Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Thursday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Free Queso Day!

Salsa and chips are always free at Moe's Southwest Grill, but queso—or "liquid gold," as they call it—is also free today. Why? Because it's Free Queso Day! Each year on the day, Moe's gives out a free six-ounce cup of their queso as a way to thank their loyal customers. In past years, the restaurant—which is a fast-casual franchise that serves southwestern food in around 700 locations—has held contests giving those who enter the opportunity to win free queso for life. (Well, at least one free cup a week for 24 years.) In 2019, the day was expanded to "Queso Season," and queso was celebrated all of September. Not only was free queso available in-store, but also by using the Moe Rewards app, online ordering, and catering. Moe Rewards members also got an extra 100 bonus points for every purchase of queso they made during the month.

SU News

Opponent preview: What to know ahead of Army (DO; O'Brien)

Dino Babers has never totaled consecutive 3-0 seasons. Until now.

Following a 35-20 win at Purdue the Orange now return to the JMA Wireless Dome with a chance to start 4-0 for the second year in a row.

Standing in SU’s way is Army, a team that lost its opening game of the season but has responded with back-to-back wins. The two sides haven’t faced off since Bill Clinton was president.

Here’s everything you need to know about Army before it visits on Saturday:

All time series

Syracuse leads 11-10.

Last time they played

In their last matchup, Donovan McNabb was a sophomore quarterback. Rob Konrad was the running back, sporting a now-retired No. 44. Then-No. 19 Syracuse hosted No. 22 Army, who was in the middle of an undefeated season.

The Orange remained in front for the entire matchup, led by McNabb who threw for 285 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. While the Black Knights rushed for 288 yards, the most Syracuse had allowed all year to that point, they still couldn’t overcome SU.

Late in the game after another Syracuse score, McNabb performed a snap-salute in front of Army’s student section. While many did not notice the salute in SU’s 42-17 win, the picture appeared in the print edition of The Daily Orange the following week.

When McNabb picked up a copy of the paper and saw the picture, he regretted what he had done.

Our beat writers unanimously agree that SU moves to 4-0 (DO; Staff)

Syracuse returns to the JMA Wireless Dome after a 15-point win over Purdue in West Lafayette. Garrett Shrader stepped up in place of a receiving core that struggled without Oronde Gadsden II, while the defense forced four turnovers in the win. The Orange welcome Army, their final nonconference opponent of the season, for the two program’s first matchup since 1996.

The Golden Knights enter at 2-1 after dropping their Week 1 game 17-13 against the University of Louisiana-Monroe and hanging 94 points in two straight wins. Quarterback Bryson Daily leads a new-look Army offense, going 20-for-39 with 447 yards and four touchdowns. Army (2-1) is looking for its first win over Syracuse (3-0) since 1986, while the Orange can finish their nonconference slate undefeated for the second straight season.

Here’s how our beat writers think SU will fare against its in-state opponent:

Anthony Alandt (2-1)
Syracuse 27, Army 18

This is such an interesting test of some of the smartest approaches to football in the college game. The Army is in its first season of a gun option offense. They’re showing the world a possible deadly combination of triple option attack with a quarterback in Bryson Daily that can throw downfield with efficiency. Syracuse’s 3-3-5 defense has stood up three straight teams while forcing eight turnovers.

Luckily for the Orange, Rocky Long has experience against a service academy-style offense, and he likely scouted New Mexico Military Institution’s offense from 2012-18 while Golden Knights’ offensive coordinator Drew Thatcher was there. Between New Mexico and San Diego State, Long went 13-8 against Army, Air Force and Navy, all of whom ran the triple option. I love this game as a possible upset pick for the Golden Knights, and wouldn’t be surprised if they exit central New York with a win.

Syracuse is far more undisciplined and tends to sag off of physical rush games as the game goes on. But SU’s offense is humming right now and that’s hard to pick against it. The biggest downside of the Orange’s win in Purdue was that the receivers struggled. Long having prior knowledge about a gun option and triple should definitely tilt what could be a challenging game in Syracuse’s favor.

Wyatt Miller (3-0)
Different now
Syracuse 31, Army 14

“These guys are different now.”

That was head coach Dino Babers’ message to his players ahead of Syracuse’s showdown with Army. This isn’t the same Army team that ran the ball 86% of the time last season. This year, Thatcher has them throwing it almost 10% more, while averaging 35.7 points per game. Teams that haven’t accounted for Army’s willingness to throw the ball have paid the price – they rank second in the FBS in average completion yards (21.32). That said, the Black Knights haven’t played a defense like Syracuse.

SU’s secondary is more than capable of winning while isolated against an underwhelming Army receiving core. When they do drop back to pass, Long will make sure these defensive backs are dialed in while the pressure handles business. Through three games, the Orange defense ranks fourth in the nation in scoring, sixth in turnovers gained and 14th in rushing defense. Apart from a big play or two, this blitz-happy SU front should break through Army’s jumbo sets consistently.

Daily leads the Black Knights in rushing yards and touchdowns. They use misdirection to create rushing lanes and deception to freeze the defense. Lucky for Babers, he has Long on his staff, who is notorious for making in-game adjustments. Coming into a packed JMA Wireless Dome, you can be sure that Thatcher will have some tricks up his sleeve. Long and this defense will be ready, and SU will breeze to an undefeated record entering the Clemson game… again.

Henry O’Brien (2-1)
The new Orange Crush defense
Syracuse 24, Army 6

I really should’ve gone with my gut last week and picked the Orange to beat Purdue. Now standing at 2-1 this week, I don’t need to ponder about this prediction for very long. Similar to both Colgate and Western Michigan, I firmly believe Syracuse will easily defeat Army. SU has shown it has what it takes to defeat teams that it should beat. The victory over the Boilermakers was proof of that.

