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Syracuse vs. Notre Dame: Crystal Ball Predictions

Brad (10-0): Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 9

Well, this is it. Syracuse’s disastrous season comes to a flaming halt on national television against Touchdown Jesus. Notre Dame is No. 2 in the country for a reason. They play a clean game with very few mistakes. Syracuse took advantage of NC State’s sloppy style last week with fluky breaks to keep it close. The Fighting Irish won’t commit silly penalties, throw crazy interceptions, get called for intentional grounding or allow special teams touchdowns like the Wolfpack. The power run game will keep the football in Notre Dame’s hands and start milking the clock in the first quarter. This will be a fitting end to a disastrous season.

Ian (9-1): Notre Dame 39, Syracuse 3

Utter domination. Notre Dame’s offense is built to attack all of SU’s weaknesses. The Irish o-line is dominant, the receivers are multi-faceted and QB Ian Book is experienced and isn’t turnover-prone. Syracuse won’t be able to put up a fight offensively. While Rex Culpepper looked good last week, this Notre Dame defense is on another level. This will not be a Greg Robinson situation.

Matt (9-1): Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 0

The Orange couldn’t score a point against Louisville, why should they muster anything against the number two team in the country? Not to mention Syracuse is coming off an embarrassing performance in which Rex Culpepper forgot what sport he was playing, spiking the ball on 4th down. The Fighting Irish are going to try out some new things, maybe play a couple back ups here or there, but ultimately still annihilated the team from the salt city.

John (8-2): Notre Dame 34, Syracuse 6

Yeah I’m just going to go with what I THOUGHT NC State and Syracuse would look like, but this time that’s how it will actually play out. The Syracuse defense plays a spirited performance and the trends go back to normal. The offense gives Tony White’s unit absolutely zero help and Ian Book and Kyren Williams just chip away little by little. Maybe Williams has one big run but this game will be won via a slow, controlled attack. Look for tight ends Michel Mayer and Tommy Tremble to exploit SU in play-action. Sean Tucker will get a load of carries to not much ado because N’s D-line is for real. It’ll be relatively close for a while much like the UNC game, but eventually the Fighting Irish pull away.

Harrison (8-2): Notre Dame 45, Syracuse 10

I won’t even say this could get ugly. Rather, it likely will. Saturday’s matchup in South Bend will undoubtedly be one the very best teams in the entire nation against one of the very worst. Notre Dame (9-0) is ranked No. 2 in the current College Football Playoff rankings while Syracuse comes in at 1-9. On ESPN’s College Football Power Index, the Irish boast a No. 6 ranking, yet may even feel slighted given their position in this year’s playoff picture. The Orange, on the other hand, have an FPI rank of No. 102 (out of 127), which honestly could be generous. If one was to look at the three teams closest to SU on the FPI board, he or she would find Hawaii, Colorado State and UTSA. None of those schools have had to endure a Power 5 conference schedule like the Orange has — in the ACC. However, even so, SU has suffered way, way, wayyy much more defeat… to the point where we can at least begin to ponder. Hawaii is 3-3; Colorado is just 1-2; and UTSA is all the way up to 7-4. Would Syracuse even beat any of these teams if they played? The computer suggests there would be some close battles. Either way, I say all this because heading into Saturday, this sort of hypothetical fantasizing is, literally, what Orange faithful has been reduced to. All in all, I suppose it’s only fitting that SU be set for a long, brutal finale to cap off a season that’s been… well, long and brutal. Too poetic, am I right?

Jaron (7-3): Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 10

As Mike Breen would say “it’s over! It’s over!” It is time for Syracuse Football to hang em up. This season has been miserable, and it’s ever so fitting that the last game is against the second best team in the country. You thought the Syracuse vs. Clemson game was going to be bad? Well, strap in for this one. Notre Dame’s defense is elite— some would argue its the Fighting Irish’s best in the past 40 years. Notre Dame’s offense is dangerous— Ian Book has grown into a serious QB while Kyren Williams is a fantastic running back. Notre Dame’s coaching is unrivaled— Brian Kelly is a top tier head coach, Tommy Rees is thriving in his first year as OC, and Clark Lea is a head coach-caliber DC. Syracuse has no chance.

Thomas (7-3): Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 10

No. 2 Notre Dame is led by one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Ian Book. So far this season Book has thrown 12 touchdown passes to just one interception. Syracuse’s defense has shown promise throughout the season, but the Irish offense is too experienced to make mistakes that other Atlantic Coast Conference teams have made against SU. For the Orange offense, Sean Tucker has been the most valuable player this year. But he’ll struggle against a Notre Dame defense that is giving up just 85 yards on the ground per game. Opponents are rushing for just 2.87 yards per carry against the Irish, and SU is last in the ACC in rushing yards per game. For the tenth time of the season, Syracuse will finish with a loss.

Gill (6-4): Notre Dame 40, Syracuse 3

Obviously, Notre Dame outclasses Syracuse at every position on the field. The only argument to be made for a close game here is that the Irish might be so utterly uninspired to play, that Syracuse is the only team trying out there. The Irish have already clinched a spot in the ACC title game, win or lose. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to make a difference. First of all, it’s inaccurate to say this game doesn’t mean anything because Notre Dame still needs to beat Syracuse in order to secure their guaranteed College Football Playoff status heading into a potential Clemson rematch. More importantly, Notre Dame’s depth pieces will be highly motivated to show Brian Kelly why they deserve to play next year and beyond. Against North Carolina, ND’s superstar safety Kyle Hamilton was ejected for targeting, but Sam Howell made no progress attacking the 2nd stringers. This Irish team is deep, deep and deep. Don’t get your hopes up for a season-ending miracle.

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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