Our beat writers unanimously pick Clemson over Syracuse

first_imgSyracuse (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) travels to South Carolina this Saturday to face No. 3 Clemson in what will likely be Syracuse’s toughest matchup of the season. Last year the Orange shocked the college football world, defeating the Tigers 27-24 in the Carrier Dome. But the last time SU made the trip to Death Valley, Clemson dismantled the Orange, blanking them 54-0. Saturday’s showdown kicks off at noon on ABC with Syracuse entering the matchup as a 25.5-point underdog. Here are The Daily Orange beat writers’ predictions:Andrew Graham (4-0)Don’t overthink this oneClemson 45, Syracuse 27Syracuse’s undefeated dream ends this weekend. Off to its first 4-0 start since 1991 and fifth since World War II, this SU team is different than years past, better even than the squad that beat Clemson last season. But make no mistake, beating the Tigers in Death Valley is one of the hardest feats in football. In the last five years, Clemson is 33-2 at home. This Tigers side fits the mold of its predecessors: strong quarterback play and a fierce defense. Clemson’s defensive line has 16 sacks in four games. Freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence will be Clemson’s signal caller. Against Syracuse, the Tigers’ defensive front shouldn’t slow down much, and the young Lawrence will have a full game to expand on the nine touchdowns he’s thrown already. The Tigers remain undefeated, and Syracuse can brush off the dust and keep chasing bowl eligibility.Josh Schafer (4-0)Whose house?Clemson 34 Syracuse 17AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA year ago, Syracuse fans stormed the field after the Orange defeated 27-24 in the Loud House. That can’t happen this year. On the road, crowd noise will be the opposite it was a year ago and Babers already indicated on Monday that may affect communication among the offense as it did in 2016. Couple that with a defense which ranks top 20 in both yards and points allowed, and SU has a serious uphill battle. And that’s not including Clemson’s offense. Yes, freshman Trevor Lawrence is making his first career start. Yes, Kelly Bryant, a senior quarterback with a 16-2 record as a starter announced his transfer Tuesday. And yes, Syracuse has looked better through four games than it has in a long time. But still, the Orange aren’t on par with Clemson. Not yet. Four sacks per game, a hostile environment and the No. 1 recruit in the country are too much for Syracuse to matchup with at this point. Matt Liberman (3-1)Don’t Fall in the Tiger CageClemson 45, Syracuse 27The last time Syracuse started 5-0 was in 1987 when SU went undefeated and tied Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. That streak will continue this Saturday as Syracuse will fall to Clemson in Death Valley. Yes, as both Andrew and Josh explained, Kelly Bryant is transferring, Trevor Lawrence will start his first game, there are distractions in the locker room and this a certainly capable Syracuse team. That said, Syracuse does not have a five-star recruit on its team and only a couple of four-star recruits. Every single player on the Clemson defensive line will almost definitely be a first-round pick. Dino Babers said it’s the best defensive line he’s ever seen, and Trevor Lawrence is one of the best quarterback prospects in the last few decades. I see Syracuse hanging around in this game for a little bit simply because of the offensive firepower of this team and the ability to drive up the field quickly.But ultimately as the game goes on, that talent level and athleticism will wear down the Orange and the Tigers will walk away victorious. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 28, 2018 at 11:42 amlast_img