Shrader and the offense will need to show off that their aerial attack is no fluke. With Gadsden ruled out for the year hours before kickoff last Saturday, the Orange heavily relied on the quarterback’s legs. Even if Syracuse doesn’t have anyone reach over 100 yards receiving, spreading the ball out will be crucial against one of the better passing defenses in college football.

But that might not even matter because of how the defense has looked so far. While detractors could point to the weak opponents the Orange have faced through three weeks, Long has turned the defense into the best scoring defense in the ACC and the fourth best in the country. The three teams in front of them? No. 2 Michigan, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 1 Georgia. Not too shabby. Expect Syracuse to generate turnovers, whether it be a Marlowe Wax forced fumble, or an Isaiah Johnson interception. This defense will destroy the Army.

German-born SU lineman fell in love with football watching Gronk: ‘I want to do that’ (PS; $; Leiker)

The first football game to catch Mark Petry’s eye was one between the New England Patriots and the now-Washington Commanders.

He doesn’t remember what year it was. The game might’ve been a replay and not viewed live.

But the Syracuse football offensive lineman does remember watching then-Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dragging three defenders behind him.

“Cool,” Petry recalled thinking of the play. “I want to do that.”

Petry made his first career start in last Saturday’s 35-20 victory at Purdue, elevated atop the depth chart at right tackle following David Wohlabaugh Jr.’s season-ending injury in Week 2.

The German-born Petry is in his fourth season with the Orange and likely staring down the most playing time he’s seen in that stretch, having previously appeared in a total of 13 games. He missed the entire 2021 season with an injury.

Petry got an unprompted shoutout from quarterback Garrett Shrader postgame for his performance against Purdue, one that Shrader doubled down on, on Tuesday. Petry had the fourth-highest offensive line grade (59.3%) in the Week 3 win, according to Pro Football Focus, and averages a 65.8% pass-blocking grade this season.

SU coach Dino Babers said during his Monday press conference Petry “played an OK game” but added that how he improves in the upcoming weeks will be pivotal.

“People get to watch him on tape and he’s either going to get better or he’s not going to get better,” Babers said.

Petry knows there’s still a lot for him to learn. Having not discovered the sport until late in his teen years, he’s much newer to the sport than most of his teammates and opponents.

ORANGE ZONE: SU football is 3-0, hosts Army at the Dome in Week 4 (; podcast; Orange Zone)

Syracuse football continues to roll through it's non-conference schedule, but soon they'll be facing even tougher tests if they want to get where they want to be.

Axe: SU football moves on without its best player and why it has one shot at ‘GameDay’ (podcast) (PS; $; podcast)

Syracuse football has one game under its belt without star wide receiver Oronde Gadsden, who is out for the season with a season-ending foot injury.

On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports, Brent Axe discusses what the rest of the wide receivers need to do in Gadsden’s absence (catching the ball would be great), what his recovery looks like and how his NFL prospects could be affected by having to sit out the rest of the 2023 season.

In “One More Thing,” Axe ponders what it will take for ESPN’s “College GameDay” to come to Syracuse and why SU only has one shot at it this season.

We want to hear from you!

The “Syracuse Sports” voicemail line is 315-552-1964. Leave us a message anytime and it could be featured on a future episode.

If you have an idea for the show or a burning question you want answered, you can email, find me on Twitter/X @brentaxemedia or Threads @brent_axe.

You can listen to the show by clicking the audio player above.

Subscribe on Spotify, YouTube and Apple to get new episodes and listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Keeping Up With The 315 9-20-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian started the show discussing the exciting week college football has presented us, with six ranked Vs. ranked games. He then gave listeners a chance to call in for an opportunity to be chosen to kick a extra point at the Syracuse-Army matchup this upcoming Saturday. Finally, Tim Leonard took over and wrapped up the show by giving his insight to what is going well and not well for Syracuse after three weeks of action.

Mark Petry "The 315" 9-20-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Syracuse Football r-Jr. Mark Petry joined Brian for this weeks Two Minute Drill to talk about the global diversity level of college football with players coming from around the world.

LeQuint Allen will be crucial to the Syracuse passing game (; video; Finneral)

247Sports' James Finneral discusses the importance of LeQuint Allen to the Syracuse offense.

Tortora & Alford - Army at Syracuse (youtube; podcastl WakeUpCallDT)

Wake Up Call with Dan Tortora brings you "Tortora & Alford" where our Dan Tortora (DT) & Isaac Alford speak on Syracuse Orange football at 3-0, Army at Syracuse, College Football Nationally, & laughs... always!

Beat Syracuse! - As For Football (; podcast; The Army Football Show)

This week: we’ve got a New York State rivalry game!

But first, the guys review the big win at UTSA. We talk about what went right on offense and special teams and what went right — and wrong — for the Army defense. If the Black Knights force a fumble, four punts, and a turnover on downs but also give up a Hail Mary pass and a bunch of explosive touchdown plays, is that good or bad? Finally, we give our takes on the game and get into the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Then we’re on to Syracuse. Army faces another great team on the road, but have the Orange played anybody? Can Army move the ball — again — against yet another great rushing defense? We’ll get into it.

It’s a GREAT show this week, friends. Don’t miss it.

Syracuse football vs. Army tickets: Where to buy cheapest seats online for Military Appreciation Day (PS; Axelson)

The Syracuse Orange Football Team hosts the Army West Point Black Knights for a special Military Appreciation Day game at the JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday, September 23 (9/23/2023) at 12 p.m. ET, and there are plenty of tickets available online for fans who want to cheer on the Orange.

Last-minute tickets to Syracuse football vs. West Point are still available online via resellers like VividSeats, StubHub and SeatGeek, and you might even find a better deal than you would if you buy standard admission tickets through Ticketmaster — the official ticketing partner of Syracuse athletics.

