SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse coach Dino Babers likened last week's blowout loss to being cold-cocked. The Orange figure to face another powerful punch on Saturday, when they host top-ranked Clemson.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Clemson -28
The 63-20 shellacking at Maryland knocked the Orange out of the top 25, but Babers hopes it served as a wake-up call that will knock them back on course. "Have you ever been knocked out before? When you wake up, the blues are blues, the reds are reds and everything seems clearer than anything has ever been before," he told reporters. "It's like rebooting your entire computer. It's really kind of eye-opening. That loss was like being knocked out and then you wake up, so we're going to see how we do. Maybe we rebooted and everything's going to be OK, but we'll have to see." They'll have to be ready to endure another flurry when they host the Tigers, who have won 17 consecutive games dating to the start of last season. It's the first road trip of the campaign for Clemson, which lost 27-24 in its last visit to Syracuse in 2017.
ABOUT CLEMSON (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
The Tigers are off to a relatively stress-free start, and they haven't even had their high-powered offense click yet. Star quarterback Trevor Lawrence has passed for 436 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions while Travis Etienne has rushed 28 times for 258 yards and three scores. The defense has been dominant, holding both Georgia Tech and Texas A&M under 300 total yards and forcing six turnovers.
ABOUT SYRACUSE (1-1)
The Orange need to get right on defense after giving up 42 points in the first half and surrendering 650 total yards to the Terrapins. The run defense was especially suspect, as Maryland rolled up 354 yards on the ground a week after the Orange held Liberty to negative rushing yardage. If a different defense shows up this week, Syracuse has the offensive weapons to put up some points as Tommy DeVito passed for a career-high 330 yards and three touchdowns last week.
1. The Tigers have won eight straight road games and 20 of their last 21, with a 2017 loss at Syracuse being the only blemish.
2. Clemson has won 12 consecutive contests by 14 or more points.
3. Syracuse has forced a turnover in 16 straight games, the third-longest active streak among FBS teams.
PREDICTION: Clemson 38, Syracuse 17