No. 2 Clemson goes on the road to face Syracuse
No. 2 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) at Syracuse (3-3, 1-1), Friday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Line: Clemson by 22 ½.
Series Record: Clemson leads 4-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Clemson is chasing a second straight national championship and a loss would put a major dent in the Tigers’ chances. A win for Syracuse over the reigning national champions would offer more proof that second-year coach Dino Babers is on the right track as he tries to turn around a program that’s been down for nearly two decades. It also likely would do wonders for recruiting.
Syracuse QB Eric Dungey against the Clemson defense. Dungey, who was knocked out of last year’s game against the Tigers in the first quarter, is a crafty dual threat who leads the ACC in completions per game (28) and ranks second in passing yardage (1,802). The Tigers lead the conference in scoring defense (11.3) and sacks per game (3.67).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: QB Kelly Bryant is nursing a left ankle sprain that forced him to leave in the third quarter of last week’s win over Wake Forest. Bryant has run for seven of Clemson’s 21 rushing touchdowns and has passed for 1,259 yards this season. If he can’t play, coach Dabo Swinney has Zerrick Cooper and freshman Hunter Johnson ready. They split the rest of the Wake Forest game last week, with Johnson throwing his first TD pass.
Syracuse: WR Steve Ishmael leads the nation in receptions (56) and receiving yards (729) and has three TDs. Before being held to 97 yards receiving on Saturday in a win over Pittsburgh, Ishmael had cracked 100 yards five straight times to match the Syracuse record set last year by Amba Etta-Tawo.
FACTS & FIGURES
Clemson has averaged 533 yards per game in the four contests with Syracuse since the Orange joined the ACC in 2013. ... Clemson has won five of its past six games in domed stadiums, including victories at the Carrier Dome in 2013 and 2015. The lone loss was to Alabama in the 2016 national championship game in Glendale, Arizona. ... The Orange are 2-6 against the previous year’s national champion, defeating Penn State in 1987 and Michigan in 1998. ... Dungey is 31 yards shy of 1,000 career rushing yards.