SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The pressure has reached a pinnacle for the Syracuse Orange: Win the regular-season finale against No. 20 Pittsburgh or there's no bowl game.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure, but it’s a good type of pressure," redshirt senior defensive end Josh Black said.
Syracuse is one victory shy of reaching bowl eligibility as the Orange finish the season with a pair of games against ranked teams.
First is a matchup at No. 25 North Carolina State (7-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) on Saturday, and the Orange (5-5, 2-4) are coming off their worst performance of the season.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Syracuse has matched its best opening month of the football season since Dino Babers took over the program in 2016.
Florida State, meanwhile, has endured its worst September since 1973, losing its first four games.
It took less than a month to dramatically change the look of the Atlantic Coast Conference race and likely knock the league out of the national-title hunt.
Six-time reigning league champion and 25th-ranked Clemson has an early league loss against one of its top division challengers and two losses overall.
Must-win games usually don't happen this early in the season. For Syracuse, Game 3 has that sort of feel to it.
Win, and the Orange (1-1) are back on track. A loss to in-state foe Albany (0-2) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome would be a blow to a team trying to restore a winning mentality after a 10-loss season.