Finally, there is enough interest in Notre Dame that people are predicting one of its games again. Still, it’s worth wondering if it would be happening this week were Syracuse not ranked. You have to hate that we’re having this discussion, but alas.
Let’s look at what some college football experts, including fellow College Wire sites, are predicting for this game:
Pete Fiutak, College Football News
“Ahhhhh, back at home.
Having to play Clemson was a wee part of the issue, but that was only the second road game of the year for Syracuse – the first one against UConn was hardly anything tough.
The Irish are strong on the road, though. They weren’t awful in the season-opening loss to Ohio State, they handed North Carolina their only loss, and they took down North Carolina.
The problem is a running game that won’t be able to do enough against the Syracuse defense, even with the injuries in key spots.
The Orange will do a nice job of owning the clock, and again, they’re returning to their familiar surroundings for their sixth home date of the season.”
Evan Bredeson, CornhuskersWire.com: Syracuse
Jeff Feyerer, CFN: Notre Dame
Pete Fiutak, CFN: Syracuse
Cami Griffin, LonghornsWire.com: Syracuse
Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com: Syracuse
Phil Harrison, BuckeyesWire.com: Syracuse
Jeremy Mauss, MWwire.com Syracuse
Kevin McGuire, NittanyLionsWire.com: Syracuse*
Zack Pearson, TarHeelswire.com Syracuse
Johnny Rosenstein, SportsBookWire.com: Syracuse
Scott Steehn, WinnersandWhiners.com: Syracuse
Joe Vitale, UGAWire.com: Notre Dame
Clucko the Chicken (a coin flip), CFN: Notre Dame
Ralph D. Russo, Associated Press
“The Fighting Irish still have games against No. 5 Clemson and No. 10 Southern California, with Navy and Boston College in between. Lose in the dome to the Orange and 6-6 looks like the best-case scenario for [autotag]Marcus Freeman[/autotag]’s first season as coach.”
Max Escarpio, Bleacher Report
“The Orange are in the midst of one of their best seasons in program history, standing at 6-1 on the year and 3-1 in the conference. Syracuse started the season on a six-game win streak, which may have looked to be down to a weak schedule, but last week’s battle against Clemson showed the Orange can compete with anyone.
They’ll face an average Fighting Irish squad at home with hunger to get back in the win column during the final stretch of the season. That hunger will lead to a win for Syracuse behind star running back Sean Tucker.”
Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports
“Imagine if somebody told you before the season began that Notre Dame would be the underdog in this game and Syracuse would be the ranked team. Here’s my question: have things changed that much, or have these teams just run into some unexpected results?
Notre Dame’s offense has serious issues, but the Irish are still sound defensively and present matchup problems for Syracuse. While it’s far from a sure thing, this could be the week for Notre Dame to finally find success on the ground because Syracuse’s defense has been bad in that area. Also, the Irish defense does a good job pressuring QBs, and that’s an area in which Syracuse has struggled. This game is nearly a coin flip.”
Juan Jose Rodriguez, Athlon Sports
“Notre Dame has done quite well against Syracuse throughout the course of their matchups, especially lately, but a fast start will be critical in determining the outcome on Saturday. The Irish need to put together another opening frame similar to the UNLV game when they scored 23 points. On the flip side, the Orange have surrendered a total of 23 points in the first quarter all season. Notre Dame comes into this game with some momentum and will need to carry that over if it wants to post a second straight win over a ranked opponent (defeated then-No. 16 BYU 28-20 in Las Vegas on Oct. 8). It will be close and probably come down to the wire, but look for the Irish to lean on precedent and leave the Dome with another win over Syracuse.”