DURHAM, N.C. – Syracuse was a ranked team to begin the season, but that feels like a distant memory at this point. Having lost four straight games, the Orange hit the road Saturday as double-digit underdogs to a Duke team that has lost three in a row.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, ACC Network. LINE: Duke -10.5.
The Orange have lost by increasingly more points during each game of their losing streak -- a six-point loss, then a seven-point loss, an 18-point defeat and, most recently, a 58-27 thumping at the hands of Boston College. Syracuse coach Dino Babers acknowledged after the loss to the Eagles that his team had a lot of work to do - and perhaps even some soul-searching to do - during the just-completed bye week. "Going into a bye after a loss like this is difficult," Babers said. "I'm not going to lie and sit up here and try to paint it a different way. We're going to find out something about ourselves." Duke has scored a total of 38 points during its three-game slide and needs to win two of its final three games to become bowl-eligible.
ABOUT SYRACUSE (3-6, 0-5 ACC)
The Orange gave up 691 yards to BC, allowing the Eagles to convert 8-of-13 third- and fourth-down opportunities, wasting a solid performance from Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito. The sophomore was 25-of-36 for 289 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, plus a team-high 61 rushing yards on the day. Trishton Jackson recorded eight catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns and is by far the team leader in catches (51), yards (780) and TD grabs (eight).
ABOUT DUKE (4-5, 2-3)
The team fell 38-7 to Notre Dame last weekend and must figure things out in a hurry if they want to reach a third straight bowl game. “I’m concerned with where we are with a rhythm” on offense, coach David Cutcliffe said after the Notre Dame game. “We’ve got an approach where we’re going to work like we’ve always worked, but I think a study of what we’re doing right now is real important. ... You don’t panic. ... We’ve got three big football games in front of us that we can go win.” Senior quarterback Quentin Harris has not thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game since late September and hasn’t completed a pass longer than 36 yards during the three-game skid.
1. Duke has not won a game this season in which it has scored fewer than 41 points.
2. DeVito lost a fumble in the second quarter against BC, ending Syracuse's streak of three-plus games without a turnover.
3. The teams have not met since 2014 when Duke rolled past Syracuse 27-10.
PREDICTION: Syracuse 29, Duke 27