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The Fizz Predicts Syracuse and #3 Clemson

Last season, the Orange made us eat our words with a shocking 27-24 upset win over the Tigers. Is anyone taking Syracuse this time around in Death Valley?

Tyler Aki (4-0): Clemson 30, Syracuse 24

This game is going to be a lot closer than people think. Syracuse’s defense has been dominant all season long, but it’s running into one that’s on another level of eliteness. However, the Orange’s defensive line is going to hit Trevor Lawrence, something the freshman sensation isn’t used to. If SU can get pressure on the quarterback, this will be a close game. On the other hand, Eric Dungey has seen this Clemson defense before. He’ll play well enough to keep it close, but the Tiger’s talent will be too much for the Orange to overcome down in Death Valley.

JD Raucci (3-1): Clemson 41, Syracuse 30

Before this game last year, people would have laughed at a score this close between SU and Clemson, but after the events that transpired last October and the 4-0 start that SU is riding this season, this kind of a prediction doesn’t seem too far off. Syracuse has yet to trail for a single second this season and looks more than ready to give the Tigers another run for their money. With that being said, Clemson is in a rare position in this game. For once, they actually have a chance to avenge an loss from the last time these teams squared off. Dabo Swinney’s club is one that rarely gets embarrassed like it did last October and it sure as heck isn’t a team that gets shocked two times in a row agains the same opponent (unless that opponent is Alabama). That extra touch of motivation plus an incredibly raucous Death Valley seems like it will be more than enough to get the Tigers over the hump. Expect Trevor Lawrence to look good to great in his first collegiate start. SU won’t make it easy on him and we could even see a one-possession game in the fourth quarter, but at the end of the day, it’s tough to pick against the #3 team in the country.

Tim Leonard (3-1): Clemson 35, Syracuse 17

This Clemson team is better than they were last year. That being said, so is Syracuse. However, playing in Death Valley changes literally everything. Syracuse is a frisky bunch that played well at a lot of tough venues last year (Miami, FSU and LSU). They will keep this close, but at the end of the day, the Clemson wideouts are too much for this SU secondary to handle. Keeping this game within a couple possessions shows growth for this program. Expecting anything more is unrealistic.

Jonathon Hoppe (4-0): Clemson 38, Syracuse 21
Well, well, well, we meet again, huh? You better believe Clemson is motivated to get revenge on Syracuse. While many think the quarterback saga could hurt the Tigers on Saturday, I happen to believe it will help them. After plenty of uncertainty around the Clemson signal callers, the Tigers now have their guy: Trevor Lawrence. The team will rally around him and the fact that they don’t have to hear about the endless battle any longer. You bet the defensive line feels that way. The only thing that could possibly overshadow that much talent is a quarterback controversy. Well, that riddle has been solved. Expect the Tigers to come out firing this weekend.

David Edelstein (3-0): Syracuse 24, Clemson 21

Yes, that’s right: Syracuse will pull out the win against Clemson for the second year in a row. Syracuse has been on fire to kick off 2018 and was solid against Florida State in its first ACC matchup of the year. SU will be banking on another stellar defensive performance to get the win, and it is primed for the occasion as Clemson makes a change at quarterback, starting freshman Trevor Lawrence for the first time. This shift in Tigers leadership presents Syracuse with a window to take advantage of a team that will need to take time to re-solidify mid-season.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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