Here are the cheapest seats available for Syracuse vs. Army as of Wednesday, September 20:


Syracuse football: Who will step up to lead wide receivers? (TNIAAM; Ostrowski)

When the Syracuse Orange needed a big passing play last season, they’d look to the dependable hands of Oronde Gadsden II to reel in clutch catches. But Gadsden will not take the field again this season after suffering a Lisfranc injury in Week 2. It may even be longer than that before O.G. makes a full recovery - and whether or not he’s played his last snap for SU is still to be determined.

The Orange took care of business at Purdue, but it was primarily due to the legs of Garrett Shrader. Now they have just one more game before ACC play begins - one more game to figure out what the plan is throughout the rest of the receivers’ room. Here’s what each new WR1 candidate offers:

Damien Alford

Damien is easily the most “hot and cold” option on the team. He’s had some clutch moments including a game-winning grab at Virginia Tech two seasons ago, but the 6’6” deep threat has also struggled with drops and other inconsistencies.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 Syracuse at Purdue
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Still, the rest of the offense has a lot of faith in him to lead this season, as Alford was nominated as a team captain alongside Garrett Shrader. He had a team-best 70 receiving yards at Purdue and has previously said that his focus is to become a more well-rounded receiving option. If that does happen, then Alford’s decision to stay in Syracuse will pay off for both sides.

Donovan Brown

Brown’s early breakout mirrors Gadsden’s from last year. Neither got much attention during their redshirt seasons, but both quickly impressed in flashes once they saw the field. Gadsden’s first career touchdown was an exclamation point in a dominant season-opening win over Louisville, just as Brown’s 86-yard scamper across the Dome turf was a high point in this year’s Week 2 game.

Syracuse Football: Army vs. Syracuse prediction, odds, spread and over/under for college football week 4 (itlh; Adler)

Syracuse football is halfway toward reaching bowl eligibility for the second season in a row, and the Orange will battle another Empire State squad this Saturday on the Hill.

After blowing out Central New York neighbor Colgate and Western Michigan, both at home, the ‘Cuse hit the road this past Saturday night in a prime-time affair against Big Ten Conference member Purdue.

Playing before a frenetic crowd, Syracuse football looked impressive in many aspects as the Orange (3-0) came away with a 35-20 win over the Boilermakers.

Now the ‘Cuse is set to host Army, an FBS independent in football, as the Orange will wrap up its four-game non-conference slate before heading into Atlantic Coast Conference action.

Earlier this week, Syracuse football picked up several votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches top-25 polls. If the Orange can knock off the Black Knights (2-1) and then Clemson the following week, it wouldn’t surprise me if the ‘Cuse entered the top 25 of these polls.

Army vs. Syracuse odds, spread and total

When I wrote this article, FanDuel had the Orange as a 13.5-point betting favorite at home versus the Black Knights, with the over/under set at 50.5 points.

Army vs. Syracuse how to watch

Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
Game Time: 12 pm
Venue: JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network and fuboTV
Army’s record: 2-1
Syracuse’s record: 3-0
Syracuse’s full 2023 schedule: Click here

Army vs. Syracuse key players to watch

Here is the week-four depth chart for the Orange against the Black Knights, courtesy of SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister.

From an injury standpoint, sadly, star junior receiver Oronde Gadsden II and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman David Wohlabaugh Jr. are out for the remainder of the 2023 campaign due to injuries. We’re wishing them speedy recoveries.

Also, junior wide receiver/return specialist Trebor Pena continues to not be on the Orange’s depth chart. We’ll have to see if offensive linemen Kalan Ellis, a junior, and Joe More, a redshirt senior, are able to compete in the Army encounter.


Junior quarterback Bryson Daily
The dual-threat QB, in the team’s most recent game, threw for 133 yards and one TD, and on the ground, he had 24 attempts for 100 yards and one rushing touchdown.

5 Things to Know: Syracuse vs. Army - Syracuse University Athletics (

Syracuse and Army square off in the JMA Dome on Saturday, on a day when legendary head coach Ben Schwartzwalder will be officially inducted into the Syracuse Ring of Honor.

Here's five things to know before you make your way to the JMA Dome or watch on ACC Network:

1. Seeking Perfection in the Non-Conference Slate
Saturday's game concludes the Orange's four-game non-conference slate to start the season and a win could add a program first. Since Syracuse first joined the BIG EAST in football in 1991, the team has never had a perfect sweep of its non-conference competition.

The closest came in 1993, when a 21-21 tie at Texas held the Orange to a 3-0-1 record out of conference. A win Saturday would make the Orange 4-0 out of conference.

Head Coach Dino Babers' teams have been particularly strong in handling business outside of the ACC, owning a 20-10 record to date vs. out-of-conference competition, including a 19-9 record in regular season non-conference play.

2. Halfway Home in the Dome
Syracuse will reach the halfway mark of its home slate on Saturday, meaning fans should take advantage of the opportunities that remain to see the Orange at home this season.
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After Saturday, just three games in the JMA Dome remain.

Tickets are on sale at Both Partial plans and individual game tickets are now on sale. Fans can also purchase group tickets, hospitality packages and tailgate packages.

3. The Orange Stand Alone
There are 38 unbeaten teams remaining in FBS football, but just one can make the claim of having a top-5 scoring defense and a top-5 scoring offense.

Through the first quarter of the season, the 'Cuse offense ranks fifth nationally in scoring offense, averaging 49.3 points per game. USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and Ole Miss are the only four schools with a higher total through three weeks.

The Mob is allowing just 9.0 points per game, a mark that ranks fourth nationally, and have surrendered just four scoring drives (27 points) on the year. Three of the four teams in last year's College Football Playoff – Michigan, Georgia and Ohio State – are the lone teams with better marks this year.

4. Military Appreciation Day in the Dome
An annual highlight of the season, Saturday's game will be Military Appreciation Day in the Dome.

