“If you were a chick, who’s the one guy you would sleep with?”
“What?! Did we just become best friends?!”
One of the most memorable scenes in the cult classic “Step Brothers” features Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly realizing they were metaphorically looking in the mirror. After this weekend, perhaps Syracuse is doing the same with the rest of the ACC.
The Orange victory on Friday night punctuated a rapid climb back from last year’s debacle, and gave SU fans a pathway to a bowl game. The SU defense is one of the best in the country (even if the first month’s opponents weren’t the Chip Kelly Ducks). Liberty shredded the SU defense last year, and on Friday was stifled on the turning point fourth-down play, then coughed up the ball to set up the game-winner.
The ground game for SU is shining as Sean Tucker has turned into one of the most productive backs in the nation. These are, at very least, elements that should make SU competitive in plenty of games this season. And the landscape of the ACC just cleared to appear quite beneficial to the Orange.
Syracuse isn’t great. The quarterback play has been pedestrian and uneven. Garrett Shrader’s passing is limited, and Tommy DeVito’s potential will never quite be realized. The offense was punished by Rutgers at the Dome. But looking at Syracuse’s ACC schedule, good teams with flaws are everywhere.
Clemson has been the dominant force in the league for almost a decade. The Tigers have a stout defense, but the offense is a nightmare. The passing attack vs. NC State was pathetic, accounting for just 111 yards. That game at the Dome doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. Clemson’s two losses almost certainly eliminates them from a playoff spot, and it’s not even October yet.
The Wolfpack turned in one of their signature victories of the last twenty years, but they also missed three field goals which would have won it in regulation.
Louisville got shut out in the 2nd half against putrid Florida State.
Pitt trailed Western Michigan by 13 points at home a few weeks ago before coming back to win.
Virginia Tech needed a punt return TD to help pull away from FCS Richmond.
Wake Forest and Boston College are undefeated and got good wins this weekend, but neither are powerhouses.
The winless Seminoles are one of the worst teams in the country.
The ACC is a league of flawed teams that are all in the same blender, which may be most of college football this year. That’s perfect for the Orange, who are looking to scrape together three more wins to make a bowl game. Sure, Orange Nation can dream for more (7-8 wins?), but 1-10 to a Military Bowl would be terrific. Hey ACC, did we just become best friends?