks. Hummer and I are making you money this season, but as always, tail with caution since we give a side for the top 10 games of the week and not necessarily the ones we're playing at the window.
Here are our picks straight up and against the spread for Week 8's biggest games.
KANSAS AT BAYLOR -8.5Hummer (The pick: Baylor -8.5): If Baylor can hold onto the ball, a big if after its last two games, it should win. Baylor is better and has a defense equipped to attack Jason Bean, who is more limited as a passer than the usual starter Jalon Daniels. Baylor makes Kansas one-dimensional offensively thanks to its run-stuffing front and rebounds from a shocking defeat last week to West Virginia. … Baylor 34, Kansas 24.
Crawford (The pick: Baylor -8.5): The Bears have lost back to back games against Big 12 competition, so why are they nearly a double-digit favorite in this spot? Well, after giving up 52 points to a bad Oklahoma team, it's obvious that the Jayhawks have widespread problems offensively right now that opposing teams can exploit. I doubt a Dave Aranda-coached team is going to lose three straight, so my lean is Baylor in this spot with a late cover. ... Baylor 35, Kansas 23.
KANSAS STATE AT TCU -3.5Hummer (The pick: TCU -3.5): Interesting matchup between teams with contrasting styles. While both of these teams play reasonably slow, TCU is far more explosive than Kansas State. The Horned Frogs have 43 plays this year of 20-plus yards. Kansas State has just 20. At the same time, K-State doesn’t allow nearly as many big plays. Personally, I like the team with more firepower in these situations, especially with the Wildcats having to travel. Give me TCU to cover. … TCU 31, Kansas State 27.
Crawford (The pick: Kansas State +3.5): Can any team in the Big 12 slow down this TCU offense right now? It doesn't look like it. Kansas State is ranked fourth in the Big 12 in total defense however and could present issues. The Wildcats' only loss this season came to Tulane, a G5 squad that jumped in the rankings this week. Kansas State would make a national statement with a win in Fort Worth. At worst, I'll at least take the cover. ... TCU 38, Kansas State 35.
SYRACUSE AT CLEMSON -13Hummer (The pick: Clemson -13): This is where Syracuse’s Cinderella run comes to an end. Clemson is a better football team. The Orange have been excellent this year in a lot of areas, but they’ve also yet to play a top-50 offense this year. They also haven’t faced a top-35 defense. The Tigers are simply a different test. Expect Clemson’s defensive front to limit a run-first Orange offensive attack while the Tigers’ offense paves the way with its run game. Clemson wins handily. … Clemson 34, Syracuse 20.
Crawford (The pick: Clemson -13): My second favorite play of the weekend behind LSU beating Ole Miss in Baton Rouge, give me Clemson here against an overrated Syracuse squad. The Orange beat NC State last week without Devin Leary at quarterback. In other words, Clemson's win over the Wolfpack was more impressive, at least to me. The Orange would silence all naysayers by snapping the nation's longest home winning streak in Death Valley, but it's not going to happen. Not even close, actually. ... Clemson 31, Syracuse 17.
Re-ranking ACC football quarterbacks: How we missed UNC's Drake Maye and why he's now No. 1 (yahoo.com; Thompson)
The college football season can make fools of us all, especially those who make preseason predictions.
The USA TODAY Network ranked the ACC’s quarterbacks before the start of the 2022 season, and now as we pass the midseason mark, it’s time to amend some of our mistakes.
Here’s a look at how the QB rankings have changed after seven weeks of football.
No. 14 NC State’s Jack ChambersStarting quarterback Devin Leary started the season at No. 1 on our list after throwing for 35 touchdowns and earning ACC Preseason Player of the Year honors. Last Saturday, after suffering a right pectoral injury the week before against Florida State, it was announced that Leary’s season was over, moving 25-year-old backup Jack Chambers into the starting position. Chambers completed 18 of 30 passes for 160 yards in the 24-9 loss to Syracuse and has a lot to prove in the coming weeks.
No. 13 Brennan Armstrong, VirginiaArmstrong threw for more than 400 yards per game last season and threw more passes than anyone else in the conference. That has not been the case in 2022. Armstrong has completed only 55% of his passes, the worst percentage in the ACC for a starter, and has thrown seven interceptions to five touchdowns, it hasn’t helped that he’s been sacked 19 times.
Virginia’s preseason QB rank: No. 4
No. 12 Grant Wells, Virginia TechWells is performing as expected under a first-year coach and a team that remains the only winless program this season in ACC play. Wells has completed 59.5% of his passes for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Virginia Tech’s preseason QB rank: No. 12
No. 11 Phil Jurkovec, Boston CollegeJurkovec entered the season as an NFL quarterback prospect but has struggled with a team that has only one legitimate scoring threat on offense and an offensive line that has allowed an ACC-worst 20 sacks.
Boston College’s preseason QB rank: No. 6
No. 10 Malik Cunningham, LouisvilleCunningham was expected to take another step forward after passing for 2.941 yards and rushing for over 1,000 yards with 39 combined touchdowns. Instead, the senior quarterback has struggled in 2022, throwing only three touchdowns to three interceptions. He’s still a talented runner, but defenses can let him run free and still win games.
Louisville’s preseason QB rank: No. 3
No. 9 Jeff Simms, Georgia TechSims’ improvement has been a big part of Georgia Tech’s resurgence over the last two weeks. His numbers don’t jump out at you, and the sophomore is still making mistakes, but the Yellow Jackets have won two straight with victories over No. 24 Pitt and a 23-20 overtime win over Duke.