Ben Schwartzwalder, a war hero who earned a Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Star for his actions in the service, in addition to his legendary coaching career will be inducted into the Syracuse Athletics Ring of Honor at halftime. Schwartzwalder led the Orange to the 1959 National Championship and coached some of the greatest players in football history – including the trio of backs Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little.

Prior to his time at Syracuse, Schwartzwalder parachuted onto Normandy Beach on D-Day, among the first wave of soldiers that jumped in 1944. Dropped far behind enemy lines and miles off target, Schwartzwalder, a Captain in Company G of the 507th, organized his men, established command, and a week later delivered a large group of prisoners to the Allied lines. He rose to the rank of major and was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, four battle stars and a Presidential Unit citation for his distinguished service. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Leon Lowery sets sights on successful season with Syracuse (; MacWilliam)

Leon Lowery is the first to admit, he’s a defensive end at heart. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love playing linebacker.

“I’m happy in a two-point (stance), rushing off the edge," Lowery said. "Dropping (in coverage) and doing what I’m doing now. But like I said, I like to pass rush, so that's a good part I like about that I still get to do.”

His nonstop motor is hard to miss.

What You Need To Know

  • LB Leon Lowery has his sights set on a big 2023 season with SU
  • He changed his body this offseason and it's showed this fall
  • He said he feeds off a talented linebacker room and is always looking to get better

“Ever since the spring, Lowery has had a different demeanor about himself," DB Jason Simmons said. "He's been practicing really hard.”

And it all stems from Lowery completely changing his body this offseason, adding weight, gaining muscle, becoming a leaner football player. That was the first thing Dino Babers noticed about his up-and-coming redshirt sophomore linebacker.

“When you're around a whole bunch of football players, they all lift weights, they all live and they all run and then all of a sudden, somebody that you've seen a lot of looks different. You know that they're working out as hard or harder than everybody else,” Babers said of Lowery.

“Changed up my diet," Lowery added. "Bulked up a little bit more and got faster, got stronger, quicker, which helped, helped a lot with my movement. Just like it's just a big role of why I'm in a position I am now. It's just something I notice, like seeing myself like from film last year, how I look kind of slim. Like I wanted to bulk up a little bit more, so I put them more ways. I'm able to like take on blocks more and get out blocks and move like get through them to make tackles.”

FSU vs. Clemson preview, analysis, prediction with Ryan Kantor of Shakin the Southland (; Scribble)

The No. 4 Florida State Seminoles football team will be on the road again this weekend, this time in Death Valley against the Clemson Tigers.

After a close call at Boston College last week, the Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 ACC) will look to bounce back against the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champion Tigers. Is Clemson (2-1, 0-1 ACC) vulnerable after the early season loss to Duke or will they be more than the Seminoles can handle this Saturday?

We’ll break down what to expect on this episode of the Line of Scrimmage podcast.

Each week, we’ll be speaking with members of the beat that covers FSU’s upcoming opponent, getting all the details from those who know those teams best. This week, we’ll talking shop with Ryan Kantor of Shakin the Southland.

Listen below, as well as on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your shows, or check out an abbreviated version of the conversation.

It’s hard not to start with the elephant in the room, the Duke game. Clemson drove the field all through the second half but struggled with multiple turnovers. We know Duke is improved but how much of that game was early season mistakes versus cracks in the Clemson armor?

I think you have to say both are true, right? Like they missed two field goals. They’ve now replaced their field goal kicker with a walk-on who was not on the team like two days ago, right? So that’s not early season flubs, right? That’s real.

They had three turnovers — really four, if you count turnover on downs where Cade Klubnik slid instead of dove. He would have had it but he slid, he started the slide but he didn’t make it.

Pitt Hit With Issues Ahead of UNC’s Visit, ACC Opener (; Rogers)

North Carolina kicks off ACC league play on the road Saturday night against Pittsburgh at Acrisure Stadium (8 p.m., ACCN).

Formerly divisional foes in the conference, the Tar Heels and Panthers will be meeting again in a series that has tended to produce close contests, with 12 of the last 16 games between these teams decided by single digits. UNC’s 42-24 home win last year snapped a string of back-to-back losses to Pitt. UNC’s last two trips to Pittsburgh both resulted in overtime losses, including the 2021 game that saw the Tar Heels stuck in a downpour on their offensive possession in the extra period.

“Pittsburgh, they always play you tough,” Carolina coach Mack Brown said this week. “They’re one of the toughest teams in this league, traditionally. I love coach Pat Narduzzi. He's tough, he’s a competitor.”

Pitt (1-2) enters Saturday night’s ACC opener coming off a disappointing 17-6 loss at Backyard Brawl rival West Virginia. The Panthers also dropped a home bout against Cincinnati 27-21, after blasting Wofford 45-7 in their season opener. Meanwhile, No. 17 UNC has started 3-0 for the third time in the last four years.

Since 2015, Narduzzi has directed Pitt to 41 ACC victories, trailing only Dabo Swinney and Clemson (60 wins) across that stretch. Here are some key areas to note on these Panthers, who remain in search of their first victory over an FBS opponent this season.


Sixth-year senior Phil Jurkovec, a Pittsburgh native, has struggled mightily in his return home. In the Panthers’ two contests against FBS competition, the two-time transfer quarterback, who spent the last three years at Boston College, has thrown for a total of 260 yards while completing 34.6 percent of his throws. Jurkovec’s worst outing came in Pitt’s loss to West Virginia, when he finished 8-of-20 for 81 passing yards with three interceptions.
Still, Narduzzi reiterated this week that he isn’t considering moving on from Jurkovec and making a quarterback change with the Tar Heels arriving.

ACC mailbag: Is UNC actually good? Can FSU end the streak? Is there hope for Virginia Tech? (; Raynor & Navarro)

It’s a huge week of ACC football, headlined by Florida State’s trip to Clemson in a game that will go a long way in determining which teams play for the league title. You had questions. We’ve got answers. Let’s get to it.

