There’s a battle today, Sep 29, 2018, at noon between two undefeated ACC teams. The Syracuse Orange (4-0 Overall, 1-0 ACC Atlantic) and the Clemson Tigers (4-0 Overall, 1-0 ACC Atlantic) meet in what is expected to be, despite the identical records, a lopsided game. Our 2018 Syracuse plays Clemson NCAAF pick offers the Tigers at -25.0. The over/under is at -64.5. The Orange have beaten Western Michigan (55-42), Wagner (62-10), Florida State (30-7), and UConn (51-21). The Tigers come into this game having taken down Furman (48-7), Texas A&M (28-26), Georgia Southern (38-7), and Georgia Tech (49-21).
Syracuse Offense vs Tigers Defense
The Syracuse offense has certainly been cranking out points and yards. They’ve averaged 49.5 PPG and 523.3 YPG. That includes 278.0 YPG on the ground. The Orange are averaging 245.3 YPG through the air. Senior QB Eric Dungey has tossed nine TD passes and one INT. He’s connecting on a respectable 63.7% of his passes. Dungey has also rushed for 354 yards, averaging 6.9 YPA and scoring four times. His top two receivers are senior Jamal Custis and junior Sean Riley. Custis has 17 receptions for 287 yards, while averaging 16.9 YPC. The Syracuse wideout has three TD catches. Riley, who’s made 16 catches, has a total of 201 yards and two scores. He’s averaging 12.6 YPC.
The Tigers are, of course noted for their defense. This season thus far they have held opponents to an average of 15.3 PPG. Teams are averaging just 148.3 YPG in passing and another 103.5 YOG in rushing. Total yards given up are 251.8. Clemson has no interceptions, but they have defended eight passes, forced eight fumbles, and recovered five. The Clemson pass rush has made 16 sacks, plus their D has recorded 37 TFL. This is a team that’s adept at stopping the rush and exceptionally tough on QBs.
Clemson Offense vs Orange Defense
The Tigers are scoring 40.8 PPG. Of their 504.8 YPG generated, Clemson has averaged 230.3 YOG in rushing. Average passing yards are 274.5 YPG. The Tigers feature two starting QBs, senior Kelly Bryant and freshman Trevor Lawrence. Both have been good on 65 percent or better of their passes. Lawrence has tossed nine passes for scores and two picks, while Lawrence has two TD passes and one INT. Seven different receivers have caught at least one TD pass. Sophomore RB Travis Etienne leads the rushing game. He’s gained 391 yards on 46 carries. Etienne’s averaging 8.5 YPA and has five TDs.
The Syracuse D has done well in allowing just 20.0 PPG. Of the 386.0 YPG in opponent yards allowed, 255.3 YPG are through the air. Opponent ground yards average 130.8 per game. The Orange secondary has been effective, as they’ve grabbed seven picks and defended 11 passes. The Syracuse D has 15 sacks and 31 TFL. This side of the ball has been effective, but can they compete against Clemson?
2018 Syracuse Plays Clemson NCAAF Pick
Our 2018 Syracuse plays Clemson NCAAF pick has to consider if the Orange are ready to compete against the Tigers. They did well against a decent FSU team. But Clemson has some massive players on defense and a very deep offense. There’s also the revenge factor. Last season, in the Carrier Dome, the Orange upset the Tigers 27-24. Will Clemson allow that to stand on their home turf? With all of that in mind, we’re going with the Tigers at -25.0 and the over at 64.5