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Syracuse Orange vs. Clemson Tigers Free Pick 10/5/13

Clemson Tigers (4-0) at Syracuse Orange (2-2)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Carrier Dome)

The Line: Syracuse Orange 13.5 -- Over/Under: 65 See the Latest Odds


The Clemson Tigers travel to Syracuse to play the Orange on Saturday afternoon.

Clemson improved to 4-0 on the year after blowing out Wake Forest at home 56-7 on Saturday. Clemson jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back on Saturday in Death Valley. The Tigers offense produced 573 total yards with 407 coming thru the air. QB Tajh Boyd’s return to form was part of solid day on several fronts for the Tigers, who have won their first four games for the second time in Boyd’s three seasons as starter. Boyd accounted for five touchdowns in Clemson’s season-opening victory against Georgia, making the quarterback a contender for the Heisman trophy. But Boyd was held without a scoring pass and played less than a half against South Carolina State and then looked out of sync against North Carolina State. Against Wake Forest, Boyd completed 17 of 24 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Boyd’s 75-yard pass to RB D.J. Howard in the first quarter was the 100th time he’s accounted for a Clemson touchdown in his career. Boyd also rushed for 17 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Clemson starting RB Rod McDowell had just three carries before leaving with an ankle problem. WR Sammy Watkins caught 6 balls for 113, including a 64 yard touchdown catch. The Clemson defense allowed only 222 total yards against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons managed just 80 yards in the second half. The Tigers were able to get off the field on third down and forced 2 turnovers in the win. Moving forward, Clemson will face a tougher test on the road against a decent Syracuse squad this weekend.

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Syracuse Orange vs. Clemson Tigers Free Pick 10/5/13

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse is coming off a bye week after starting the year 2-2. The Orange dropped their first two games to Penn State and Northwestern and then beat Wagner and Tulane at home. QB Drew Allen played the first two games for the Orange and has completed 54 of 94 passes for 555 yards with 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. QB Terrel Hunt started the last two games and completed 33 of 43 passes for 468 yards with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions. Hunt obviously has better numbers but Allen faced tougher competition in the first two contests. Syracuse has a solid ground game led by RB Jerome Smith, who has 51 carries for 217 yards with 6 touchdowns this season. RB Prince-Tyson Gulley has 140 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns, while RB George Morris II has 107 yards on the ground. Syracuse has 4 players with over 100 yards receiving so far this season. WR Jarrod West has 11 grabs for 211 yards, while WR Christopher Clark has 15 catches for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Orange defense has given up 23, 48, 0, and 17 points so far this season, which puts Syracuse at 45th in the nation giving up 22 points a game. When Syracuse played Northwestern, which is the best offense they have played so far, the defense allowed 585 total yards. The Orange defense gave up 325 passing yards; however, the game was on the road. Syracuse will face an outstanding offense this weekend, but they will have had two weeks to prepare for Clemson.

Clemson is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in October. Syracuse is 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 home games. The Clemson over is 7-3 in Clemson’s last 10 games following an ATS win. The over is 8-2-1 in Syracuse’s last 11 games overall.

The last time these two teams played Syracuse beat Clemson 41-0 in 1996. Clemson will play their second game of the season on the road and I think they will be better prepared after beating NC State on the road two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Syracuse has had two weeks to prepare and will be pumped up to beat arguably the best team in the ACC at home this weekend. Even with two weeks, I don’t see Syracuse having much success slowing down the Tigers offense. Syracuse will not get blown if they can establish the run game against an inconsistent Clemson defense. Clemson will win this game by two touchdowns but I’ll be looking to take the over if the number is less than 65 points.

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