Notre Dame D vs Syracuse O
It’s no secret that the one constant of this year’s Irish team has been the defense. They have depth, experience, and most importantly, talent at all three levels. Coming into Saturday’s contest, the Irish have held six of their opponents to less than 20 points and are giving up a total of 18.7 points per game — good enough for 15th in the country.
They bend, but don’t break, and most importantly they keep teams out of the endzone. This week they will be challenged by arguably the toughest offensive opponent they’ve faced all season. Syracuse enters the game with the 14th ranked total offense and are 7th in the country in points per game — putting up over 44 points per contest. This offense can move the ball and put points on the board, and Notre Dame will be tasked with bottling them up all night.
Something will have to give Saturday between the stout Irish defense and the explosive Syracuse offense. If Notre Dame can find a way to keep Syracuse out of the endzone, the good news is the Irish offense should be able to put points on the board against a weaker Syracuse defense.
The Irish defense has been put in tight spots and tested throughout the season, so they are used to having to put ten toes down and dig in when this team needs it most. The question will be whether they can do it for four quarters.
For Syracuse, the formula is pretty simple. They need to make the most of their opportunities and continue relying on quarterback Eric Dungey to make plays. Dungey has accumulated almost 2,900 total yards and 28 total touchdowns this year, with 12 of those coming on the ground. He is a true dual-threat guy who has caused problems for defenses all season.
This isn’t exactly one of those “unstoppable force meets an immovable object” type of scenarios, but it’s pretty close, and this Saturday, something has to give.