Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football


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

Welcome to National Day of Forgiveness!

Forgiveness is a process, not an act, and it teaches the forgiver about themselves as well as about those being forgiven. It can set them on a path to healing from mental or emotional pain, trauma, and grief. It relieves stress—from anger, resentment, and bitterness—and gives permission to heal and to stop living in the past, so the future can be looked to instead. It provides physical health benefits too, since less anxiety and stress transfers to lower blood pressure, a stronger heart, an improved immune system, and even possibly the reduction of physical pain. National Day of Forgiveness provides the opportunity to understand the benefits that forgiveness provides, and it encourages developing ways to incorporate forgiveness into one's life.

SU News


Wide receivers coach Michael Johnson (left) and offensive coordinator Jason Beck (right) work with wide receiver Damien Alford (center) during spring practice April 6. Alford played an increased number of snaps in the slot Saturday against Army. Dennis Nett |

Syracuse loves putting its big men in the slot. Damien Alford’s the next one testing out the position (PS; $; Leiker)

Damien Alford learned a whole new set of routes ahead of Syracuse football’s win over Army.

It wasn’t that the Orange’s playbook had changed. Alford was asked to pick up a slightly different position than he’s used to — slot receiver.

Alford said the week of practice leading up to the Army game was his first experience playing in the slot. He went to positional meetings led by both his usual coach, Michael Johnson, and inside receivers and tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile.

While he didn’t learn quite all the play routes for the new position, he said he learned “enough.”

“We repped it that week of practice. They tried me out a little in there,” Alford said Tuesday. “As you seen in the game, it worked out. We’re just building on that. Seeing how it works.”

In lieu of the injured Oronde Gadsden II and Isaiah Jones, two of SU’s favorite big men to put in the slot, Alford played 11 snaps — 34.4% of his total snap count — lined up inside. It was the most the fourth-year has ever lined up inside in a single game, and he also finished the game with a career best 135 yards on nine receptions.

What you need to know about SU football's Week 5 opponent: The Clemson Tigers (; Hodges)

It's time for you, the Syracuse football fan, to get serious. You've had more than a month to watch your team (for the most part) dominate inferior competition and build a 4-0 record that any program would be proud to have.

But now it's conference season and if the ACC has shown anything this season it's that no matter who the team is they will fight tooth and nail to win.

Yes, you're reading that right. Six 4-0 teams in the ACC and one of them is your beloved Orange. What's more important for this week though is the notable omission. A program thought to be the perennial power, a program that's won more than just about everyone in recent memory and a program that, for as long as I can remember, set the bar for every other ACC program.

That program is Clemson and you, the Syracuse Orange fan, should not be taking them lightly.

Why do I say that? Because despite their 2-2 record this Clemson team is as good as the best teams in the ACC. Keep in mind that they have outplayed each of their four opponents in (almost) every aspect of the game. Against Duke to start the season they had more offensive yards and first downs, won the time-of-possession battle and only lost the turnover battle by one. It just so happens that their turnovers came at crucial points in the game and cost them opportunities to score.

Now check the box score from their most recent game against #5 Florida State and you'll see a similar stat line. The only difference being that Clemson was a missed field goal away from taking a late lead. They went on to lose that game in overtime.
... (SI; podcast; The Bleav)

Bleav in Syracuse podcast episode 79, presented by Bet Online, Hofmann Sausage Company and Purple Banana, is out! Mike McAllister, Josh Crawford, Griffin Della Penna and Sydney Supple break down the Orange's win over Army, whether or not this Syracuse team is ready for Clemson and keys to SU coming away with a victory over the Tigers. You can subscribe and listen on your favorite podcasting platforms as linked below.

Axe: Which Clemson is SU getting at the Dome on Saturday? (podcast) (PS; $; podcast; Axe)

Clemson football is 2-2 for the second time in three years.

It’s tempting to ask “what’s wrong with Dabo Swinney’s Tigers?”

On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports, ACC Network’s Eric Mac Lain acknowledges a few dents in the Tigers’ armor, but warns against writing them off just ahead of Saturday’s game against 4-0 Syracuse at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Eric and I discuss how well Clemson played against Florida State even in a loss and how it could affect them this week in the JMA Wireless Dome. We also look into how a healthy Garrett Shrader makes a big difference for the Orange, try to figure out why SU has been such a thorn in the Tigers’ paw, the latest headlines from ACC football and even a little barbecue.

Marlowe Wax "The 315" 9-23-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Today Brian Higgins talked with SU linebacker Marlowe Wax on the challenges Syracuse faced against Army, how life with DC Rocky Long has been, the upcoming Clemson matchup and more!

Keeping Up With The 315 9-26-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Brian started the show discussing the current state of the ACC, and how Clemson being 2-2 may be affecting it. After, Brian took calls from viewers. Finally, Brian ended things talking about which teams in the ACC he thinks are good, and who’s record may not portray their ability accurately.

Orhorhoro Breaks Down Syracuse, Containing Shrader (; Burnett)

The Clemson Tigers are turning the page to Syracuse after falling to 2-2 on the season. It’s been smooth sailing for the Orange, who are yet to play a conference game.

Looking back to ACC Kickoff, Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader said this is the year for them to take down Clemson. Last season, he had a career year with 2,640 passing yards, 26 total touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

This year, he’s picked right back up with 12 touchdowns through four games. Tigers defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro has experience against Shrader, and detailed the challenge he presents.

