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Orange Face Tough Test Against Clemson

The Syracuse Orange defeated the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons 30-7, winning their first conference game of the season. The victory bumps Syracuse's record to 3-4 overall on the year, but more importantly is how the Orange won the game.

Without starting quarterback Terrel Hunt, the Orange called upon A.J. Long, who played well. Long completed 22 passes on 32 attempts with 171 yards and zero interceptions. Perhaps the biggest play for Long was a four yard touchdown run in the second quarter that began an Orange onslaught of scoring.

From there, Syracuse dominated with not one, but two defensive touchdowns. Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford threw an interception to Robert Welsh, who took it 42 yards for the score. The second turnover came when backup quarterback Tyler Cameron entered for an injured Wolford. Cameron was sacked by Brandon Reddish, who also forced a fumble. Micah Robinson scooped the loose ball and took it for a touchdown.

Syracuse did struggle in the red zone once again, finding ways to move the ball backwards rather than forwards. Other than Long's touchdown scramble, Syracuse settled for field goals each time in the red zone. The Orange defense stepped up big against a lackluster Demon Deacon offense, but the offense can't rely on on defensive touchdowns to help score points consistently.

This is especially true when the Orange travel to a top ranked Clemson on Saturday. The Orange will be without Hunt once again as Long will get another start. Other quarterback Austin Wilson is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury, so Long will more than likely see a majority of the playing time, if not all of it.

Clemson has played well defensively, holding opponents to under 180 passing yards per game while also holding opponents to under 105 rushing yards per game. The Orange have forced more turnovers than Clemson, including more touchdowns on the defensive side.

For the Tigers of Clemson, they will be without quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is out indefinitely with finger injury. In his place will be Cole Stoudt, who has just under 1,000 passing yards, but only one touchdown. Stoudt has struggled through the air this season, throwing two interceptions with not much point scoring. Stoudt did complete a season-high 29 passes last week in a winning effort against Boston College, but has not thrown a touchdown since week two when the backups came in against South Carolina State.

The Orange will look to exploit Stoudt and the passing game for Clemson, which may lead to the Tigers utilizing their running game much more. The Tigers do not have a standout at the running back position, however, quarterback Watson is the team's leading rusher. With Watson out though, the running game will focus more on Adam Choice, C.J. Davidson, Wayne Gallman and D.J. Howard. All four running backs have at least 125 rushing yards with at least one rushing touchdown. Davidson has the team's most rushing yards with 221 while he, Howard and Watson all have three rushing touchdowns.

With the defense coming off of a big game, and Clemson's offense in somewhat of a dismay, we could see a very aggressive Syracuse defense on Saturday. They will have to be careful not to get beat on a big play from wide receiver Mike Williams. Williams leads Clemson in receiving yards with 671 and touchdowns with four.

Tale of the Tape

5-2, 4-1
Overall Record
3-4, 1-2
Dabo Swinney
Head Coach
Scott Shafer
Points Per Game
Points Allowed Per Game
Passing Yards Per Game
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game
Rushing Yards Per Game
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game

McFarlane and Backs Ready for Clemson

Devante McFarlane discusses the "running back by committee" situation in Syracuse, along with their upcoming game against Clemson.

A.J. Long Gets Second Start in Clemson

Freshman quarterback A.J. Long started his first college football game last week against Wake Forest. Now, the young leader gets the Tigers in Clemson.

Robert Welsh Looks Ahead to Clemson

Robert Welsh discusses his performance against Wake Forest and the challenge that awaits in Clemson.

Micah Robinson Discusses Defense and Clemson

Defensive End Michah Robinson scored a touchdown last week, as he hopes the defense can continue it's dominance into Clemson.