Syracuse faced No. 3 Clemson in a 54-0 shut out keeping true to the stadium’s name Death Valley.
On a warm and sunny day in Death Valley, #3 Clemson came to play against Syracuse. On the first Tigers drive, the Orange defense would stop the touchdown drive and force the field goal. Clemson was early on the board and it did not stop there. Clemson would score their first touchdown with four minutes left in the first quarter. Tigers CB Ryan Carter would intercept Eric Dungey at the SU 32-yard line, bringing it back 17 yards. Just 55 seconds later, Deshaun Watson, with no defenders around him, would walk into the end zone to up the score 10-0. The Orange defense continued to get pummeled by the Tigers offense. On the first drive of the second quarter, Watson threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deon Cain. The touchdown run took the Tigers just 31 seconds.
Clemson would score a total of four touchdowns against the Orange in just the first half. They would continue to score three more touchdowns in the blowout. The Tigers put the cherry on top with a pick six by Tanner Muse to break fifty points against the Orange.
The 54-0 shutout is the first shutout in Dino Babers’ career as a head coach.
"It's disappointing but yet it's exciting because we know what we're shooting for and we're shooting for a doggone good football team like Clemson," Babers said.
Syracuse offense could not catch a break against the no. 3 team. The early interception would alter the momentum of the game for Syracuse. Syracuse faced quarterback struggles after a hard hit on starting QB Eric Dungey near the end of the first quarter. The hit left Dungey on the ground and would be helped off the field, ruled out for the rest of the game. Syracuse’s back up all season has been Zack Mahoney but head coach Dino Babers looked at Austin Wilson to face the Tigers.
Austin Wilson struggled against the Clemson defense, failing to score for the Orange. The Orange would touch the red zone only once in the entire game over in the third quarter. Following a 49-yard rush by running back Moe Neal, Syracuse would be stopped at the 14-yard line. Cole Murphy took over to attempt to break the shutout with a 30-yard field goal attempt but would miss. Syracuse remained scoreless throughout the entire game.
"When you lose your starting quarterback early in the game, it doesn't normally work out well for you," Babers said.
In the blowout, Amba Etta-Tawo continued to break Syracuse records. The wide receiver had nine receptions for 84 yards in the loss. These numbers set two new single-season records for the football program. Etta-Tawo first would set the total receiving yards in a single-season with 1,158 total. Later on, Etta-Tawo would also set total receptions in a single-season with 75.
Syracuse still in need of two more wins to become bowl eligible. The Orange look to redeem themselves when they travel back to Syracuse to next face NC State, November 12th at 12:30.