“He’s just a vet. He’s been here a while and he knows how to extend plays with his legs. Not as shifty as [Jordan] Travis. He’s very shifty but you know, he’s very fast and he’s agile and he’s big. That’s just a challenge for us,” Orhorhoro said.

The veteran defender said Travis was a perfect preparation for this week and Clemson can take the details containing Travis into the trip to Syracuse.

Taking on a quarterback with 35 rushing touchdowns over his career, it’s almost a 1:1 ratio with his 40 passing touchdowns. Everything starts with his legs and the Tigers need to force him into being a pocket passer.

While it’s different from the matchup with Travis, the same ideals are used and Orhorhoro believes that’s key to having success in contain for a second straight week.

“Good going up against the quarterback we went up against this week and showed us what we can do in containing than very athletic quarterback, and so we’re just going to take that into this week and try to utilize those same things and contain Shrader,” Orhorhoro said.

Why Clemson football game vs Syracuse might be bad timing for Dabo Swinney, Tigers (; Long)

Clemson football and coach Dabo Swinney weren't shy about their aspirations in the lead-up to this season. They intended to make it to the College Football Playoff and, ideally, win it.

Now just a third of the way into the season Clemson is 2-2, and that championship dream is essentially over. Winning even a conference title is also in serious question, as the Tigers have started 0-2 in ACC play for the first time since 2010.

With the playoff chances likely out the window, Swinney said Clemson has to "get a new dream." His players have changed their tone to say the best they can do now is go 10-2, and that's the new dream. The road to that goal starts Saturday (noon ET, ABC) at Syracuse.

The Orange (4-0, 0-0 ACC) might not seem like a big challenge at first. They haven't had a winning record in conference play since 2018, and they haven't beaten Clemson since 2017.

But the Tigers have had some scares against Syracuse, including in each of the past two seasons. In 2022, Clemson won by six after scoring 17 unanswered in the fourth quarter to overcome an 11-point deficit. In 2021, the Tigers won by a field goal on the road.

Now, Clemson is back on the road to face the same quarterback in Garrett Shrader and coach in Dino Babers that it did in those narrow wins. This time, the Tigers are coming off an emotional overtime loss to Florida State that crushed plenty of their dreams, and they're having to re-frame what they're playing for. Syracuse could be catching them at a bad time for the Tigers and a good time for the Orange.

WATCH: Dabo Swinney previews Syracuse (; video; Crumpton)

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held his Tuesday press conference as he previewed Saturday's matchup with undefeated Syracuse (noon/ABC).

"This week, we're going up against a top 10 scoring offense and top 10 scoring defense," Swinney said. "They’re at home. It’s another great quarterback. I have a lot of respect for him. He is averaging almost 90 yards a game rushing. He has six touchdowns. Kind of everything goes through him. They do a great job schematically."

Dabo Swinney says 'pissed off' Clemson team ready to face Syracuse (; Connolly)

Dabo Swinney insists that his Clemson team is just a few plays away from being undefeated and ranked in the top 4. Instead, the Tigers are at the bottom of the ACC heading into Saturday’s matchup with Syracuse.

Clemson is 0-2 in the ACC for the first time since 2010 thanks to costly mistakes in the opener against Duke and this past Saturday against Florida State.

The two losses have Clemson angry as the Tigers prepare for the undefeated Orange.

“They’re a pissed off team, because you only get 12 opportunities to play. You work all year for it and you feel like you’ve missed out on huge opportunities,” Swinney said. “So you own it, you look at it, but you press on. That’s what football teaches you. What are you gonna do about it? Well, let’s see if we can have a good practice today. Let’s see if we can go win this game and start going from there. That’s what you do.”

Clemson had several opportunities to beat No. 4 Florida State on Saturday, but the Tigers kept making costly mistakes.

Swinney says he's taking a pissed off team to Syracuse (; Hood)

Dabo Swinney is taking a pissed off team to Syracuse.

Clemson travels to Syracuse for a noon kick against the Orange on Saturday on ABC. The Tigers (2-2, 0-2), a 7-point favorite, are 9-1 vs. the Orange (4-0) under Swinney.

"This week we're going up against a top 10 scoring offense and top 10 scoring defense. They’re at home. It’s another great quarterback (Garrett Shrader). I have a lot of respect for him,” Swinney said during his Tuesday press conference. “He is averaging almost 90 yards a game rushing. He has six touchdowns. Kind of everything goes through him. They do a great job schematically. They have a couple of big receivers. One of them is about 6’6. They’re getting about 500-something yards a game. A lot of explosives. They are a true RPO team. Everything comes through the run game. Huge RPO team. They challenge you from a communication and discipline standpoint. Some option, scrambles and a lot of shots. Their quarterback is a very confident thrower. He's a problem. It all starts with him.

"They are a true 3-3-5 defense. You will get every look known to mankind. Rarely do they ever end up where they line up. It is a twist or a loop or some type of stunt every single snap. They challenge you from a communication standpoint as far as how you pick that stuff up. Post-snap discipline is really important. Man, they play hard and physical. They swarm to the ball. They really understand their scheme. They do a nice job. It's another big challenge for us.”

Swinney said he will find out of his team is made of the right stuff.

