Previewing 2020 Football: at Syracuse
Sports, Football

Previewing 2020 Football: at Syracuse

Who is BC playing?

Syracuse

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

The Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.

How to watch: 

The game will be livestreamed on NESN. 

How to listen:

The audio broadcast of the game will be available on BC Learfield IMG Sports Network (WEEI 93.7FM).

Series History:

Facing Syracuse (1-6, 1-5 Atlantic Coast) is one of Boston College football’s oldest traditions, as the two teams first met 96 years ago. Syracuse leads the all-time series 32-21, including a 20-8 all-time edge when playing inside the Carrier Dome. The two teams have split the results in ACC competition with four wins apiece, though the Eagles (4-3, 3-3) put on a dominant performance in the Carrier Dome a season ago. 

In 2019, BC racked up its most points in series history in a 58-27 win over the Orange. It was the Eagles’ second straight win on Syracuse’s field, and if BC comes away with a win this Saturday, it will be the first time that BC has won three consecutive away games in the history of the series. 

What to Expect from Syracuse:

Offense

Syracuse has been riddled with quarterback troubles all year long. Rotating between true freshman JaCobian Morgan and veteran Rex Culpepper, Dino Babers’ offensive squad has never been able to fall into a rhythm. As a result of that struggle, Syracuse ranks 99th nationally in total offense with 267.1 yards per game, and 90th in scoring offense with 19 points. The Orange’s pass game ranks 84th, and their run game comes in at No. 98. Most of Syracuse’s run game has flowed through Sean Tucker, who has 362 yards on 71 carries so far this season. He’s only accounted for three touchdowns, though, as Culpepper and receiver Taj Harris lead the team in scores with six and four respectively. 

Syracuse’s most recent loss came against Wake Forest, a team on the rise this season. In the matchup, the Orange only mustered 221 total yards of offense and two scores. Culpepper and Morgan each threw an interception apiece, and the Orange punted on seven of its 13 total offensive drives. It was a dismal performance just one week after giving No. 1 Clemson a run for its money, though Syracuse fell to the Tigers as well, 47-21. 

Defense

Though the Orange defense ranks higher than most of its offensive counterparts in the national FBS rankings, the difference is marginal. The Orange sit at No. 86 in total defense—allowing 473.7 yards per game—No. 72 in scoring defense with 33.3 points per game, and No. 62 in passing yards allowed with 245.4 yards per game. ’Cuse has struggled in the secondary, which is a good sign for BC’s pass-heavy offense. Syracuse will be missing a significant portion of its secondary, as top defensive back Trill Williams recently declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, forgoing the rest of this season.

The Orange run defense hasn’t fared any better, as Syracuse has allowed an average of 228.3 yards per game on the ground. Even so, the Orange stifled Clemson’s standout ground guy and Heisman candidate Travis Etienne, as the Tigers only rushed for 147 yards against Syracuse.

Outlook:

After BC nearly upset the No. 1 team in the country one week ago, the Eagles enter Saturday’s game as two-touchdown favorites. Syracuse hasn’t won a game since taking down Georgia Tech on Sept. 26, so the Orange will be on the hunt for an upset victory. Without Williams, BC will have the advantage through the air, an area that the Eagles have capitalized on all season long. Expect a high-flying, Phil Jurkovec-led BC offense to look to score early and often.

Featured Image by Dennis Nett via ACC Media

November 6, 2020
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