Location: Syracuse, New York
Total Enrollment: 21,970
Home Stadium: Carrier Dome (49,262)
Head Coach: Dino Babers, 2nd Season (4-8 overall)
2016 Record: 4-8 (2-6 in ACC)
PPG: 25.7 (90th Nationally)
PAPG: 38.6 (120th Nationally)
Best Win: The Orange only won 2 conference games last year, but one of them was over 17th ranked Virginia Tech, who would go on to win the coastal division. Syracuse gained over 500 total yards, including over 400 yards through the air, and turned the Hokies over twice to win 31-17.
Worst Loss: Syracuse didn’t have any really bad losses last season. They beat the teams they should have beat (Colgate, BC, UConn) and played the same tough Atlantic Division schedule that the Deacs play every year. The worst loss on the schedule was a 50-33 loss to Notre Dame, who also ended the season at 4-8. The Orange scored plenty of points, but their defense gave up over 650 yards of total offense, which is not very conducive to winning games.
Vegas Over/Under: 4 (-110)
Syracuse is a team that likes to play fast, spread out, and sling the ball all over the field. Starting QB Eric Dungey ranked 11th in the nation last season at 297.7 passing yards per game. On the flip side, the Orange were 115th out of 128 teams in rush yards per game at 119.6.
The Wake Forest defense was much better against the run last season than the pass (33rd nationally vs 66th nationally), so Syracuse is a team that could potentially move the ball effectively against the Deacs. While Wake Forest did hold Dungey to just 156 yards through the air last season, it should be noted that we were aided heavily by hurricane winds and rain.
Syracuse will likely put up some big numbers against the Deacs on their home turf, but their weakness lies in their defense. The Orange defense ranked 122nd out 128 teams last season in yards allowed per game at just over 500, including 225 rushing yards allowed per game. If the Deacs can run the ball effectively and control the tempo, they should to slow down the Syracuse passing attack simply by keeping them off the field.
What are your thoughts about this division matchup?