Staff Predictions 2020: Syracuse Orange
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, December 4, 2020
Hayden Adams — Sports Editor
I don’t really know what to expect from this Notre Dame team on a weekly basis, or at least I didn’t before that North Carolina game. I felt relatively confident after UNC’s first two scores that Clark Lea would make halftime adjustments, but Kyle Hamilton’s ejection made me a lot more worried, and even with him I wouldn’t have expected a second half shutout. As for the offense, 31 points is nothing to turn your head at, and they were still getting off the field more than I would have liked, but when they need to string together a long drive by goodness they can run that clock out.
With Syracuse on the horizon — in an earlier-than-expected regular season finale following the ACC’s cancellation of Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest next weekend — I anticipate a relatively easy win (but don’t me if you think I just jinxed it). The Orange are 1-9 and put zero points on Louisville’s defense. Zero. On LOUSIVILLE. Give me the Irish big with a dominating defensive effort, although the 33.5-point spread is bit much to cover in my mind.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 6
Jimmy Ward — Associate Sports Editor
I think this game will be a lot like Notre Dame’s games against New Mexico (last season), Pitt and South Florida. I don’t want to shade Syracuse too bad, but they might throw up a goose egg. And no shame on them for that. I should be careful, though. The first Notre Dame game I ever attended was their 2008 matchup against Syracuse. It was snowy, my parents made me leave the game early because they were cold or something and Notre Dame lost. As a kid, it was a game I wanted to erase from my memory. But hey, people were throwing snowballs and it was fun. All that to say — I ain’t scared of this fruity Orange team.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 0
Charlotte Edmonds — Senior Sports Writer
It’s fair to say, the Notre Dame fanbases’s collective anxiety spiked this past week. But I’m here to say, there’s no need to be worried. The fact of the matter is North Carolina is a really good team. Would I have preferred a more resounding victory? Of course. But I’ll take a two-touchdown win over a very good North Carolina team on the road with arguably one of your best defenders out for the over half the game. This team showed grit and found a way to get the job done. Across the board, this team is better than 2018. Not to say they couldn’t easily lose in the ACC Championship or the College Football Playoff, but they’ve proven they belong in the conversation. To get there, they first have to go through Syracuse to close out the regular season.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was sitting in a press box at Yankee Stadium as Notre Dame bested then-No. 20 Syracuse 36-3 en route to that undefeated regular season in 2018. But a lot has changed in those two years, and the Orange are no longer the up-and-coming team under head coach Dino Babers. They’ve posted a dismal 1-9 record this season and, frankly, the losses haven’t been that close. I don’t anticipate this to be a 45-0 routing but the Irish should take care of business easily and move the win column into double digits.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 13
Ellen Geyer — Senior Sports Writer
The Syracuse that’s coming to South Bend this week is a lot different than the one Notre Dame saw two years ago in Yankee Stadium. There might have been hope for the Orange in the preseason, but with the injuries on the offensive line and critical loss of quarterback Tommy DeVito, it’s been a rough year for Dino Babers and his guys. Couple that with the fact that Notre Dame’s playing lights out? Doesn’t seem like this one will be pretty for the visiting team.
Hopefully the Irish can take care of business early so as to avoid risking injury in what will be cold and snowy weather. With the ACC Championship on the horizon, I’m sure Brian Kelly will be eager for his guys to get this behind them.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 43, Syracuse 3
Aidan Thomas — Sports Writer
This should be a low-stress Senior Day game prior to another bye week, as Notre Dame prepares to meet Clemson in the ACC Championship. Some pundits say the Irish have locked up their Playoff spot, but one more blowout win shouldn’t hurt. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend betting the massive 33.5-point spread this week, as I don’t necessarily anticipate Notre Dame leaving in starters that long. Syracuse gets a garbage time touchdown as Notre Dame brings down the families of their seniors to play them in the fourth quarter against this dismal opponent.