“How do you play at the end of the day? If you do it the right way, that stuff will turn,” Swinney said. "This is a team that is close. They're tough, physical and made of the right things. You just tell them the truth and be honest. We have lost around here and yet we still get the truth. We have played well four games in a row, but our record doesn't show it. Turnovers are the greatest equalizers in football. Don't take care of the ball, you get beat. You just have to play through it.

"They are a pissed-off team. You only get 12 opportunities to play. You own it, look at it, but you press on. That's what football teaches you. You get up and go to practice and go from there."

Swinney once again pointed to turnovers as the main reason for the 2-2 record.

"I am disappointed with our record but very proud of our guys.

Clemson takes aim at unbeaten Syracuse (; FLM)

Six Atlantic Coast Conference teams are undefeated entering this weekend, so it's no surprise that the matchup between Clemson and Syracuse features one team with an unblemished record.

However, in an unlikely twist, it's the host Orange who will put their unbeaten mark on the line Saturday.

Clemson (2-2, 0-2 ACC) outgained then-fourth-ranked Florida State 429-311 last weekend and outrushed the Seminoles 146-22 before falling in overtime 31-24. Clemson committed a costly turnover and also missed a 29-yard field goal in the disappointing setback.

"That, honestly, was probably as tough a loss as I've ever been a part of," Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said, adding that "if you can't see the heart of our team, then you're just blind."

An agitated group of Tigers will travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange (4-0, 0-0), who ran the table in non-conference play, punctuating the slate with a 29-16 triumph against Army last week.

Syracuse survived a sluggish first half in which it trailed 10-3 at intermission before scoring the first 26 points of the second half.

Garrett Shrader completed 21 of 26 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score. LeQuint Allen (104 rushing yards, TD) and Damien Alford (nine catches, 135 yards) were among the other offensive standouts for Syracuse.

That trio will need to step up if the hosts are going to compete with the Tigers' Cade Klubnik -- who has nine passing TDs and two rushing scores this year -- and the backfield of Will Shipley and Phil Mafah (527 rushing yards and four rushing TDs combined).

"These guys are the same champions that they've always been," Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. "There's a reason why they've won so many championships and they've been in (so many playoffs)."

Damien Alford Can Become an All-ACC Receiver (; Frank)

In Syracuse’s 29-16 win against Army over the weekend, some concerning things happened involving the Orange, such as the slow start, an inability to move the ball in the first half, and a couple of questionable play calls from Jason Beck. But, in the second half, those concerns were addressed when the Orange blitzed the Black Knights for 26 straight points to open up a 19-point lead that was eventually cut to 13. A big piece of why SU was able to get things going on offense was its newly established WR1, Damien Alford.

Alford has had an interesting journey in his four seasons at Syracuse. He was always billed as a player with a lot of potential that only shined through in bursts, such as his game-winning touchdown at Virginia Tech in 2021. His career numbers have increased in each of his seasons, starting with minimal contributions his freshman year, to 249 yards as a sophomore, and that increased to 429 yards and a couple of scores in 2022. So far in 2023, Alford is just two yards shy of matching his 2021 total in only four games, and without Oronde Gadsden in the fold, he has a prime opportunity to step up.

Syracuse football: Dino Babers’s Clemson week updates (TNIAAM; Ostrowski)

The Syracuse Orange are 4-0 to begin consecutive seasons, something the program hasn’t done since its 16-game winning streak from 1959 to the start of 1960. Now SU is tasked with defending the Dome against a Clemson squad that has shown some serious flaws through the first four weeks.

Prep for conference play officially begins with the weekly check-in from Head Coach Dino Babers:

Injury Report

Dino delivered more of his usual vagueness in regards to several banged up Orange players. The most notable bit has to do with Isaiah Jones, the receiver who was in fact injured during the Week 3 game at Purdue.

Babers previously claimed that his limited snap count was not due to any injury issue, but he’s since backtracked on that statement. He confirmed Monday that Jones suffered a lower-body injury, and his postgame comments on Saturday indicate that the wideout will likely miss at least one more game.

Syracuse football: first down offense vs Army (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange struggled through the first half against Army, but when the Orange came back from the half, they unleashed an offensive clinic.

In the first half, Army controlled the ball and Syracuse couldn’t convert on their limited opportunities. Max will go into the third down later this week, but the first downs weren’t bad in this game

First down offense vs Army

Run (Shrader)4Pass (Alford)6
Run (Allen)8Run (Shrader)14
Pass (Alford)12Pass (Brown)6
Pass (Hatcher)3Pass (Alford)31
Run (Allen)3Run (Allen)3
Run (Allen)1Run (Allen)13 TD
Pass (Alford)23Pass (Allen)7
Pass (Incomplete)0Pass (Villari)11
Pass (Hatcher)11
Run (Allen)26
Pass (Alford)7
Pass (Alford)1
Pass (Alford)7
Run (Allen)7
Run (Allen)0
Run (Shrader)6
Run (Allen)8
Run (Price)0
Run (Del Rio-Wilson)4
Run (Allen)3
Kneel Down0
1st HalfPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
2nd HalfPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
Game TotalPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
The third quarter was another story for the Orange. After getting the ball first, Syracuse ran 13 first down plays which gained 143 yards. Six of those plays went for over 10 yards and the Army defense was not ready for Jason Beck’s play calls.

Syracuse football: Duke’s Mayo Bowl O’Meter heading into the Clemson game (TNIAAM; Chiappone)

Despite some minor turbulence here and there, your Syracuse Orange football team is indeed 4-0 coming off a double-digit win versus the Army Black Knights, giving coach Dino Babers and company the program’s first out-of-conference sweep heading into ACC play.

