SU hopes to rebound after suffering its first blemish of the season against #5 Clemson last weekend. Unfortunately, the bounce back game comes against a perennial above average-ish team in Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have definitely free fallen since an embarrassing loss to open the year at Ohio State. However, top to bottom this roster still has talent and will be a tough out in the JMA Wireless Dome.
This is the first meeting in the Salt City between the Orangemen and Golden Domers since 2003. A win would boost the ‘Cuse to 7-1 and keep it in contention for an ACC Atlantic crown. A win for the leprechauns would move them to 5-3 on the cusp of bowl eligibility despite the underwhelming campaign. Here are the keys to the game for Syracuse:
Stay Ahead of the Chains
It seemed like last week SU was in third and medium to long range situations more often than not. This might be because Syracuse was very pass happy with its game plan. However you need to stay ahead of the sticks, do it. Notre Dame ranks 19th in the nation in sack percentage. The Fighting Irish have about a 9% chance to get to opposing quarterbacks on any play.
Make it Loud
This one’s for you guys reading this who are going to the game. Notre Dame is one of the least penalized teams in the country. ND is flagged for an average of just 38 penalty yards per outing. So ‘Cuse Nation and Otto’s Army, make it deafening. The JMA Wireless Dome is one of the best home field advantages in the nation. Get the decibels up and let’s get some feet moving and appendages twitching in the trenches.
Score off of Turnovers
Syracuse did NOT accomplish this last week. At one point, SU was +4 in the turnover margin and had only scored one touchdown when Ja’Had Carter scooped and scored. If Notre Dame turns the ball over on Saturday, Robert Anae and Company must at least put something on the scoreboard. Notre Dame is known to give the ball away too. The Fighting Irish gift are typically -1 in turnover margin when they take the field every weekend.