Notre Dame at Syracuse Preview

Syracuse (5-6, 2-5 Big East) and Notre Dame (5-6) will meet for just the third time ever, the first time since 1961, Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. Both teams are struggling this year, and will play for the right to finish at .500.

The Orangemen are reeling from a blowout loss against Rutgers, 24-7 at Rutgers Stadium. Syracuse had trouble with the wind, which topped 40 mph at times, muffing three kickoffs in five minutes, leading to three Rutgers scores.

Meanwhile, the Irish are playing some of the best football of their season, fresh off their third straight win, a 57-7 trashing of Stanford. Quarterback Brady Quinn completed 8-of-13 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

OFFENSIVE SCOUTING REPORT: The Irish will give it to tailback Julius Jones and then get out of the way. Jones is just 224 yards shy of setting the school's single season rushing yards record of 1,437 yards, owned by Vagas Ferguson in 1979. Jones has been on a tear during the Irish's three-game win streak, rushing for more than 200 yards a game during that time. Jones' 262 yards against Pittsburgh Oct. 11 set a new school single-game rushing record.

DEFENSIVE SCOUTING REPORT: Junior defensive end Justin Tuck has 13 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss this year. He and linebacker Courtney Watson (107 tackles) are the cornerstones of the Irish defense. They will try to stop Syracuse tailback Walter Reyes, who has struggled recently. Reyes, who averages 105.3 yards a game, hasn't topped the 100-yard mark since rushing for 162 yards against Toledo Sept. 27.

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