Saturday was the gift that kept on giving for Syracuse fans, but you know who’s also happy?

Our Duke’s Mayo Bowl O’Meter!

The Orange performance up to this point can be best summarized as nothing else but...“it’s got twang!” Syracuse ranks 20th in the nation on ESPN’s College Football Power Index and enters this weekend versus the Clemson Tigers with the ninth-best offense and 15th-best defense per the NCAA stat sheet.

Our Bowl O’Meter has never been happier:

Chandler Jones, former Syracuse DE, insists he was hospitalized 'against my will' - Saturday Road (; Stone)

Chandler Jones, a former Syracuse defensive end and current Las Vegas Raider, revealed on social media Monday that he was hospitalized “against (his) will” and injected with an “unknown substance.”

Jones wrote that “5-to-7” Las Vegas fire department officials knocked on his door last week and put him into an ambulance to the hospital. He was later transferred to a behavioral health facility.

He continued, saying “I haven’t done anything wrong. The police said people were concerned about me because of my posts online,” likely referring to a flurry of posts made about the Raiders, HC Josh McDaniels and owner Mark Davis during Labor Day weekend.

Here’s Jones’ post from Monday:

First day out but I’m still aligned.
— ♛Chandler Jones (@chanjones55) September 26, 2023

Jones insists he wrote to GM Dave Ziegler “6 to 7 times asking for help and I wondered if he had me put in here, but he never answered.”

The 11-year NFL veteran has not played this season. The Raiders regard his status as a private matter and have since declined to make a comment.


Claire Harrison of Brookfield is one of three Syracuse drum majors. | Courtesy of Natalie Wiesnet Shelton

Marching success: RB graduate shines as Syracuse drum major - Riverside Brookfield Landmark (; Skolnik)

Not many college sophomores are drum majors of major college marching bands.

But Claire Harrison, a 19-year-old sophomore at Syracuse University from Brookfield, has always been in a hurry to achieve her goals. This year, Harrison, along with two seniors, is a drum major for the Pride of the Orange, the official name of the school’s marching band.

Harrison admitted that she was a little surprised to have been chosen to be drum major as a sophomore.

“I knew it was something that I wanted to do eventually but I never figured it would work out this way for sophomore year,” Harrison told the Landmark in a recent telephone interview.

After playing the piccolo in the Syracuse band as a freshman, Harrison, who was a drum major for the Riverside Brookfield High School marching band in her senior year, decided that she would apply to be a drum major now. She figured that going through the process would help her later when she would have a better chance to be selected.

ACC News

Why the ACC is PAINFULLY UNDERAPPRECIATED | Always College Football (youtube; video; ESPN)

Why the ACC is PAINFULLY UNDERAPPRECIATED | Always College Football Greg McElroy talks about the ACC being impressive from top to bottom this season.

Army vs. Syracuse Full Game Replay | 2023 ACC Football (youtube; video; ACC DN)

Syracuse improved to 4-0, taking care of business at home with a 29-16 win over Army. Orange QB Garrett Shrader kept it rolling with both a passing and a rushing touchdown. Running back LeQuint Allen rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Damien Alford caught 9 passes for 135 yards in the win. Check out the replay here.

North Carolina vs. Pitt Full Game Replay | 2023 ACC Football (youtube; video; ACC DN)

North Carolina defeated Pitt, 41-24 in Pittsburgh to improve to 4-0 on the 2023 season. UNC quarterback Drake Maye completed 22 of 30 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown. Maye also rushed for 2 touchdowns as well in the win. Running back Omarion Hampton rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver J.J. Jones caught 6 passes for 117 yards in lead the Tar Heels. Alijah Huzzie added a punt return for a touchdown for the Tar Heels. Pitt running back Rodney Hammond Jr. led the way with 83 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Florida State vs. Clemson Full Game Replay | 2023 ACC Football (youtube; video; ACC DN)

The Seminoles and the Tigers battled it out, with #4 Florida State prevailing 31-24 in overtime. Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman made a leaping 24-yard for the game-winning touchdown for the ‘Noles. Jordan travis threw for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns, and rushed for another touchdown in the win. Keon Coleman caught 5 total passes for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Johnny Wilson caught 5 passes for 94 yards for FSU. Clemson’s quarterback, Cade Klubnik, threw for 283 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another touchdown in the loss. Clemson RB Will Shipley rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown and added a receiving touchdown on the day as well.

Duke-Notre Dame lands College GameDay, highlights Week 5 ACC slate (; Haley)

Notre Dame will get College GameDay for the second straight week, this time as the visiting squad as they travel to Durham.

With only six games on the conference’s Week 5 schedule, the ranked showdown in Durham will offer the most tantalizing storylines. But with teams like Louisville and Syracuse ready to keep their perfect record intact and Clemson trying to avenge their second loss of the young year, there are intriguing matchups and narratives everywhere, even in the light lineups.

Here are the games to watch in the ACC for Week 5.

1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Duke Blue Devils

Game Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Network: ABC
All-Time Series: Notre Dame leads, 5-2
The only ranked matchup for the conference in Week 5, the Blue Devils will host the Fighting Irish under the Saturday night lights. Notre Dame clearly demonstrated its ceiling and talent last week, taking Ohio State down to the final play before a devastating loss. Now, the Irish have their playoff hopes on life support, and with a battle against USC later on their schedule, they might not be able to afford another stressful nailbiter. Duke, now 13-4 under head coach Mike Elko, gets its first test since a season-opening romp against Clemson. A victory over Notre Dame would establish the Blue Devils as major players in the conference.