Is Pat Narduzzi the only person on earth who doesn’t realize Pitt needs to make a QB change? — Nicholas F.

Would be interesting to see a rundown of all the ACC starting QBs so far along with an assessment of who is most likely to get benched before the end of the year. Pitt obviously has a problem, but they’re far from the only ACC team with subpar play from their QB to start the season. — Gregory C.

First, here’s a chart showing ESPN’s Adjusted Total QBR rankings (it values performance on all plays and adjusts it to opposing defense faced) with some raw passing numbers.

Tyler Van Dyke89.6 (5th)76%8228-1
Jordan Travis87.9 (7th)64%7298-1
Riley Leonard87.6 (8th)68%5301-0
Garrett Shrader84.0 (14th)62%7275-2
Drake Maye83.7 (16th)73%8914-4
Haynes King74.5 (35th)67%9109-1
Jack Plummer72.6 (38th)62%7325-4
Anthony Colandrea61.5 (53rd)63%6523-4
Grant Wells56.1 (64th)53%4945-2
Thomas Castellanos52.1 (76th)60%6445-2
Brennan Armstrong51.4 (77th)63%6793-3
Cade Klubnik43.4 (95th)66%6938-2
Mitch Griffis41.1 (98th)62%8378-3
Phil Jurkovec29.1 (119th)47%4744-3

Three games in, it’s pretty obvious which QBs are cutting it and the guys who are not. That said, I think it’s also fair to note which quarterbacks are facing more pressure than others. According to Pro Football Focus, Pitt’s Phil Jurkovec has been under pressure on a league-high 42 percent of his dropbacks. Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke, meanwhile, has faced the least amount of pressure on his dropbacks (19.5 percent). Last year, at Boston College, Jurkovec also led the ACC in facing the stiffest pass rush (43.3 percent) and struggled mightily. Kedon Slovis, meanwhile, had better protection (35.9 percent) last year at Pitt and struggled, too.

ACC still standing with presence in rankings, statistics. And with different teams up top, for now (; Graves)

Duke’s opening-week rout of then-No. 9 Clemson served notice that the Atlantic Coast Conference wouldn’t necessarily fall in line behind the Tigers as it has for much of the past decade.

For that matter, the ACC doesn’t seem inclined to play second fiddle to other Power Five conferences despite nearly being left behind in a summer of realignment and internal discontent.

Fourth-ranked Florida State leads a foursome of 3-0 ACC schools ranked in the AP Top 25 including No. 17 North Carolina, No. 18 Duke and No. 20 Miami as conference play cranks up with five games this week. Clemson (2-1) is just outside looking in and seeking redemption when it hosts FSU in Saturday’s showdown.. Syracuse and Louisville also received votes.

The Seminoles were picked to finish second behind Clemson in a preseason media poll and have lost the past seven meetings. This early matchup could halt that slide and mark a huge step toward winning their first league title since 2014 and 10 years since winning the BCS national championship.

“Everybody knows this is a big game,” FSU coach Mike Norvell said. “You’ve got a team that the last however many years has pretty much led the ACC in how they’ve played and what they’ve done. But I’m not sitting here talking about Clemson. I mean, it’s about us.”

Duke, FSU and Louisville share the early ACC lead with divisional play scrapped this season. Not surprisingly, those teams also rank top-40 in scoring, one of several FBS statistical categories featuring a significant league presence.

Nine ACC teams are among the top 62 nationally in defense, with eight teams ranked top 60 in offense. Individually, Georgia Tech’s Haynes King, UNC’s Drake Maye – a likely Heisman Trophy candidate and top NFL prospect -- Wake Forest’s Mitch Griffis and Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke rank among the top 30 quarterbacks. Louisville’s Jawhar Jordan ranks eighth with 344 yards rushing and UNC’s Omarion Hampton (317) 12th.

More impressively, the ACC boasts four wins each over Big Ten and Southeastern Conference schools, one more than the rest of the country combined. After September began with questions about the ACC’s future as the Big Ten and Big 12 picked apart the Pac-12 for newcomers – and before the league made news adding Stanford and Cal from that league and SMU from the American Athletic Conference – attention has shifted to the excellent early play.

UNC ranks 4th on analyst ACC football rankings (; Adkins)

Despite a 3-0 start and a statement win over Minnesota, the North Carolina Tar Heels ranks fourth on sports analyst Eric Mac Lain’s Atlantic Coast Conference football rankings.

UNC is still looking for their respect, ranking as the second-highest ACC team (No.17) behind FSU (No. 4) on the AP Top 25 poll. On the list, Lain lists FSU, Duke, and Miami ahead of UNC.

Duke is debatable, being one spot behind the Tar Heels, and have been off to a great start, but the Hurricanes storming ahead is questionable. Miami is also 3-0, but outside of a non-ranked Texas A&M team, the level of competition has yet to match UNC’s.

3. Miami
10. GT
13. VT
14. UVA
— Eric Mac Lain (@EricMacLain) September 18, 2023

UNC will get a chance to earn their respect, with the ACC part of the schedule on the horizon. It does boil well for the Tar Heels to see ACC teams represented in higher regard on their schedule.

If UNC can knock off Miami, Duke, and Clemson, expect the Tar Heels to claim the top spot on Lain’s list and many others.

ACC QB Rankings 2023: Drake Maye Ascends to the Top (CFN; Mellor)

The battle to lead the ACC QB Rankings in 2023 is as close as they come as Drake Maye and Jordan Travis continue to wow. With Riley Leonard also playing elite football, these QB rankings are the talk of the town.

Our weekly iteration of our 2023 ACC QB Rankings is here, taking a look at where they stack up through the first three weeks of the season.

2023 ACC QB Rankings

As with all of our conference rankings and our national quarterback evaluations, the ACC QB rankings below consider everything involved with quarterbacking at the major college football level.

