Syracuse football defeated State, making it 6 straight, as Clemson awaits

Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse football (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Hello Orange Nation – life is beautiful as our Syracuse football team is 6-0 after defeating the NC State Wolfpack 24-9 in front of 49,705 excited Orange fans last Saturday.

That battle of two top 15 teams was amazing but ahead is a top 5 Clemson Tigers team at Death Valley. So this is a great moment to enjoy but now it’s also time to get ready to continue this amazing season and earn your respect.

In my eyes, a loss here does not make this season any less great but a win would be what Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother might call legen…I needed gas and a Dew this morning so I stopped at Byrne…dary.

So let’s take a few minutes to discuss my observations on the Wolfpack victory and talk about aspects of the Clemson game I think might be relevant.

Looking back and looking ahead for Syracuse football.

NC State Review

Loud Fans Bring Huge Wins

I’ve said for many years that a packed Loud House can often make the difference between a win and a loss. Many fans have said they’ll come if Syracuse football wins and to their credit, they did. Syracuse University students and locals packed the Dome and again left a head coach leaving the Dome citing the noise as a factor. Thank you to those who showed up and brought the noise. Well done y’all!

Oronde Is That Guy

Last season, Sean Tucker seemed to be the most utilized and productive wide receiver. Others had some key catches or games but this led to the wide receiver being a big question mark going into 2022.

Enter Oronde Gadsden II. Oronde this season has been reliable for QB Garrett Shrader and reminded others of past Orange great receivers like Harrison, Carpenter, and Moore. By that I mean a dependable receiver with NFL talent who can literally stretch for the ball or make big plays when they’re needed. Through 6 games, Oronde has 31 receptions for 507 yards and 5 touchdowns, per ESPN stats, and seems to have great chemistry with Shrader.

A Perfectly Round Orange

One argument that could be made about this 2022 team is, could this be one of the most well-rounded teams in all three aspects of the game (offense, defense and special teams)? NC State came into this game with a lot of love for their defense but the Syracuse football offense found ways to score and I think in comparison the Orange defense was at least as good if not better. Now add in special teams that aren’t hurting this team whereas last season maybe certain aspects of it did. And I’m not really a stat guy much but I will say I know it feels like this season maybe more so than at least recent seasons, there isn’t any aspect of this team that I worry about when they take the field and even areas that have seen injuries hit, the depth is evident.

Clemson Preview

If You Wanna Crown Them

I will in no way intentionally undermine the accomplishments that Clemson has achieved. I think Clemson has proven it can be one of the best in the country. In my preseason breakdowns, I said I wanted to see what Clemson would be with their former offensive coordinator now at Virginia and at times looking “human” last season. What I have seen is that this is still a powerful team that can beat anyone.

Having said that, I truly think if you take the star rankings of players out of the equation, these two teams are fairly equal this season. I’m not making a score prediction here but I do think this game could very well come down to one big play or a big mistake. Both quarterbacks have made massive strides since last season and helping lead their teams respectively.

Is Garrett Shrader The Key to Victory?

So speaking of quarterbacks, it’s my belief that if there is one game Garrett Shrader truly needs to be a field general, it’s this one. Last season, Syracuse football lost to Clemson 17-14 and Shrader had almost 200 yards passing and a TD (as well as an INT). What we are seeing now is a new Shrader though who most times is making better decisions, has more confidence in the system and his receivers and could pose a rushing threat if that Clemson front line overwhelms the Syracuse offensive line. I also think Clemson will be studying film extensively on Oronde Gadsden so will Sean Tucker, Damien Alford or DeVaughn Cooper have a big game, or will the combination of Shrader to Gadsden still prevail?

I will say though one Syracuse player to watch is the other Garrett, Garrett Williams. If Garrett is healthy and can play (he’s currently listed on the depth chart as of this writing), I think this could be a big game as I’d expect Clemson to consider trying him early to see if he is healthy. If Garrett is out, my eyes will be on Marlowe Wax who was everywhere against State and one of the Cuse MOB players.

My Clemson Player To Watch

Clemson’s defensive line is stacked and that’s no secret. And one that might fly under the radar at times but could make things tough on Shrader and Tucker is Tyler Davis. He missed a little time early in the season but is back and has NFL potential according to Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney. You could randomly pick just about any player on this Clemson roster that’s loaded with 4-5 star recruits but I think Tyler is looking to prove himself after being left off the lineman watch list and didn’t need the extra motivation/chip on his shoulder.

Death Valley At Noon On ABC Is Nice But Not Easy

So as most know by now, this Syracuse football versus Clemson game will be at Clemson and will be on ABC at noon. Winning at Clemson isn’t easy and it can be intimidating to play in that stadium but Syracuse football has done well there in the past and I’d expect nothing but more of that this weekend. Three of the last 5 matchups have been decided by 4 points or less with one of them (the 2018 game) being played in Clemson and Syracuse football almost pulled off the upset one year after beating them in the Dome.

For more fun information about the game, my brother man Neil Adler has you covered here.

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