2 Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange

Game Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Network: ABC
All-Time Series: Clemson leads, 9-2
A rematch of one of the conference’s more exciting games from the 2022 season. Last year, Syracuse came to Death Valley as the ACC’s other undefeated team, coming within six points of unseating the Tigers atop the conference. A year later, Clemson sits 2-2 after early losses to Duke and Florida State, the ACC all but removed from their grasp. The Orange are undefeated again, the offense humming to the tune of 44.3 points per game (the best in the conference), and they’re on their home field this time around, looking for their first victory over Dabo Swinney since 2017.

ACC Power Rankings updated after Week 4 of college football (; Staff)

The ACC showdown that everyone was looking forward to during the preseason lived up to the hype over the weekend. Clemson and Florida State needed overtime to settle their matchup on Saturday, before the Seminoles survived to remain ranked in the top 5 in the AP Poll and No. 1 in our ACC Power Rankings.

The top four teams in the ACC Power Rankings from last week all won in FSU, Miami, North Carolina and Duke. However, there was some movement in the poll after that. Florida State continues to look like the best team in the ACC, but there are still six unbeaten teams in the league competing for the top spot.

Meanwhile, the preseason ACC favorite in Clemson is 0-2 through its first two ACC games. The Tigers have a tough test at 4-0 Syracuse on Saturday. Here’s a look at the full ACC Power Rankings after Week 4 of the college football season:

1. Florida State Seminoles (4-0)

It wasn’t easy but it was a win. Florida State went on the road and survived against Clemson to improve to 4-0 on the year. Beating LSU and Clemson in September was viewed as a monumental task for the Seminoles entering the season, but that’s exactly what they did.

The schedule gets much easier now for FSU. Up next is a bye week, before upcoming games against Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Duke — all at home. Florida State is likely to be favored in every regular season game the rest of the way.

2. Miami Hurricanes (4-0)

Miami did exactly what it was supposed to on Saturday against Temple, controlling the game from start to finish. The Hurricanes earned a 41-7 victory and continue to show that they have taken a big step forward in Year 2 under Mario Cristobal.

Miami also has a bye this weekend, before hosting Georgia Tech. From there the Hurricanes have back-to-back huge games against North Carolina and Clemson that could decide what kind of season Cristobal’s team ultimately has.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-0)

Drake Maye and the Tar Heels continue to roll and are now 4-0 for the first time since 1997. Maye is playing at an elite level and showed off his creativity with a left-handed touchdown pass on Saturday against Pitt.

It’s not just Maye, though. Omarion Hampton has emerged as an excellent running back for North Carolina, JJ Jones is developing into a top receiver option for Maye and the defense continues to play much better than it did a season ago. North Carolina should be a contender in the ACC throughout the entire season.

4. Duke Blue Devils (4-0)

Duke has continued to show that its upset of Clemson in Week 1 wasn’t a fluke. The Blue Devils improved to 4-0 on Saturday with a 41-7 win over UConn, and there’s plenty of excitement around the program with what Mike Elko has done in Durham.

ESPN College GameDay will be in town this weekend when the Blue Devils host Notre Dame. The matchup features two excellent quarterbacks in Duke’s Riley Leonard and Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman.

5. Louisville Cardinals (4-0) (+1)

First-year head coach Jeff Brohm has Louisville playing well, which shouldn’t be a surprise after Brohm led Purdue to the Big Ten Championship game a year ago. The Cardinals put up 56 points on Saturday against Boston College as several playmakers made huge plays.

Quarterback Jack Plummer threw for 388 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday against BC, connecting with his favorite target Jamari Thrash five times for 71 yards and a score. Running back Jawhar Jordan continues to play like one of the best backs in the ACC. Jordan had 134 rushing yards and two scores and added a 75-yard touchdown reception on Saturday.

6. Syracuse Orange (4-0) (+1)

The final undefeated team in the ACC, Syracuse rallied past Army over the weekend to remain unbeaten. The Orange trailed 10-3 at the half but stayed the course and rallied for a 29-16 victory.

Quarterback Garrett Shrader continues to give opposing teams trouble with his arm and his legs, and Clemson will have its hands full with Shrader and Syracuse this weekend. The Orange always seem to play the Tigers tough — particularly in the Carrier Dome.

ACC football power rankings: Florida asserts dominance in Week 4 (; Pryor)

Try your best to win them all
And one day, time will tell
When you’re the one that’s standing there
You’ll reach the final bell
You’re the best around
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down

You’re the Best — Joe Esposito

Welcome back to headquarters on the corner of Tobacco Road and the future site of the David Cutcliffe Memorial statue. Listen, if you wanted an absolute classic in the noon Eastern time slot, you got one Eastern time slot. No. 4 Florida State traveled to Death Valley East and won in overtime.

That, however, was not the only story in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets went to Winston-Salem and upset Wake Forest. What is going on in Blacksburg? Marshall defended its home field against the maligned Virginia Tech Hokies. Is head coach Brent Pry on the hot seat?

Speaking of hot seats, the Virginia Cavaliers are still looking for that first win. If there is a silver lining for the V-men, they did play better against NC State. Everyone had better watch out for Louisville. Their schedule makes them a dark horse in the ACC race.

