With That New Blue Yankee On, Who But Me?

Campus Clash

(13)Syracuse Orange at (3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Syracuse: Each season in the last few years, they’ve really taken tremendous steps to improve and it has truly shown. Here they are at 8-2 in the ACC Atlantic and they are ranked 12th in the country at the moment. Dino Babers was hired by the university in 2016 and in his tenure there, the Orange have a record of 16-18 which is below .500 but under him, the team plays hard and shows a lot of grit and effort and they leave everything on the field and honestly, that’s all a coach wants is for his players to play the game hard, be disciplined and most importantly, play the game the correct way with respect. They find themselves in games that many think they don’t have a fighting chance in and I can give you two perfect examples. Last October, the Clemson Tigers came to town and Cuse upset them which nobody saw coming and they almost did it again this season in South Carolina and had them until Clemson prevailed and just snuck away with the victory. This offense has no issues at all when it comes to scoring and their team average on the season is over 44 points per game and they will get to the end zone. It’s the defense that struggles to get off the field and make stops. This is one of their biggest games of the year and they don’t have to travel too far for this one on Saturday.

Notre Dame: Here they are with a 10-0 record for the first time since 2012 and they’ve found different ways to win. I really need to say just how proud I am of Brandon Wimbush. This is a kid who lost his starting job to Ian Book and if you’ve played any type of organized sport, you’d know that the worst feeling is to get benched for someone else and most people would react. Not this kid and he’s handled the entire situation with class and professionalism. With Ian sidelined with an injury on Saturday, Brandon saw the field against Florida State on Senior Night and he threw two touchdown passes. The star of the game was running back Dexter Williams who had 202 yards rushing on 20 carries and a few scores. Each week when you think this team is going to be tested, they prevail and ace the test. Here I was thinking their battle against Navy would be a tough battle, but it resulted in a win. Northwestern also seemed to be a challenge but they prevailed in that one as well. This is a mentally tough team that Brian Kelly has this year. As November approached, I said this would be their most important month of the year because if they can go and win out, they will be a lock to be a playoff team and so far, everything is looking up. They’ll look for win number 11 on Saturday afternoon against the Orange of Syracuse.

Syracuse Player To Watch: Moe Neal– The Orange love to run the football and this is the guy that makes it all happen in the offensive backfield. The junior, Moe is a running back that can mix it up to get his yards. He can run in between the tackles and bounce it outside on the perimeter when he needs too. He can also catch the football out the backfield and be a factor in the passing game.

Notre Dame Player To Watch: Daelin Hayes– The way he plays his position, you would think he was a safety with how he’s able to cover and make plays on the football. He’s just a natural ballhawk that can do just about everything on the field. He plays from sideline to sideline, he keeps his head on a swivel and he’s strong enough to shed blockers and get to the ball-carrier.

Final Analysis: This will be a fun one and it will be played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York which I’m really excited about. Notre Dame can’t come into this game with too much confidence because overlooking a team can hurt you. Hopefully, Book is back if not, it’s on Wimbush again to hold down the fort. The Orange need to show a better effort on defense and control the game offensively by running the football and dominating the line of scrimmage.

Prediction: Notre Dame 38 Syracuse 24