Clemson vs. Syracuse Series
This is just the third meeting between
Clemson and Syracuse. The Orange won the
first meeting at the 1996 (end of 1995 season)
Gator Bowl in Jacksonville by a 41-0 score.
Clemson was ranked 23rd
entering the game and
coming off a five-game winning streak to close
the season. Syracuse was unranked going into
the game, but jumped to 17th
in the final USA
Today poll with the impressive win.
Last year, Clemson won at Syracuse
by a 49-14 score behind the passing combination
of Tajh Boyd to Sammy Watkins. Boyd threw for
a record 455 yards and five touchdown passes,
while Watkins had four catches for 126 yards,
including a 91-yard score from Boyd. Clemson
led 35-7 at halftime. Clemson finished the game
with 624 yards of total offense and averaged 8.1
yards per play.
Syracuse Makes First Visit To Clemson
Syracuse is the second of three consecutive visitors to Clemson who will be making
their first trip to Memorial Stadium. Clemson
defeated Louisville on October 11, 23-17 in the
Cardinals first appearance. Syracuse makes its
first appearance on Saturday, then Georgia State
will be a first time visitor on November 22.
Syracuse is the 55th different team to
come to Memorial Stadium and the Tigers are
40-13-1 against those teams when the visitor is making its first appearance. But, it has
been especially difficult to beat Clemson in that
first meeting since 1978. In the last 37 years
Clemson is 24-2 against teams making their first
appearance in Memorial Stadium.
The only teams to win their first game
here since 1978 are Marshall (13-10 winners
over Clemson in 1999 in Tommy Bowden’s first
game as Clemson coach) and Miami (FL) (36-30
wins over Clemson in 2005 in triple overtime, the
longest game in Clemson history.
Stoudt Has Faced Tough Defenses
Cole Stoudt has been Clemson’s
quarterback in its last two games, victories over
Louisville and Boston College, two of the best
defenses in the nation. Heading into those
games, Louisville was first in the nation in total
defense and Boston College was ninth. Stoudt
did not start against Louisville, but Deshaun
Watson suffered a broken hand on his 11th
of the game and Stoudt played the last 62 snaps
for the Tigers.
Stoudt has been Clemson’s primary
quarterback in three games this year, the opener
against Georgia when he played 67 of Clemson’s 79 snaps, Louisville when he played 62 of
the 73, and Boston College when he played 81.
A look to this week’s stats shows that
all three of those teams are ranked in the top 16
in the nation in total defense and all three are
in the top 19 in scoring defense. Louisville is
first in the nation in total defense, allowing 246
yards per game, and fourth in scoring defense,
allowing 14.6 points per game. Boston College
in total defense (305.3) and 16th
defense (19.0), while Georgia is 16th in total
defense (321) and 19th
in scoring defense (20.0).
Syracuse enters Saturday’s game with
a 3-4 record, but the Orange are coming off their
best performance of the season, a 30-7 victory at
Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons scored the
first touchdown of the game, but Syracuse went
on a 30-0 run to end the game.
Devante McFarlane, who had just 21
yards rushing in three games entering the contest, had 10-114 in an impressive performance
at Winston-Salem. Prince-Tyson Gulley is the
leading rusher for Syracuse over the course of
the season with 418 yards and a 5.6 average.
Both teams will have a quarterback
missing today due to injury. Terel Hunt leads
Syracuse in passing with 983 yards, but he is out
with an injury suffered two weeks ago. A.J. Long
led the Orange to victory over Wake Forest by
hitting 22-32 passes for 171 yards. Jarrod West
is the top receiver with 29-421. He is 10th
ACC in reception yards per game.
Cameron Lynch is the top defender for
Syracuse. He is fourth in the ACC in sacks with
5.5 and he has a team best 53 tackles overall,
best in the ACC. Syracuse scored two
touchdowns on defensive returns at Wake Forest.
Tiger Seniors Look to Establish Record
Clemson’s senior class can establish
a school record Saturday. The school record
for ACC wins by a four-year class is 24, and a
victory over Syracuse would give this group of
21 scholarship seniors 25 regular season wins
over ACC teams. Clemson is 4-1 in the ACC
this year with Saturday’s home game against
Syracuse and league road games at Wake Forest and Georgia Tech remaining.
This senior class has won at least six
games in each of its first three years in league
play. The group is 24-5 entering the Syracuse
game, 14-1 at home and 10-4 on the road. The
only league home loss was last year against
Florida State, the eventual National Champion of
This senior group has a 37-10 record
overall, already tied for fifth best in Clemson
history for a class. It ties the 1984 and 1981
Clemson senior groups. In terms of home wins,
this class is 23-2 so far. The record for home
wins in a four-year period is 24. The 2012 and
2013 groups were both 24-4 at home, so they
could tie the mark for home wins with a victory
Williams Ahead of Watkins 2013 Pace
Mike Williams is having a very productive season, especially in yards per reception. So far this year the sophomore had 30 receptions for 671 yards and four scores. That computes to a
22.37 yards per reception figure, best in the nation among all players with
at least 30 receptions. Nineteen of his 30 catches have been for at least
The No. 4 overall pick in last year's draft, Sammy Watkins, had 44 catches through seven games last year
compared to Williams’ 30, Williams has a higher yards per catch (22.4 vs.
14.8), and receptions of 20 yards or more. Watkins had seven through
seven games last year and Williams already has 19 this year.
Clemson Defense Among Nation’s Best
Clemson has one of the top defenses in the nation this year
based on the latest NCAA data. The Tigers lead the nation in third-down
conversion defense, allowing opponents to convert just 23.6 percent of the
time. Over the last two weeks Louisville and Boston College are a combed
3-31 on third down. Clemson is also first in the nation on negative yardage
on tackles for loss with 316.
Clemson is ranked in the top 10 in the nation in nine categories
and in the top 20 in 15. This week Clemson is fifth in total defense, allowing 283 yards per game, fourth in sacks (3.71), second in tackles for loss
per game (9.43) and fourth in first downs allowed per game. Clemson is
in rushing defense, allowing 103.3 yards per game, and 14th
defense, allowing 179.4 yards per game. Clemson, Louisville and Stanford
are the only three teams in the nation ranked in the top 15 in both rushing
defense and pass defense.
NOTES: Tigers tangle with Syracuse
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