Week Six ACC College Football: #3 Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange

#3 Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange
Carrier Dome – Syracuse, New York

Saturday, October 5, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC, ESPN2 or ESPN Game Plan
Opening Line: Clemson -13 1/2
Current Line: Clemson -14
Opening Total: 64 1/2
Current Total: 65
Opening Money Line: Clemson -525 / Syracuse +405 
Current Money Line: Clemson -500 / Syracuse +390 

Clemson is a 14 point favorite at ACC newcomer Syracuse Saturday.

Clemson is a 14 point favorite at ACC newcomer Syracuse Saturday.

The #3 ranked Clemson Tigers are 4-0 this season as they travel to the 2-2 Syracuse Orange. It is the first ACC game for Syracuse after many years in the Big East. Syracuse won the only previous meeting between the schools 41-0 in the 1996 Gator Bowl.

Clemson is coached by Dabo Swinney. The Tigers have home wins over Georgia 38-35, South Carolina State 52-13, and last week against Wake Forest 56-7, along with a road win at North Carolina State 26-14. Clemson is 2-2 ATS and the total is 3-1. The Tigers easily covered the 28.5 point spread against Wake Forest and almost went over the 58 point total by themselves.

Clemson jumped out to a 21-0 lead against Wake Forest and were never threatened. Clemson had 573 total yards including 407 passing yards. The Demon Deacons had 222 total yards and 15 first downs. Wake had the only 2 turnovers of the game.

Clemson is outscoring teams 43-17 this season. Clemson is 25th or better nationally in both categories. The Tigers are averaging 491.8 yards per game including 179.2 rushing yards and 312.5 passing yards. Clemson is #17 in passing and #21 in total offense nationally. On defense, Clemson is allowing 346.5 total yards per game including 213.2 passing and 133.2 rushing. The Tigers are +7 in turnovers with 9 takeaways. Clemson is 43/82 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 23/71. Clemson has forced 15 sacks but has allowed 9 this season. The Tigers are 15/15 scoring in the red zone with 13 touchdowns, and opponents are 7/8 with 7 touchdowns. Clemson has 2 pick sixes this season.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd has completed 64% of his passes for 994 yards with 9 touchdowns and no picks, along with 49 carries for 159 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Roderick McDowell has 47 carries for 253 yards, along with 3 catches. McDowell is probable with an ankle injury. D.J. Howard, Zac Brooks and C.J. Davidson will all get a few carries and catches. Howard and Brooks both have a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, while Davidson has 2 rushing touchdowns. Receiver Sammy Watkins has 25 catches for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Charone Peak had 8 catches and a touchdown, but he is out for the season with a knee injury. Martavis Bryant, Germone Hopper and Adam Humphries will also get significant catches. Hopper and Bryant both have two touchdown catches. Five defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed as questionable or out Saturday.

Syracuse is coached by Scott Shafer in his first year. The Orange opened the season with losses to Penn State 23-17 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and at Northwestern 48-27. Syracuse has won 2 straight games at home against Wagner 54-0 and two weeks ago against Tulane 52-17. The Orange are 3-1 ATS and the total is also 3-1 this season. Syracuse easily covered the 17 point spread against Tulane and the game went over the 52.5 point spread.

Syracuse never trailed against Tulane and was up 42-17 at halftime. The Orange added 10 points in the second half to cruise to a 35 point victory. Syracuse had 405 total yards including 199 rushing yards. The Green Wave had 330 total yards. Both teams had 7 penalties but Tulane also added 2 turnovers.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 38-22 this season. The Orange are averaging 423.5 total yards per game including 262.2 passing and 161.2 rushing yards. On defense Syracuse is allowing 337.8 yards per game, including 228.5 passing and 109.2 rushing yards per game. Syracuse is +2 in turnovers with 9 takeaways. The Orange average 56 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 40. Syracuse is 30/66 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents 21/69. The Orange have forced 11 sacks and have allowed 4 this season. Syracuse is 21/22 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns, and opponents are 10/12 with 5 touchdowns.

Syracuse has used two quarterbacks this season. Drew Allen has completed 57.4% of his passes for 555 yards with 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Terrel Hunt has completed 76.7% of his passes for 468 yards with 7 touchdown passes and no interceptions, along with 12 carries for 91 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Hunt will start against Clemson but Allen could see a few snaps. Running back Jerome Smith has 51 carries, 217 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 3 catches 42 yards and a touchdown. Prince Tyson-Gulley has 39 carries, 140 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 8 catches 59 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Jarrod West has 11 catches, 211 yards and a touchdown. Christopher Clark has 15 catches, 202 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ashton Broyld has 19 catches for 155 yards. Jeremiah Kobena has 11 catches for 153 yards. Clay Cleveland has only 3 catches but 2 of them went for touchdowns.

Clemson is 5-0 ATS on fieldturf, 7-1 after gaining more than 450 total yards and in October, 5-1 in road games, 4-1 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, 16-5 in ACC games, 6-2 after a cover, 10-4 overall, 7-3 after passing for more than 280 yards, and 1-4 after a straight up win.

Syracuse is 6-0-1 ATS at home, 5-0 after rushing for 200 yards or more and on fieldturf, 4-0 after a straight up win, 7-1 overall, 6-1-1 after a bye week, 5-1 against teams with winning road records, 4-1 after scoring 40 points or more, and after a cover, 3-1-1 after allowing 20 points or less, and 5-2 after a straight up win by 20 points or more.

Syracuse has been much better on offense since Hunt took over at quarterback for Allen. However, blowouts over Wagner and Tulane don’t exactly prove the offense is great. I don’t see Syracuse being able to score enough to keep up with Clemson and the Tigers should win handily.

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