So, to rivalries that aren’t really rivalries, cups for Commonwealths, and Red Bandanas, here are your ACC football power rankings heading into Week 5.

14. Boston College (1-3, 0-2)

Is Jeff Hafley on the hot seat? A week after almost pulling the upset against No. 4 Florida State, they were blown out by Louisville 56-28. Boston College might have found something in quarterback Thomas Castellanos, but they were down 28-0 before they got off the mat.

Defense is supposed to be Jeff Hafley’s forte, and the Eagles’ defense is as leaky as a cheap roof. Boston College usually doesn’t fire coaches during the season, but they might make an exception for Hafley.

13. Virginia (0-4, 0-1)

Speaking of hot seats, how long can the Cavaliers continue with head coach Tony Elliot? After their 24-21 loss to NC State, the V-Men are still looking for their first win of the season. If anything is encouraging about their loss to the Wolfpack, they did play better. Tony Colandrea might be a quarterback to build around, but they still can’t run the football.

The ACC Pillow Fight of the Century of the Week features Virginia and Boston College. Will either coach survive after the game? It depends on who wins.

12. Virginia Tech (1-3)

Everyone knew the Hokies had been a mess for some time. They were not great toward the end of the Frank Beamer era, and former coach Justin Fuente did not fare much better. Andrea Adelson did a tremendous job outlining what has gone wrong in Blacksburg over the last decade.

Is that enough for embattled head coach Brent Pry to survive? He won’t stay long if he keeps losing to programs like Marshall.

11. Pittsburgh (1-3, 0-1)

To play the type of football that head coach Pat Narduzzi wants, you must be able to run the football and play solid defense. Right now, it doesn’t seem like the Panthers can do either. After a 41-24 loss to No. 17 North Carolina, Pitt might be in a pit. Starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec could miss significant time — possibly the entire season, and left tackle Matt Gonclaves is out for the season.

It is hard to see where the points are going to come from. They did sack Drake Maye five times but allowed 34 points in two quarters against the Tar Heels.

10. Wake Forest (3-1, 0-1)

Wake Forest traditionally struggles against teams they can’t block. That said, they can usually block Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets summoned their best Lee Corso voice and collectively said, “Not so fast, my friend.” Wake Forest allowed eight sacks and committed five turnovers against the Jackets.

Justice Ellison was tremendous for the Deacons with 137 rushing yards, but quarterback Mitch Griffis threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. It doesn’t get any easier for Wake. After an off week, they get a Clemson team in search of its first ACC win.

9. NC State (3-1, 1-0)

Raleigh should have two causes for concern. First, the Wolfpack averaged less than five yards per play. NC State always has a solid receiver; they don’t have that this year. Also, they can’t run the football. That could be cause for concern against more explosive teams.

They did win a close one against Virginia, but they needed Anthony Colandrea interceptions and some back-breaking penalties by the Cavaliers to win that game.

8. Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1)

Break out the Yellow Jackets. New head coach Brent Key and the Jackets, led by their defense, defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 30-16 on the road last week. Pry has seemed to find his quarterback in Texas A&M transfer Haynes King.

Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker has this defense playing salty. After hosting Bowling Green, they travel to Coral Gables to take on the Hurricanes, a team they’ve played tough the last couple of years.

7. Clemson (2-2, 0-2)

Close games always come down to a play or two. Their loss to No. 4 Florida State came down to two plays. What’s worse is Cade Klubnik was the lynchpin of both plays. On a third-and-1, Klubnik threw a swing pass instead of running or handing the ball to Will Shipley for one yard.

Head coach Dabo Swinney yelled, “One yard, one yard!” after the play. Klubnik was outstanding for the Tigers. They get a chance for their first ACC win against Syracuse on the road next weekend.

6. Syracuse (4-0)

The Orange have done precisely what they are supposed to do. Syracuse has defeated the teams they are supposed to beat. Unlike many other teams in the ACC, the Orange are among the few that play all their non-conference games at the beginning of its schedule.

The Orange has its first big season test against Clemson at home this weekend. Their next three are against the Tigers, Seminoles, and Tar Heels. If they can get past them, there is a route to a bowl game.

5. No. 18 Miami (4-0)

Their game against Georgia Tech is arguably as important, if not more important than the Texas A&M game. The one thing that might get the Hurricanes up for this game is that it’s in prime time instead of noon. Next weekend is a culture game. Old Miami traditionally stubs its toe in these types of games.

However, they took care of business against Temple. Let’s see if they can do it again. The ‘Canes need to be careful they don’t look ahead to No. 17 UNC either.

4. Louisville (4-0, 2-0)

If the Cardinals win at North Carolina State this weekend, they have to be ranked. The Cardinals have looked very good early this season. Head coach Jeff Brohm has transitioned to his alma mater very well.

After traveling to Raleigh, they host No. 11 Notre Dame.
... (SI; McGavic)

Four full weeks of college football are now in the books, and the Atlantic Coast Conference continues to be on a hot start.

Heading into week five, the ACC features six teams with an undefeated mark. It's not only the first time in league history that the ACC has had six teams at 4-0, but it's the most undefeated teams by a power conference through four weeks since the SEC did it in 2012.