While statistics will be mentioned, they were not the lone deciding factor in ranking the athletes. The list below prefers programs with a solidified quarterback situation and one signal-caller who plays significant snaps against top-tier competition. Two-quarterback systems will always be looked down upon, especially in those cases where an answer has not yet been provided for the long term.

Other factors in these rankings include but are not limited to game film, injury history, play-calling, offensive system knowledge and continuity, general quarterbacking mechanics, level of competition, the elevation of supporting casts, and several other influential factors.

Tier 1: The Elite ACC QBs

1) Drake Maye | North Carolina

Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd (+1)

Drake Maye was lights out against a talented Minnesota defense with some serious next-level players. Maye dotted his passes accurately and all over the field against the Gophers, throwing for over 400 yards and two scores.

He had a few ill-fated decisions that he’ll probably want back, but this performance indicates just how bulletproof Maye is as a quarterback. He’s 17th on the season passing yards list and yet it feels like he hasn’t scratched the surface of a full four-quarter performance.

2) Jordan Travis | Florida State

Last Week’s Ranking: 1st (-1)

It wasn’t all Jordan Travis’ fault against Boston College, no, not at all. However, an injury sustained at the end of the first half gave cause for concern.

Travis answered any doubts, however, with a deep downfield shot to Johnny Wilson on the opening drive of the second half to show he was feeling just fine. Still, the Seminoles had to escape Chestnut Hill with some defensive heroics after a costly fumble and multiple lapses on the defensive side of the ball.

Travis was a play or two short in the long run, opening a window for BC. He’s still one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, and FSU fans will hope this was the lone road apple on an otherwise successful season ahead.

3) Riley Leonard | Duke

Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd (no change)

Riley Leonard hardly had to do anything against Northwestern as his run game dismantled the Wildcats defense. Still, Leonard completed passes at a high clip and did so with some impressive pocket work and off-script ability.

A dynamic player, Leonard continues to prove just how talented he is with strong performances through the air and with his legs. The schedule gets tougher, but Leonard looks more and more like the guy to push Duke over the proverbial hump.

Tier 2: Well-Above-Average ACC QBs

4) Garrett Shrader | Syracuse

Last Week’s Ranking: 4th (no change)

Keeping his place at No. 4 and on the edge of the Elite Tier, Garrett Shrader ran through the Purdue defense, literally. He looked sharp as a passer, despite what the generic box score will show fans.

Shrader dropped some accurate passes to his receivers in stride all over the field, and was nearly perfect over the middle of the field. When push came to shove, though, it was Shrader’s dual-threat ability and ridiculous performance on the ground against Purdue that gave him the edge over the charging Tyler Van Dyke from Miami.

Mike Norvell's Noles nearing golden opportunity to take over ACC - Stay Alive In Power 5 (; Harrington)

It’s no mystery that the path to the ACC Title runs through Clemson.

After all, Dabo Swinney has ruled the league with an iron fist, and led the Tigers to a jaw-dropping, eight conference crowns over the past 12 seasons. However, Florida State’s Coach Mike Norvell is ready to snatch the red carpet from under the reigning ACC champs. The No. 4 Seminoles are the highest-ranked team in the conference, but they had a close call on the road in week three.

With the most anticipated ACC game of the season looming, Norvell needs to show the nation that Florida State’s victory over LSU wasn’t a fluke. Not to mention he’s 0-2 against the Tigers as the Seminoles’ coach. Florida State (3-0) hasn’t beat Clemson since 2014, and the fans feel it’s long overdue.

Norvell has a chance to change the narrative with a victory, and give the Seminoles a clear-cut path to the Playoffs. It won’t be an easy task though, considering the Tigers have won 42 of their last 43 games at Death Valley. On top of that Clemson (2-1) is ninth nationally in total defense. So there’s no denying the battle is going to be an opportunity for quarterback Jordan Travis to boost his Heisman campaign.

The game has the early ABC slot, and all eyes will be watching. Swinney has been Florida State’s nemesis though, and he’ll have a good game plan for Travis. The Seminoles will have a slim margin for error on the road in a hostile environment. Florida State was held scoreless in the fourth quarter at Boston College, and the defense surrendered 457 total yards for the game.

Norvell will need his squad to get off to a fast start, and take the crowd out of the game early on. If push comes to shove, Norvell knows how to make adjustments. It’s going to be all about exploiting the Tigers’ weaknesses. Duke exposed a lot of those areas in the season-opening victory over Clemson.

All-Time ESPN TV Ratings (thru 2023 Sep 16) (RX; HM)

All-Time ESPN TV Ratings (thru 2023 Sep 16)

What are the Top 10 highest viewerships for ESPN college football? Here you go...

ESPN's most-watched college football games, excluding bowls and conference championships:
— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) September 19, 2023

ACC Summary:

The ACC has held up very well on this list, holding half (5) of the Top 10!

3. 9/7/2015 Ohio State / Va Tech (10.59M)
4. 9/6/2010 Boise State / Va Tech (9.89M)
6. 9/4/2006 Florida State / Miami (9.12M)
8. 9/7/2009 Miami / Florida State (8.41M)
9. 9/5/2016 Ole Miss / Florida State (8.35M)

(I didn't list Notre Dame / Michigan because that had nothing to do with the ACC tv contract).
... (SI; Supple)

When you look in the stands you see countless fans proudly representing individual players on the team. If you look hard enough you can find one particular Barron jersey each and every game.

The defensive back and special teams captain, Justin Barron, has a lot to play for each weekend. The most important one of all to him is family. As a family of four, Justin can always count on either his sister, father or mother to be at each game. The one wearing the jersey would be his father, Jason Barron who played three seasons for UConn football and his mother, Sara Barron who played soccer at Hartwick College.

“Ever since I first started playing football, the way they’ve pushed and encouraged me and told me that I can do anything I set my mind to. It’s been helpful for me,” said Barron. “It’s exciting to see them there every game and knowing I have someone to play for. Instead of just having them watching the game from the TV, it means more knowing they are there.”

