Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Syracuse
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, September 25, 2014
Senior Sports Writer
The bad taste from Notre Dame’s last meeting with Syracuse — a 24-23 home loss to the Orange in 2008 — will be washed away Saturday night.
Syracuse does present an intriguing multi-pronged ground game with Terrel Hunt and Prince-Tyson Gulley, but the Irish simply have too much talent.
Mainly, they have Everett Golson. The emerging Heisman contender has proven he can do enough to carry the team should the defense falter or the offensive line continue to struggle.
The defense, though, should return rested and ready to pick up right where it left off in the second-half shutout of Purdue. Notre Dame will likely force Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt to be a passer, which bodes well for the Irish.
FINAL SCORE : Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 17
Notre Dame may have its first road game, but its results should be much the same.
While it’s true Syracuse has a talented running game that has averaged 265 yards per game, the Irish run defense has allowed less than 100 yards per game. Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt has been effective on the run, but his passing game has been far less stellar.
And a Syracuse defense that allowed 26 points to FCS Villanova will likely have trouble with Everett Golson and the Irish offense. Notre Dame still has to worry about its lack of a rushing attack, but an expected shakeup on the offensive line shows the team is set on fixing it.
Regardless, a running game or lack thereof won’t make the difference Saturday.
FINAL SCORE : Notre Dame 35, Syracuse 13
Assistant Managing Editor
The Orange have a talented quarterback in senior Terrel Hunt. He demonstrated his versatility by in Syracuse’s 40-3 rout of Central Michigan on Sept. 13, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for one. He’s completed nearly 59 percent of his passes and has thrown for 488 yards this season, an average of 162.67 yards per game.
But Everett Golson is better. He has racked up 780 yards for an average of 260 per game. The Orange defense was vulnerable in a 34-20 loss to Maryland, and it’s facing an even better offense this week in the Irish. Even if Notre Dame’s defense doesn’t play its best game, the Irish will outscore Syracuse.
If the defense locks in, this one won’t be close.
FINAL SCORE : Notre Dame 35, Syracuse 10
Assistant Managing Editor
The Irish will remain undefeated at the end of Saturday night.
It is Notre Dame’s first away game, but the travel will not be a factor. Notre Dame’s secondary may be a factor, as the Syracuse offense put up 589 yards of total offense last week against Maryland. It is good for the Irish, though, that 370 of those yards were on the ground because the Irish front seven is stout, with opponents only averaging 99 rushing yards.
Notre Dame must contain dual-threat Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt, and the secondary will need to continue to step up. Everett Golson has proven to be a consistent rock in the Irish offense, even when his line has crumbled around him. With a revamped line, the Irish passing and rushing games should improve.
FINAL SCORE : Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 24
Central Michigan crushed Purdue. Syracuse pummeled Central Michigan. Notre Dame took the better part of its game against Purdue to put the Boilermakers away.
However, that doesn’t mean the Irish will struggle against the Orange. Quarterback Terrel Hunt poses the biggest offensive threat, both passing and rushing. Nonetheless, Irish players from the defensive line and the secondary stepped up for absent teammates against Purdue and thwarted Boilermaker drives in the second half.
For the most part, the Purdue game was a worst-case scenario for Notre Dame. The defense was littered with holes from injuries, withheld players and an ejection. Besides Everett Golson, no offensive player posted stellar numbers.
Yet, the Irish still came through, so they’ll be able to handle whatever Syracuse brings them.
FINAL SCORE : Notre Dame 35, Syracuse 14