So where do things currently stand in the conference following the first four weeks of football? Check out our week five ACC power rankings below:

1. Florida State Seminoles

Record: 4-0, 2-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 1
Week 4 Result: W, 31-24 at Clemson

At long last, Florida State finally got the monkey off their back. It took overtime to do so, but the Seminoles were able to trounce the Tigers - in Death Valley no less - for the first time since 2014. QB Jordan Travis and WR Keon Coleman continued on their hot starts, and that FSU defense made plays when they had to.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels

Record: 4-0, 1-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 2
Week 4 Result: W, 41-24 at Pitt

QB Drake Maye might not be performing up to his lofty standards, but the skill position players at his disposal - such as RB Omarion Hampton and WRs Nate McCollum and J.J. Jones - are helping carry this prolific North Carolina offense. The Tar Heels' defense even looked serviceable against Pitt, but then again, most defenses have.

3. Duke Blue Devils

Record: 4-0, 1-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 3
Week 4 Result: W, 41-7 at UConn

Unlike NC State, who beat this UConn squad on the road in week one in unconvincing fashion, Duke was dominant in their win over the Huskies in Storrs. Additionally, it wasn't just QB Riley Leonard and their offense who led the way, as their defensive front bottled up the Huskies. Their next test against Notre Dame figures to be a telling one, and one they could very well win.

4. Miami Hurricanes

Record: 4-0, 0-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 5
Week 4 Result: W, 41-7 at Temple

Sure, most of Miami's early season opponents have been pushovers (save for Texas A&M), but the Canes look like many expected them to be when Mario Cristobal first took over. Against Temple, QB Tyler Van Dyke continued to look like his 2021 form, Miami ran for over 300 yards, and their talented defense continues to make plays. Is The U "back"? We'll see when the schedule gets tougher.

5. Louisville Cardinals

Record: 4-0, 2-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 7
Week 4 Result: W, 56-28 vs. Boston College

Behold, the Jeff Brohm effect. Putting up 56 points is already impressive enough, but scoring touchdowns on your first seven drives? That's efficiency. QB Jack Plummer finally had a breakout game, plus RB Jawhar Jordan is continues to be on a blazing hot streak. As for the Cardinals' defense, there's still some left to be desired, but it's not a complete Achilles heel yet.

6. Syracuse Orange

Record: 4-0, 2-0 ACC
Last Week's Ranking: No. 6
Week 4 Result: W, 29-16 vs. Army

Talk about a tale of two halves. Syracuse was essentially asleep at the wheel during their first half against Army, but they were able to turn it on in the back half after making a plethora of adjustments. The Orange have been impressive in their non-conference slate on both sides of the ball, but we'll see who this team really is now that conference play is here.
... (SI; Smith)

The 4-0 and #18 Miami Hurricanes are on a bye week prior to hosting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Oct. 7). In the meantime, there are good games within the ACC and across the college football landscape, several of which directly impact the Canes.

Whether battling for the top spot in the ACC and/or within the AP Poll, here are the best games of the week, including final score predictions and players of the week picks for each of the Power 5 conferences.


Louisville 23 North Carolina State 20

Clemson 28 Syracuse 20

#11 Notre Dame 34 #17 Duke 21

ACC Player of the Week Prediction: Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan helps Louisville grind out an old-fashioned power football battle in Raleigh, N.C. Jordan goes for 115 yards and 1 touchdown, and it will be the game winner, versus NC ST.


Kentucky 24 #22 Florida 21

#13 LSU 34 #20 Ole Miss 21

#1 Georgia 34 Auburn 13

SEC Player of the Week Prediction: LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels runs and passes for a combined 360 yards, plus 3 touchdowns, as LSU leads throughout in Oxford, Miss.

Big 10

#2 Michigan 27 Nebraska 10

#6 Penn State 34 Northwestern 16

Big 10 Player of the Week Prediction: PSU cornerback Kalen King does not give up a completion, intercepts one pass, has another pass breakup, and 5 total tackles.

Kelly Gramlich and Eric Mac Lain talk ACC football - Gramlich and Mac Lain (M&G; podcast; M&G)

Episode 322: Duke/Notre Dame Preview w/ Riley Leonard & DeWayne Carter

Stop Calling Them Basketball Schools! (RX; HM)

Stop Calling Them Basketball Schools!

Five years ago, in October 2018, we told you that Duke, Syracuse, and (at the time) Virginia were not JUST basketball schools - they were winning football games, too!

Now, here it is near the end of September, 2023 and look what we have:

15N. Carolina4-0

Four of the ACC's traditional basketball powers have all started the season 4-0 in FOOTBALL! In fact, two of them - UNC and Duke - are ranked in the AP Top 25, while two more - Louisville and Syracuse - are receiving votes.

JHowell's Picks 2023 Week 5 (RX: HM)

JHowell's Picks 2023 Week 5 has posted projections for Week #5 of the 2023 season. Below are JHowell's ACC football game projections through the games of 9-30-23 (including future ACC teams), followed by some commentary of my own; let's see if his computer can pick the "dogs"...

