Notre Dame vs. Syracuse fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 2:30 ET
Venue: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
Notre Dame (10-0) vs. Syracuse (8-2) Game Preview
One Reason Why Notre Dame Will Win
Ian Book and Dexter Williams are really, really good.
It might not seem like Notre Dame is an Alabama, Clemson, or even a Georgia in terms of how good it might just be overall, but it’s backfield is amazing.
Book returns from missing the Florida State game with a rib injury, and he’s the exact right passer to deal with a mediocre Syracuse pass defense that can be lit up. Book is hitting close to 75% of his passes, and while he’s throwing a few picks, he’s good for at least two touchdowns per game – and he can run, too.
Williams destroyed FSU for 202 yards in his fourth game over over 100 yards in the six appearances since returning from a four game suspension. He’s tough, fast, and he’s hitting the home run.
The offense is there to keep up with the Orange.
Syracuse tries to go at warp speed with its offense, and Notre Dame should be able to deal with it however it want to, controlling the clock when it wishes, and keeping up in the track meet when needed.
Defensively, only Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt have been able to throw for over 300 yards, and Michigan and Florida Sate were the only other teams to get over 200 yards. The secondary has been fantastic – it’s allowed just one touchdown pass in the last four games. But …
One Reason Why Syracuse Will Win
Notre Dame hasn’t dealt with anything like this.
It’s played against some terrific quarterbacks, but no one’s offense – including Michigan’s in the opener – is moving the ball like the Orange are right now.
It’s dealt with some fantastic pass rushing defenses, but Syracuse brings the heat and it keeps on coming. The defensive front seven can be exposed by smart quarterback passers who can read what’s coming – like NC State’s Ryan Finley – but the press is unrelenting.
Eric Dungey can throw for 411 yards – like he did against the Wolfpack – and can give Clemson fits, and he can run for 100 yards like he did against Wake Forest, or 200 against Western Michigan.
He’s a veteran who beat Clemson two years ago, and almost pulled it off this year, too.
And the pass rush? It wrecked Wake Forest and Louisville over the last two weeks, the D knocked out Trevor Lawrence in the close call loss to Clemson, and the pressure is steady.
This is a very, very dangerous Orange team that’s the absolute real deal. However …
What’s Going To Happen
The Orange is better against the passing teams that like to play with a quicker tempo and want to get into shootouts. Who did they lose to?
Yeah, Clemson beats everyone, but Syracuse ended up losing because Travis Etienne and the running game took over when Lawerence got knocked out of the game.
And in what seemed like an outlier at the time, it lost the week after the Tiger game against Pitt, who ripped off 265 yards on the ground in the 44-37 win. Both teams were able to get their running backs in space where they could do crank up yards in chunks.
Again, welcome to Dexter Williams.
Williams should have a monster afternoon, Book can balance things out with his maddening accuracy on key third down plays, and the backfield should be able to do just a wee bit more to survive a thriller.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 37
Line: Notre Dame -10.5, o/u: 65.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 4.5
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