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Clemson Football

FINAL: Clemson 17, Syracuse 14

October 15, 2021
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GAME DAY: CLEMSON at SYRACUSE

Clemson: Roster | Depth Chart Schedule | Twitter
Syracuse: Roster | News |  Twitter | Schedule

Game Week Articles

NOTE: Due to having a LIVE show today, our prediction and GameDay LIVE stories will be combined and shortened to a degree this week.

Watch, Listen and Read

Game: 7:00 p.m. Carrier Dome - Syracuse, NY
TV: ESPN
Game Week Coverage: Clemson vs. Syracuse Stories

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CLEMSON FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
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AVAILABILITY REPORT: Among players listed on Clemson’s weekly depth chart released on Monday, the following players are not expected to be available for tonight’s game: S Joseph Charleston, CB Fred Davis, TE Braden Galloway, OL Hunter Rayburn and WR E.J. Williams. Clemson’s travel roster for the contest is attached.

Each week we give you a look at the game's history, three keys to success, plus Swanny's prediction.

The Match-Up:

Clemson (3-2 overall, 2-1 ACC) vs. Syracuse (3-3 overall, 0-2 ACC)

Clemson vs. Syracuse 2020

 

Series History:

  • OVERALL: Clemson leads series, 7-2
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 4-0
  • ROAD: Clemson leads series, 3-1
  • NEUTRAL: Clemson trails series, 0-1
  • LAST MEETING: Oct. 24, 2020 (47-21, W)
  • STREAK: Clemson, Won 3

Stat of the Week:

Clemson attempting to improve to 28-1 in October games in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014). The contest will be played in similar circumstances to its lone October loss of that time span: a Friday night game at Syracuse in 2017.

Chasing History:

Prior to an open date last week, cardiac Clemson improved to 3-2 in 2021 with a 19-13 victory against Boston College on Oct. 2. Very few seasons in Clemson's 126-year history have featured the kind of early drama the Tigers have produced this season. All four of Clemson's games against FBS opponents in 2021 have been decided by one possession, marking only the seventh time in school history that at least four of Clemson's first five games of a season have been decided by a final margin of eight or fewer points.

Key 1: Wake Up the Offense

I'm not sure there has been a more obvious key in quite a while. After starting the year off slowly on offense, what we’ve seen appears to be more significant than originally thought. Michael Felder told us this week that he feels the Tigers have to change up their philosophy on offense in a big way.

“I think if Clemson made teams play more 11-on-11 football-- meaning quarterback has a run option-- because guess what, you can put Koby Pace in the game and you can have him as a lead blocker for DJ-- which means you have an extra body in the box that's unaccounted for, which leads to bigger runs, those bigger runs, make safeties come up, now you have an opportunity to push the ball over the top of them."

If Clemson’s offense gets rolling on the ground, the air attack could finally open up.

Key 2: WRU Block Party

One other area I'd like to see improved tonight is the Clemson wideouts blocking downfield. The Tigers haven’t looked sharp in that regard this season and it could lead to bigger and bigger runs for the backs if the wideouts improve.

While there has been plenty of criticism for the wide receivers under Tyler Grisham, this is an area that I feel has been lacking since Jeff Scott left. Grisham's group needs to show marked improvement this weekend-- and even if they don't Clemson can still win against the Orange, but with a high-scoring Pitt team looming, getting into the second and third level could be key.

Key 3: Scoop & Score

I'm still hopeful for a pick-six at some point this season, but more importantly, a guy like Trenton Simpson needs to make a key play to put points on the board for the Tigers at some point. Simpson has elite speed and given an opportunity could make a big impact for Brent Venables' defense. 

At some point, the defense HAS to make a play that puts points on the board for an offense that is struggling. If that doesn't happen, expect another tight game down the stretch in Syracuse tonight.

Prediction:

I gave the full prediction on the air tonight, but I'll give you this quick note: Until Clemson's offense breaks into the 30s, I will not make a prediction that puts more than 28 points on the scoreboard for the Tigers. I'm far too skeptical and based on what we've watched the first five weeks of the season, they've given me no reason to think they will score with ease. Additionally, I haven’t liked Dabo Swinney's comments on how teams have been able to control Clemson with an 8-man coverage-- that seems far too simplistic-- thus very concerning to me.

Clemson wins tonight because they have the better team--  but they won't win by much-- unless there is a defensive score to spark the offense. 

Clemson 27, Syracuse 17

Swanny's Predictions: 

Date 2021 Schedule Predictions Swanny's Prediction Actual Score
9-4-2021 No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia 31-27 Clemson 10-3 Georgia
9-11-2021 No. 6 Clemson vs. SC State 59-7 Clemson 49-3 Clemson
9-18-2021 No. 6 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech 45-10 Clemson 14-8 Clemson
9-25-2021 No. 9 Clemson @ NC State 31-14 Clemson 27-21 NC State
10-2-2021 No. 25 Clemson vs. Boston College 24-21 Clemson 19-13 Clemson
10-15-2021 Clemson @ Syracuse 27-17 Clemson  

FINAL: Clemson 17, Syracuse 14

1,208 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Lawton Swann
Lawton Swann
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On offense, Mason Trotter gets his first career start-- playing center.
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Lawton Swann
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Clemson's first offensive drive was just what...OFFENSIVE.

Here comes Drive No. 2 tonight...will things finally click for this group?

Will Putnam got destroyed on the last drive on 3rd down...just abused.
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Lawton Swann
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Then off a timeout, Syracuse throws an interception.

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CLEMSON.81.16.18
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Can the kicker become QB1? Just asking lol
Lawton Swann
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That was a heck of a throw from Spiers.

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Lawton Swann
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Sorry I've been MIA in here tonight. Twitter was coming after me for saying Ross missed on a throw. Had to do some video work. LOL
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Lawton Swann
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