Friday, September 29, 2023

#17-Louisville (-3) @ #44-N.C. State (TP=55 Odds=.542)

Saturday, September 30, 2023

#8-Notre Dame (-8) @ #37-Duke (TP=51 Odds=.620)
#10-Oregon (-26) @ #121-Stanford (TP=58 Odds=.820)
#32-Syracuse (-2.5) vs. #33-Clemson (TP=52 Odds=.540)
#56-Southern Methodist (-19.5) vs. #124-Charlotte (TP=56 Odds=.761)
#73-Pittsburgh (-5.5) @ #101-Virginia Tech (TP=49 Odds=.586)
#77-Georgia Tech (-13.5) vs. #122-Bowling Green (TP=54 Odds=.695)
#87-California (-9) vs. #112-Arizona State (TP=54 Odds=.627)
#106-Boston College (-5) vs. #117-Virginia (TP=57 Odds=.572)

Rx: Make Sure Your Players Know the Rules! (RX; HM)

Rx: Make Sure Your Players Know the Rules!

The official ACCDN highlights didn't show this!

2023 NC State vs Virginia WILD Ending
(or how to lose a game with stupid penalties)

NC State vs Virginia WILD Ending | 2023 College Football

Let me say that, in my opinion, every last one of the penalties called against the Virginia Cavaliers was legitimate. These were not "grey area" type calls, either - they were clear violations of the rules. Heroics by serveral UVa players allowed them to overcome several of these penalties - but they just wouldn't stop committing more violations!

It's like the guys simply don't know the rules or something - and that falls on the coaching staff. The Offensive Lineman needs to know you can't attack a defender after you just scored a touchdown and you need a 2-point conversion to tie (but they overcame that). The quarterback needs to understand that you can't take off your helmet while you're still on the field (that cost them a lot of field position on defense).

Where is the Belt 2023 Sep 26 (RX; HM)

Where is the Belt 2023 Sep 26

Where's the College Football Belt* now?

Oregon took over the belt near the beginning of the 2022 season [LINK], and held it until Nov. 12th, when they lost to Washington. The Huskies have not lost since, meaning they still possess it.

Washington plays at Arizona this weekend as heavy favorites. If the Huskies are going to lose in the regular season, one of the most likely games is probably Oregon (Oct. 14). If they don't lose to the Ducks, Washington must run a gauntlet the final four weeks: the USC Trojans on Nov. 4th, Utah at home on Nov. 11th, at Oregon State on Nov. 18th, and the Apple Cup on Nov. 25th.
Keep in mind that there are some ACC/Pac-12 Bowl games this year (perhaps the final year?), so there's a real chance that the Holiday or Sun Bowl might also be a defense of the CFB Belt! Of course, it might also wind up being on the line in the national championship game - as has happened many times before!



Cuse Cabaret cast L to R: Evelyn Oliver, Donovan Stanfield, Novis Fuller, and Natasia White

New comedy ‘Cuse Cabaret’ lampoons Syracuse (PS; CNY Jazz Central)

The brand-new musical comedy review “‘Cuse Cabaret” by Gatespring Productions will have a weekend of performances on Oct. 6, 7, and 8 at Jazz Central in downtown Syracuse.

Poking affectionate fun at everything from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Destiny USA to the Cardiff Giant, ‘Cuse Cabaret spins popular songs from Broadway, Motown, folk, jazz, and more into cheeky parodies of life in Salt City.

Playwright, award-winning journalist, and founder of the Goldring Arts Journalism program at Syracuse University Johanna Beale Keller and SAMMY award-winning jazz vocalist and songwriter Hanna Richardson co-wrote lyrics for the collection of parody songs about the city they both love, which they endearingly call “the town with a big ice chip on its shoulder.”

“I’ve lived in other places, and I can tell you, Syracuse is a town full of creative people doing amazing work. I love it here,” Keller said. “Hanna and I have written parody songs about the joys and frustrations of living here – the snow, Wegmans, Jim Boeheim, Armory Square, the snow, the Dome, salted roads, the snow, all the things that make Syracuse what it is. It will be a fun time. People are going to laugh.”

“When Johanna first contacted me about the possibility of co-writing a show of parody songs, my head almost exploded, because this is what my brain does all day, but just in little snippets,” Richardson added. “I think those Mad Magazine song parodies from my youth were a bigger influence than I realized! It was such a treat to work with her on completing full parody songs – so much laughter.”

Syracuse film festival kicks off this week with Lisa Lampanelli, Alec Baldwin, more events (PS; Herbert)

The Syracuse International Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a slew of events featuring big names like actor Alec Baldwin, comedian Lisa Lampanelli and former Syracuse basketball stars like Lawrence Moten and Mookie Jones.

The 2023 Syracuse film festival kicks off this week with screenings of a Central New York short film, “The Cookbook,” and the new documentary “Inside the Iranian Uprising.” Both will be shown Thursday night at The Tasting Room in Syracuse following a cocktail reception.

Lampanelli, a Syracuse University alumna and standup comedian known as the “Queen of Mean,” will participate in a Q&A about her life and career on Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. at the Redhouse Arts Center. The Redhouse will also host a film and music distribution Q&A starting at 7:45 p.m. with Tom Molloy (Glasshouse Distribution), Ron Bonk (SRS Cinema) and Rob Schwartz (Whomag Distribution).

Baldwin, an Emmy-winning actor known for “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live” and films like “Beetlejuice,” will host a Q&A and receive the festival’s Sophia Award on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Mohegan Manor in Baldwinsville. The Sophia Award recognizes Outstanding Creative Achievement in the world of independent cinema; past recipients include Bobcat Goldthwait, Grace Jones, Giancarlo Esposito, Oren Lyons, Ron Perlman, Rob Reiner Jerry Stiller, and American High’s Jeremy Garelick and Will Phelps.

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