Georgia Tech’s preseason QB rank: No. 11
No. 8 Kedon Slovis, PittSlovis, a USC transfer, has been hot and cold this season for the reigning ACC Coastal champions. He’s become a game manager for the Panthers, completing 91 of 148 passes for 1,167 yards and five touchdowns to three interceptions.
Pitt’s preseason QB rank: No. 10
No. 7 Tyler Van Dyke, MiamiVan Dyke looks to have gotten his groove back in the last two weeks, but he’s had some extremely disappointing performances this year, including completing 16 of 32 passes for 138 yards with two interceptions in an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee State. Van Dyke finished the 2021 season with six straight games of at least 300 yards passing and three touchdowns, so maybe he’ll peak in the second half of this season.
Miami’s preseason QB rank: No. 5
No. 6 Riley Leonard, DukeDuke hadn’t even picked a starting quarterback when our preseason list was released, but it seems obvious that first-year coach Mike Elko made the right choice with Leonard. The sophomore led the Blue Devils to a 3-0 start, and although they’ve lost three of the last four, his play helped make all those games competitive, including last week’s 38-35 loss to UNC.
Duke’s preseason QB rank: No. 14
No. 5 Garrett Shrader, SyracuseThere are a lot of reasons Syracuse is 6-0 this season, and Shrader deserves some of that credit. His numbers are staggering but he’s been consistent with his arm and a threat with his legs. Shrader has thrown at least two touchdowns in all but one game.
Syracuse’s preseason QB rank: No. 8
No. 4 Jordan Travis, Florida StateTravis has continued where he left off last year in terms of his improvement. He passed for 1,539 yards and 15 touchdowns to six interceptions in 2021, helping FSU win five of its last seven games after a 0-3 start. In 2022, he’s completed 61.6% of his passes for 1,661 yards and 11 touchdowns to three interceptions.
ACC power rankings heading into Week 8 (clemsonwire.usatoday.com; Turri)
Another week of the 2022 college football season is behind us as each team around the ACC prepares for their upcoming Week 8 matchups.
Dabo Swinney and No.5 Clemson are coming off a 34-28 road win over Florida State, where the Tigers looked good but took their foot off the gas, allowing the Seminoles to make things a little more interesting. Heading into the fourth quarter leading 34-14, Clemson dominated the game for three quarters.
There were some great games around the ACC in Week 7, while a handful of teams had their bye weeks. UNC and Duke battled it out in a close one, while Syracuse handled business against NC State.
In college football, anything can happen on any given Saturday, as we’ve seen this season. So, how did Week 7 shake things up in the ACC? Who rose in our and fell in our rankings?
Here’s a look at our ACC power rankings heading into 8:
Virginia Tech Hokies
Previous Rank: 13
Last week: 20-14 loss against Miami (FL)
This week: BYE
Previous Rank: 14
Last week: BYE
This week: @ Georgia Tech
Boston College Golden Eagles
Previous Rank: 12
Last week: BYE
This week: @ Wake Forest
Previous Rank: 10
Last week: BYE
This week: Home vs. Pittsburgh
Previous Rank: 11
Last week: 20-14 win at Virginia Tech
This week: Home vs. Duke
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Previous Rank: 8
Last week: BYE
This week: Home vs. UVA
Duke Blue Devils
Previous Rank: 9
Last week: 38-35 loss against UNC
This week: @ Miami (FL)
Previous Rank: 7
Last week: BYE
This week: @ Louisville
Florida State Seminoles
Previous Rank: 6
Last week: 34-28 loss against Clemson
This week: BYE
NC State Wolfpack
Previous Rank: 3
Last week: 24-9 loss at Syracuse
This week: BYE
North Carolina Tar Heels
Previous Rank: 5
Last week: 38-35 win at Duke
This week: BYE
Previous Rank: 4
Last week: 24-9 win over NC State
This week: @ Clemson
ACC FOOTBALL: How Can Syracuse Beat Clemson Weekly Reads & Rankings (youtube.com; podcast; Locked on Syracuse)
Clemson may be the best in the ACC but Syracuse is a familiar foe who is ready for the challenge to take them down. Weekly reads & rankings with AJ Black (Locked On Boston College) & Kenton Gibbs (Locked On Wolfpack).
Becca Ewald, the owner of Le Melange in downtown Syracuse. (Charlie Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org)
First Look: Hot new spot brings ‘vibe dining’ to downtown Syracuse (PS; $; Miller)
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to have an intimate meal in downtown Syracuse, Le Mélange might not be your cup of tea.
If you’re looking for a kinetic restaurant to enjoy clever drinks and meals cooked in the wide-open kitchen and smoked (Yes, smoked!) right in front of you, then Le Mélange might just be your cup of French-pressed spiced sangria.
The line outside the door of this new restaurant last Friday evening and the packed bar and dining room inside proves this is what Syracuse wants. It’s what Syracuse needs.
“We’re putting a spin on good food. We’re turning it all the way up,” said Becca Ewald, the 43-year-old owner of the restaurant that moved into the spot that housed The Stoop for years, next door to Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub. “We aren’t just a place for fine dining. We’re a place for vibe dining.”
This is Becca’s first go in the restaurant business. Before the Covid-19 shutdown, she had been a nurse and then got into real estate and design. She and co-owner Lynsey Riffle, a local event planner, decided downtown Syracuse could use another restaurant that will make you think you’re not in Syracuse. They converted the former bakery on the first floor of 309 W. Fayette St. into a kitchen surrounded by a bar and 14 tables that can accommodate up to 150 customers.
On Aug. 4, they started a series of soft openings and private events. Now they’re serving dinner during the week and brunch on Sunday, in addition to private events that Lynsey plans. Soon they’ll open seven days a week.