#5 Clemson on “Upset Alert”….. Again !?!

Clemson fans, expect your Tigers to be on “upset alert” again this week. It’s going to happen. As you can count the sun coming up this morning, everyone is so anxious for Clemson to fall that media analysts and betting gurus are continuing to cross their fingers.
The most talked about part of this game centers around how good Syracuse has played this year and Clemson is lucky to be unbeaten, especially after that “close” win against Florida State last week. Don’t these people actually watch the game and see how the game really went, or do they just look at the final score and say “woooooooo, Clemson only won by 6.” I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Just watched a show on Youtube and they were all three giddy about taking Syracuse and the points, which right now is Clemson -13.5. How can that be???? Syracuse is ranked #14, and Florida State was unranked but only a +4.5 spread. How can this be??? It can be because likely, the folks in Las Vegas are looking at more than just the final score.
First, let’s look at Clemson and how the Florida State game worked out. The final score was, yes, close, 34-28, but the Tigers led 34-14 after three quarters, and the team let up. How did they let up? The offense went ultra conservative, and defense allowed two garbage touchdowns at the end of the game. The Tigers ran 14 straight run plays to end the game trying to literally run the clock out. “Analysts” love to point out that “FSU had 10 more first downs than Clemson and put up over 200 rushing yards and outgained them 460-370, and still lost.” No one in Tigertown really cares about anything Steve Spurrier has to say, but he did say one thing that makes sense: “Stats are for losers.”
Now let’s take an inside look into Syracuse, and there is a LOT to dissect here.

“Syracuse is scoring 36.0 points a game and their offense is very balanced and much better than last year.” Reality. Syracuse outscored Big East Power UConn and college football doormat Wagner (0-6) 107-14. Wagner has to be one of the worst football teams in college football, if not THE worst. In six games, they have been outscored 282-69, and that is with an opening game loss to Fordham 48-31. They average 222 yards of total offense per game. So, having said this, Syracuse’s scoring average against non-cupcakes is 28 points a game and giving up 16.2. A little bit of difference.
“RB Sean Tucker is a future NFL draft pick, 2nd in the ACC in rushing with 107 yards a game and is not only one of the best in the conference but in the country.” Reality. Tucker rushed the ball 50 times against UConn (113) and Wagner (232) for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Against the teams with a pulse? 74 rushes for 299 yards, an average of 74.7 yards a game. Give Tucker his due, though. He exploded for 157 yards on 22 carries last year, at home, against these Tigers. He is one of the best backs in the country, however, the numbers don’t lie.

“QB Garrett Shrader is big and fast, can run away from you and over you, and the passing game is much improved.” Reality. Yes, the UConn/Wagner stats were blown up for Shrader as well. In the two games, Shrader was 37-40 for 530 yards and 5 touchdowns. Note of interest: Shrader and Tucker played the entire game against Wagner. The completion percentage drops from 69.7% to 61.6%, and Shrader has seven TD passes, and three interceptions against teams NOT named UConn and Wagner.

“Syracuse has given the Tigers tight games in the past and are primed to do it again in Clemson on Saturday.” Reality. Clemson has beaten Syracuse in eight of the last nine games between these two teams. The Orangemen DO have a favorable environment in the Dome, no question. Prior to last year’s 17-14 outcome, Clemson had outscored Syracuse 88-27 the previous two years. In 2020, the last time these two teams played in Clemson, the Tigers won 47-21. The game before that, it was a 41-6 blowout in Syracuse. Last year’s game was more of a “one-off” than an every year thing.
This seems like a “hit piece” on UConn and Wagner, but it’s not really. Those two schools are a combined 3-11 and two reasons why the Orangemen’s stats are a little skewed. Syracuse comes into Clemson ranked #14th and sports a 6-0 record. They have impressive victories over NC State (without Devin Leary), Virginia (2-points) and Purdue (3-points), having played only one road game, a victory over UConn. Clemson tends to play better in night games. Maybe it’s the crowd being primed all day and are up for the games. Maybe it’s just that the Tigers like to play under the lights. Having said that, the Tigers are 7-0 the last three years in noon games.
So, when you hear the Gameday “gurus” start bragging on Shrader this, Tucker that, Syracuse, blah blah blah, listen to what they have to say and see if they really just look at averages or how they came to their conclusion. My conclusion is, take Clemson and give the points.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More To Explore

More To Explore


Grice Named National & ACC Co-Player-of-the-Week

Grice Named National & ACC Co-Player-of-the-Week CLEMSON, S.C. – Junior Caden Grice (Greer, S.C.) was named ACC Co-Player-of-the-Week, announced Monday by the league office. He joined

Scroll to Top