This has been the case for Justin since his first football memory where he walked out off the field hand in hand with his grandfather on one side and mother on the other. Justin had just got done scoring twice in four carries during his first football game. After the game, he looked up at both and said the famous words, “I was born to play football.”

ACC News

NC State football vs. Virginia: Scouting report, prediction for Wolfpack's ACC opener (; Baxley)

NC State football will travel to Virginia on Friday for its ACC opener.

Coming off a 45-7 win against VMI in Raleigh, the Wolfpack (2-1) will face the Cavaliers (0-3) at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

NC State, which has won four of the last five against Virginia, hasn’t lost in Charlottesville since 2006. But going back to 1984, the Hoos are 9-4 in home games against the Pack.

It’ll be NC State quarterback Brennan Armstrong’s first game at Virginia as a visitor. The former Cavalier said Tuesday he isn’t sure what kind of reception to expect from fans.

“I put blood, sweat and tears into that place for five years,” Armstrong said. “Hopefully, they’re not too hard on me.”

Here’s a look at some things to watch and a score prediction for NC State’s game against Virginia in Charlottesville.

NC State football quarterback Brennan Armstrong returns to Virginia

Armstrong left Virginia as one of its all-time best quarterbacks with several program records. The lefty threw for 9,034 yards and 58 touchdowns, adding 20 rushing TDs during his time with the Hoos. Through three games with the Pack, Armstrong has 679 passing yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. He averaged 214 passing yards with five passing TDs, five rushing TDs and nine interceptions in seven ACC games last season.

Julian Gray has all-around performance for Wolfpack

Sophomore wide receiver and returner Julian Gray had a career day against VMI with 181 all-purpose yards and a touchdown as the ACC’s Special Teams Player of the Week. Gray had two catches for 80 yards and an 82-yard kickoff return for a TD against the Keydets. Maryland had a kickoff return for a touchdown in its 42-14 win against Virginia in Week 3. Friday could present another opportunity for Gray to find the end zone.
... (SI; Caudell)

Conference play is beginning to heat up in the ACC this week and the contenders and pretenders are going to start separating themselves.

The biggest game this weekend is between Florida State and Clemson, the top two contenders during the preseason and the top two teams with the best current odds to win the ACC. The Seminoles got a big win against LSU to start the season but just survived a big scare from Boston College. The Tigers on the other hand have had to shake off an opening-week loss to Duke and they have to win this game or their odds to win the conference are going to plummet.

Here are the current odds to win the ACC, courtesy of BetOnline (, Twitter: @betonline_ag).

Odds to win ACC Conference 2023:

Florida State- 1/1

Clemson- 15/4 (+375)

Miami Florida- 6/1

North Carolina- 9/1

Duke- 12/1

Louisville- 16/1

Syracuse- 33/1

NC State- 40/1

Pittsburgh- 40/1

Wake Forest-50/1

Georgia Tech-200/1

Virginia Tech-200/1

Boston College-500/1

Virginia- 500/1

Follow us on social media for the latest news on Georgia Tech Athletics!

Learning from Pac-12 Mistakes (RX; HM)

Learning from Pac-12 Mistakes

The Pac-12 is arguably the best college football conference of 2023. It's been around for x years. Yet despite the history or even the recent success, by this time next year it will no longer exist. What did the Pac-12 do wrong, and what can the ACC learn from those mistakes?

The way I see it, there were three fatal mistakes made by the Pac-12:

  1. didn't add any Big XII teams when it had the chance; allowed the Big XII to heal.
  2. didn't do enough to keep at least one of USC and UCLA (Los Angeles market).
  3. didn't accept the reasonable TV deal initially offered by ESPN (approx. $30M/yr ea)
After those three events unfolded, the Pac-12 became the prey, Big Ten was the predator, and the Big XII fell happily into the role of scavenger. The end result: at least 10 of the 12 schools will have new homes next season, and the "Conference of Champions" will become a footnote in a history book.
What, if anything, can the ACC learn from this debacle?

1. Life = Growth; Expand to Survive

Failure to consolidate power when the opportunity arises often comes back to bite you. When Texas and Oklahoma announced they were leaving, there were Big XII schools practically begging to get into the Pac-12. The conference could have easily gained access to the lucrative Texas tv markets by inviting Texas Tech and TCU, while Kansas was an AAU school ripe for the taking.
For internal reasons, none of these schools were added. By the time the Pac-12 members changed their minds and wanted to expand, it was too late.
Worse, by not plundering a weakened Big XII, the Pac-12 allowed that conference to grow strong enough that it eventually became part of the reason for the downfall of the Pac, poaching four member schools themselves. There is no such thing as "collegiality" - more like "dog eat dog"!
The ACC, quite frankly, made the same mistake. The conference should have grabbed Cincinnati and UCF when it learned that the Big XII was interested in them - if for no other reason than the next point...

2. Defend Your Most-Important Turf

The Pac-12 always distributed revenue equally, but - let's face it - the member schools didn't generate revenue equally at all. Washington State might beat UCLA on the gridiron, and Utah might beat USC, too - but they certainly weren't beating the L.A. schools in the ledger!
Not only that, but L.A. was also probably the most important recruiting area for the entire conference.
The Big Ten, probably at the urging of Fox, looked at the Pac-12 and realized that the most valuable tv market was Los Angeles. Fox, no doubt, also helped them to appreciate that having exclusivity in that market was far more valuable than just having representation. So the B1G grabbed up both schools, cutting the Pac-12 completely out of Southern California.
What are the most important parts of the ACC footprint? If you ask a UNC or Duke fan, he'll probably say North Carolina and Virginia, but that's just homerism. From a recruiting and television point of view, Florida and Georgia are the most important states. Virginia and North Carolina are probably #3 and #4.
My point? By virtue of adding UCF, the Big XII is now in Florida, along with the ACC, the SEC, the American, and one C-USA team (the Sun Belt has been cut out by recent realignment moves). As it stands, the only states where the ACC has no P5 competition are NC, VA, NY and MA. That does make it somewhat important to avoid losing any teams from those states.

