The Slap the Sign writers weigh in with their thoughts on tomorrow’s Notre Dame football game against Syracuse.
There is a lot on the line for the Irish against what appears to be the toughest opponent Notre Dame has faced since beating Michigan on opening weekend.
Here’s how our writers see the game playing out.
I see this game going one of two ways: a shootout or another dominating game by the defense with the Irish pulling away before late 3rd quarter. I’m leaning toward this one being a shootout though, because of Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey — both on the ground and through the air. I like the Irish defense a ton, but I just think this will be a tough game to take full control of. If Ian Book stays healthy throughout the whole game, I do expect the Notre Dame offense to make it look easy and eventually it’ll just be really tough for the Orange to keep up for all four quarters. Irish win 42-33 and head to Southern Cal 11-0.
Syracuse should have a difficult time trying to run the ball against Notre Dame’s front seven. With that being said, I think overall the Orange offense doesn’t have the success they are used to and that will make the difference. Notre Dame, 38-21.
Who would’ve thought this would be the toughest game on the backend of Notre Dame’s schedule? Syracuse is having a great season and nearly upset Clemson in Week 5. They have one of the more explosive offenses in the country and will test this Irish defense.
I’m not too worried about Notre Dame scoring points, especially since Ian Book will be back. I’m worried about keeping up with them if this turns into a shootout. I think Notre Dame allows the most points it has all season this weekend. Luckily, this Irish defense is one of the best in the nation for a reason, and should get enough stops to keep the good guys in front. Notre Dame has historically played well in Shamrock Series games, and I expect that to continue this weekend in Yankee Stadium. Irish get it done 45-30.
This game will come down to which defense can make the most stops. That should be Notre Dame, whose defensive athletes should be able to outplay the Syracuse offense. Dungey is still a huge challenge. He may force the Irish to spy him with a linebacker, or even go to zone coverage for the day. If the secondary does go to zone, it could negate the athletic advantage. However, playing outdoors could throw a wrench into the game for a Syracuse team that plays home games inside. Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 38
With each Notre Dame victory, the stakes are ratcheted up. Irish fans will be on pins and needles this Saturday as they brace themselves for a top-12 matchup against Syracuse in Yankee Stadium. This Notre Dame team has shown that they can handle the big stages in college football. I think that helps them immensely this weekend. I think this game will get off to a fast pace in the first half and then settle down after the break. In the end, I think the Irish will prove to be too much for the Orange. Notre Dame 34, Syracuse 28.
Syracuse is one of those teams that is not afraid to get into a shootout. Their offense, led by quarterback Eric Dungey, can put up a ton of points. The only problem is that their defense also tends to allow a good amount of points.
If the defense is able to slow Dungey and the Orange’s offense down, it’ll take a lot of pressure off the Irish offense. Setting the tone early on both sides of the ball will be key to the Irish walking away still undefeated. I think the Irish win this one, 38-17.
Notre Dame moves to 11-0 in a tough game against No.12 Syracuse. I expect the game to be hotly contested through three quarters, then the Irish pull away in the fourth. I expect a great game from Book as he returns to the starting lineup, and another huge 150+ yard, two touchdown game from Dexter Williams. Notre Dame wins 45-28.
Syracuse should be able to find the end zone enough to make this a high scoring game. They have potent offense and are extremely well coached. However, their defense leaves a lot to be desired, and Ian Book and the Irish offense should have no problem reaching 40+ points. In the end, Notre Dame will simply prove to be too much for the Orange. Notre Dame 45, Syracuse 27.
Syracuse has scored a lot of points throughout the course of the season. However, their performance might be a bit of smoke and mirrors, merely capitalizing on subpar opponents. The Orange played Clemson tough, but Clemson was a different team then. While Dungey is perhaps the most dangerous and most experienced quarterback Notre Dame has faced all year, I think the defense will step up in a big way and make his life difficult. Ian Book returns this week as well, and I anticipate that the Irish will benefit from having him back on the field. The Irish offense will get the run game going early and help Book get comfortable after a week off. Book will continue to complete a high percentage of his passes and get the ball to his playmakers. Notre Dame wins 38-20
Syracuse has two things that scare me: Eric Dungey and the defensive line. Slow both of those down and you’re in business. Outside of those two things, the Orange doesn’t match up well. Notre Dame has too much speed and athleticism.
I don’t see this being a close game. Syracuse is good, but haven’t beaten anyone of note that would change my mind on this. At the end of the day, Notre Dame will make some freshly squeezed Orange juice. 52-23 Notre Dame.
The Irish front four will contain Dungey. The Irish secondary will lock down the Syracuse receivers. The Irish offense will move the ball at will. The Irish will win big. 45-23, Irish.