There will be a lot of orange in the Dome on Saturday.
The time has finally arrived. Syracuse will play their first ACC Conference game in front of what is expected to be a pretty large crowd in the Carrier Dome. It doesn't hurt that #3 Clemson is heading into the Dome with the thought that Syracuse is just a speed bump to making it to the National Championship. The Orange has recent history on their side of upsetting big time opponents. Is #3 Clemson next?
Syracuse enters the game the clear underdog. Tajh Boyd, the Clemson QB, is a definite Heisman candidate. Clemson is looking to run the table and make it to the BCS Championship. And he's playing well enough to do just that. Clemson is one of only three FBS schools in the nation to not have thrown an interception. While Syracuse has dropped over 50 points in their last two games, Clemson also did the same to Wake Forest last week. Syracuse will have a tall task in keeping up with the fast paced Clemson offense. And that is because the Syracuse secondary, while improved over the last two games while playing inferior opponents, very well could be lit up on Saturday. While I think Terrel Hunt will have another solid game, and put Syracuse in a position to at least not be embarrassed, Syracuse will only be successful in an upset bid if they create turnovers and sack Boyd. If Syracuse manages an interception or two, there would be a magical change Syracuse could pull one of the biggest upsets I'll have seen from them, and the most epic since a triple overtime win versus #7 Virginia Tech in the Dome in 2002. Help again from the Special Teams would also be nice, but you can't expect that this weekend. Either way, as long as Syracuse is able to pressure Boyd in the slightest, there is a chance Syracuse comes away with a huge upset. And if they don't, well what was expected to happen would have. This is a no lose situation for Syracuse. As long as they play well and keep the game somewhat close it would be respectable. If they win, well then it's an epic bonus. What helps, is that the Dome will be packed and it is Homecoming this weekend on the hill, so there will be plenty of people rooting for the home team in this one, and it will probably be the most full the Carrier Dome has been for a football game in several years. The crowd should at least be a decent factor in this one, causing Clemson to fall start a few times. Any help is appreciated. On top of that, Syracuse #BeatTheBye last weekend, so they are well rested, prepared, and ready to go. That might be enough to get them out in front to start this one. While an upset certainly is possible it isn't very probable. I hate picking against the Orange in this one, but Clemson is just too good of a team. I'll take the Clemson Tigers 41 to 34.
This game will be broadcast at 3:30pm on ABC or ESPN 2. Check out the map here to see what area you're in. If it is broadcast on ABC, it will be blacked out on ESPN 3 for you, so confirm on the blackout map here. It's also Homecoming so John and I will be providing coverage from inside the Dome, and you better believe if Syracuse wins we're going to be going nuts. Also, be sure to go here if you're making the trip back and see all the events you can attend, if you like that sort of thing. Special shoutouts to The classes ending in 3 and all Marching Band Alumni heading back. We'll see you on the Quad.