JHowell's Picks 2023 Week 4 (RX; HM)

JHowell's Picks 2023 Week 4 has posted projections for Week #4 of the 2023 season. Below are JHowell's ACC football game projections through the games of 9-23-23 (including future ACC teams), followed by some commentary of my own; let's see if his computer can pick the "dogs"...

Friday, September 22, 2023

#49-N C State (-14) @ #118-Virginia (TP=54 Odds=.697)

Saturday, September 23, 2023

#2-Ohio State (-4) @ #3-Notre Dame (TP=57 Odds=.553)
#13-Washington (-19) vs. #83-California (TP=54 Odds=.757)
#14-Clemson (-3.5) vs. #16-Florida State (TP=56 Odds=.548)
#17-N Carolina (-7.5) @ #59-Pitt (TP=53 Odds=.609)
#26-Louisville (-21) vs. #108-Boston College (TP=53 Odds=.784)
#27-Wake Forest (-20) vs. #90-Georgia Tech (TP=60 Odds=.748)
#31-Texas Christian (-8) vs. #50-Southern Methodist (TP=62 Odds=.601)
#35-Miami (FL) (-16) @ #117-Temple (TP=53 Odds=.726)
#38-Syracuse (-7.5) vs. #56-Army (TP=52 Odds=.608)



Rendering shows The Aerie at Eagle's Landing, a 62-unit senior apartment building that Cor Development has proposed building at the Syracuse Inner Harbor. (SWBR)

With Micron in mind, Cor eyes doubling housing development at Syracuse Inner Harbor (PS; Moriarty)

An anticipated Micron-driven increase in housing demand has Cor Development Co. looking for ways to nearly double the number of apartments it aims to build at the Syracuse Inner Harbor.

Steve L. Aiello, vice president of finance and development for Cor, said the company is making plans to build up to 700 apartments, instead of the original 400 in its master plan, at the former state Barge Canal terminal south of Destiny USA.

“We’re working on a study right now to increase the housing density,” Aiello said. “We’re seeing if we can add more units than originally planned, given the projected population growth with Micron over the coming years.”

As part of its analysis, Cor executives have spoken with Micron Technology, elected officials and developers in Boise, Idaho, where the semiconductor manufacturer is headquartered, to learn how that city’s housing market has been impacted by Micron’s growth.

Aiello said they came away convinced that the huge semiconductor plant that Micron plans to build in the Syracuse suburb of Clay will drive up demand for new housing throughout the area, including the Inner Harbor.

“Housing was one of the biggest issues there, so what we’re trying to do is plan for the future demand in housing and all types of housing stock in the Inner Harbor,” he said. “It’s a great location.”

Cor pledged more than a decade ago to turn the harbor into a $350 million development of housing, retail and office buildings. So far, two projects were completed: The Aloft Hotel and the Iron Pier apartments.


This photo provided by Adam Lorenzo shows him in the distance entering Maggie's Tavern on the Syracuse University Hill in the 1990s.

How a Syracuse University bar taught a Hollywood writer everything he needed to know (PS; Herbert)

A longtime Hollywood writer can trace everything he needs to know to his time at a famed bar on the Syracuse University Hill.

Adam Lorenzo, who owned Maggie’s Tavern near Marshall Street in the 1990s, has published a book of life lessons titled “All I Need to Know I Learned from My College Bar.” Some of the tips are serious — “don’t drink and drive” — while others fit the accompanying cartoon illustrations (by Antonio Pinna) more appropriately, like: “Get the fries.”

Lorenzo grew up in Buffalo and briefly attended Erie Community College and Buffalo State College before transferring to SU around 1991. He thought about attending law school, but also wanted to be a writer. Somehow, he ended up owning a bar.

Lorenzo worked a series of odd jobs, including as a bartender at Maggie’s, as an intern for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, as a telemarketer selling TV guides, and as a janitor for AAA. When one of Maggie’s owners retired in 1995, Lorenzo put down some money he had saved and signed a promissory note to take ownership with a large balloon payment at the end — all while still a student.

For nearly five years, Maggie’s was Lorenzo’s life. He wrote school papers at the bar, sometimes snuck out of class to get beer deliveries, tried to stop people from stealing neon signs, pool cues and dollar bills on the wall, took out garbage at 3 a.m. and then slept in the bar’s “office” (a janitor’s closet).

Some of the things he learned along the way are specific to the Maggie’s experience, like “participate in a turtle race.” The bar actually held weekly turtle races with bottlecaps attached to the backs of their shells as they raced around a custom track; sometimes the slow-moving reptiles would show up the next day at Follett’s college bookstore.

“I kind of always was hustling and trying to find my way in this world,” Lorenzo told | The Post-Standard in an interview. “I had always wanted to be a writer, but coming from Buffalo I didn’t know anybody that was a writer. I certainly didn’t know you could you’re be a writer and earn a living and have dreams.”
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2nd String
Sep 3, 2016

Defenses to watch in week 4

ACC: There is one undefeated ACC team that not many people are talking about (yet) that will need to rely on its defense to win Saturday. That would be Syracuse. In three games, the Orange have played exceptionally well, ranking No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense (9 PPG), one of six FBS schools giving up fewer than 10 points a game this season. The 27 total points allowed in its first three games also is the lowest total allowed by the Orange since the 1983 season. Syracuse was tested a week ago against Purdue far more than its first two games, but will face its biggest challenge yet against Army on Saturday. The Black Knights are coming off an impressive win over UTSA last week and are averaging 235.7 yards per game on the ground. Plus, Syracuse cannot afford to look ahead. Clemson is on the schedule next week. -- Adelson

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