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Syracuse travels to Notre Dame for a Saturday afternoon matchup against the nation’s second-best team. The Orange have recorded just one win this season.
Coming off a narrow 36-29 loss against NC State, Syracuse needs a win to avoid having the program’s worst record since 2005. Here’s what our beat writers are predicting will happen Saturday:
Anthony Dabbundo (8-2)
Party like it’s 2005
Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 10
Syracuse’s players should be commended for completing all 11 games of the season without a positive COVID-19 case while the majority of the country has had games canceled. But Saturday’s blowout loss to Notre Dame will officially leave the Orange at 1-10, their worst record since 2005. No matter how Dino Babers, John Wildhack or Syracuse wants to spin it, this season has been a total failure.
Many expect a gulf between Notre Dame and Syracuse. But the chasm that has existed between the Orange and the mediocre teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year leaves many questions that Babers will have to address in 2021.
Syracuse’s effort may be admired postgame, but the performance and talent level doesn’t even come close as the offense struggles to move the ball. Notre Dame is well on its way to the College Football Playoff and will cruise to another smothering win.
Danny Emerman (6-4)
Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 13
It’s going to be frigid in South Bend on Saturday. The forecast calls for mid-to high 30s and breezy, unpleasant conditions for a team used to the Dome. Each brutally crunching hit from a physically overpowering Notre Dame linebacker will hurt that much more. Each lineman getting into a three-point stance may rethink it as the tips of their fingers freeze in the artificial turf. The ball might feel more like a rock than a pigskin, something Syracuse’s drop-prone receivers might have trouble with.
This version of Syracuse has no business playing this game. Bravo to them for suiting up and not waving the white flag, but this season can’t end soon enough for SU. They’ll be putting it in the past after a brutal, cold, unenjoyable blowout deep in enemy territory. Maybe they’ll cover. Wouldn’t that be something?
Adam Hillman (7-3)
Not even close
Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 10
This is just too tall of a hill to climb, as the team with the worst record in the ACC faces the best. Notre Dame’s run defense will prevent Syracuse from ever creating a balanced attack. Pro Football Focus’ best-ranked offensive line in the country will dominate a Syracuse defensive line that has struggled to stop the run. This one won’t be close.
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