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Clemson Football

2019 Opponent Series: Syracuse

August 14, 2019

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2019 Opponent Series

Dino Babers’ father served in the military for many years before he passed away and was laid to rest at the national cemetery in Houston, Texas. For Babers, growing up in a military family shaped him as a young man and turned him into the coach he is today. The 58-year-old coach still holds true to the standards his father set, but that doesn’t mean his players don’t get to have fun.

“We want to win the right way. Then we want to have fun. We want to lead the league in picnics, barbecues and softball games. We want to lead the league in that,” Babers said. 

That probably plays a huge factor as to why there has not been a better team in the ACC the last two years besides Clemson outside of Syracuse. The Orange were picked by the media to finish second behind the Tigers in the Atlantic Division.

The Orange have been building momentum and are looking to take the next step in 2019, but they will have to do it with a new starting quarterback. Eric Dungey is now with the New York Giants, and many believe that the Cuse might take a step back.

Clemson Sports Talk
Last season, Chase Brice led Clemson to a late win over Syracuse, 27-23.

Tommy DeVito will take over an offense that averaged 40.2 points per game last year. DeVito clearly has the swagger necessary to win, but does he have enough talent to give teams fits on the field? DeVito described the Orange offense as “exhilarating” at the ACC Kickoff in July, from this observers view, time will tell.

“Honestly, in our offense, we play a bunch of different styles, a bunch of different ways. That's why I believe it's so hard for defenses to be able to get a lock on us,” DeVito stated. “We can do the same play a hundred different ways, a hundred different formations, different motions. That's what makes our offense unique.”

The fast-paced approach from the offense can put a strain on Syracuse’s defense since they have to spend more time on the field, but defensive linemen Kendall Coleman mentioned that it’s the mentality that they’ve embraced that allows them to thrive.

“We got ourselves to a mental standpoint where it wasn't about being tired, needing a sub, it's I'm going to go as hard as I can, every play that I can, until they decide they're going to put the next fresh guy in. While I'm in there, I'm after that,” Coleman said.

Syracuse Orange

Head coach: Dino Babers, fourth year

Last season: Finished 10-3, defeated West Virginia 34-18 in the Camping World Bowl

Returning starters: 6 offense, 8 defense

Players to Watch

  • Alton Robinson (Defensive end, Sr.) - The Converse, Texas native has been named as an All-ACC first-team selection by Athlon and had a career-best eight tackles at Pittsburgh last year and should be an active force on the front for the Orange. Robinson picked up 10 sacks a year ago for Syracuse.
  • Andre Cisco (Defensive back, So.) - Cisco is on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list for 2019, and with good reason. The IMG Academy alum had a strong freshman campaign, tying the NCAA lead in interceptions with 7 and will be counted on as a leader in the secondary for the Orange in 2019.
  • Moe Neal (Running back, Sr.) - Neal enters the season fifth on the all-time record list at Syracuse for average yards with 5.44 per carry and will probably be depended on heavily with a new starting quarterback, which should give him more opportunities to carry the ball in 2019.

Last Meeting against Clemson: 2018: Travis Etienne scored the go-ahead touchdown as the Tigers survived a scare from the Orange as Chase Brice stepped in for the injured Trevor Lawrence, winning 27-23.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 31 - at Liberty

Sept. 7 - at Maryland

Sept. 14 - vs. Clemson

Sept. 21 - vs. Western Michigan

Sept. 28 - vs. Holy Cross

Oct. 10 (Thurs.) - at NC State

Oct. 18 (Fri.) - vs. Pittsburgh

Oct. 26 - at Florida State

Nov. 2 - vs. Boston College

Nov. 16 - at Duke

Nov. 23 - at Louisville

Nov. 30 - vs. Wake Forest

**Home games in BOLD

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