Clemson is one of the biggest favorites in ACC history this weekend against Syracuse. The Tigers are favored by 46.5 points and coming off of a 73-7 woodshed beating of Georgia Tech. The Orange come into Memorial stadium after a dismal 38-21 loss to Liberty.
Syracuse has been hit hard with injuries and players that have opted out. According to Syracuse.com, they currently have less than than 60 scholarship players suiting up for this weekend and most of those are freshmen.
Syracuse has not been this big of an underdog since 1983 when it played No. 1 Nebraska in Lincoln as a 38 point underdog. It’s the teams largest spread as an ACC member since being a 37.5 point underdog to eventual national champion Florida State in 2013. Strangely the Orange lost both games by 56 points.
One question at this point, is whether or not Clemson will cover the spread. Most would tell you that they have every opportunity to do so with the talent they have going up against this Syracuse team even if all of their entire roster was ready to go.
What makes it a little harder to know for sure is the fact that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has never been known as a coach that runs the score up on lesser opponents. Actually, Swinney has been criticized by some due to the fact that he hasn’t.
When you have your punter taking snaps under center that is all the proof you need that Swinney will play everyone and do about anything he can to not embarrass another coach or team. With that said, this looks to be another game similar to the one against Georgia Tech this past Saturday.
It may be harder for the Tigers to not score points than it will be for them to play all their players and that is no slight towards Syracuse or their head coach Dino Babers who some believe is on the hot seat (he’s really not) and let’s be honest, there’s no way that playing a Clemson team that seems to be getting better each and every week can help that.
Whether the Tigers cover the big number may be one of the more the interesting thing to watch on Saturday. It might be hard to figure out who’s playing in the game when Swinney starts pulling fans out of the stands in an attempt not to embarrass a team that some fans still remember for knocking quarterback Trevor Lawrence out in 2018 and upsetting the Tigers in 2017 after knocking quarterback Kelly Bryant out.