College Football Week 8 Preview: Clemson and Syracuse battle in Top 20 marquee showdown

Syracuse college football week one
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After a disappointing season last year that did not send a single team to the college football playoff, the ACC is back with five teams ranked in the top 25.

Two of those teams face off Saturday in a colossal showdown featuring one of the best coaches in the game, and one of the most surprising pass attacks in college football

When the 14th ranked Syracuse Orangemen travel to Clemson to face the 5th ranked Tigers, a spot in the college football playoff will be at stake while also securing the favorite to land in the ACC Championship game. 

Who will represent the ACC in the CFB? That question could be answered on Saturday. 

We have everything you need to know on the matchup.

#14 Syracuse Orangemen vs. #5 Clemson Tigers

Where: Memorial Stadium

When: 12:00 pm – ET

How to Watch: ABC

Spread: Clemson -13.5

Over/Under: 49.5

The Matchup

Syracuse has been one of the surprising teams all across the college football landscape and for several reasons. First off, their once perceived strength being their rushing attack has flipped due to the play of Garrett Shrader. Shrader is a top 25 passer nationally in completion percentage, efficiency yards per attempt and points responsible per game. 

The Orange’s 6-0 start has a lot to do with Shrader’s play but he’ll go up against one of the best defense’s in the country. Clemson hasn’t lost a home conference game in the last 37 straight games, a mark that could break Florida State’s old record. 

Will Shipley, the Tigers top offensive player has also had a monster year and will be the catalyst if Clemson is to come away with the win. 

Something has to give though. Will Shrader be able to outplay DJ Uiagalelei? Can DJ even perform well against a Syracuse defense that is giving up the sixth fewest points in college football? Only time will eventually tell on Saturday. 

Top Prop Bets

Props Courtesy of Fan Duel Sportsbook. For more, click here. 

Syracuse – First Quarter Spread +3.5

The Orangemen have a stout defense and it does take a little bit for Clemson’s offense to get going week to week. Don’t be surprised if we go into the second quarter with absolutely no score. 

I trust Syracuse to keep the game close early in the contest. Clemson could certainly make it a blowout in the second half, but Syracuse’s program has done a great job of staying in games and making things interesting later on. 

I think the safest prop is to have Syracuse keep it close or even scoreless after one quarter.

Syracuse – 1st Half Winner +255

It comes down to pace of play and how Shrader performs early on in this contest. I do think the Syracuse quarterback can and will be able to connect on short intermediate passes against this Clemson defense, and I also think that the Tigers won’t be able to find an answer for him until the second half. 

Then that just leads to how good Clemson’s top running back is. Will Shipley is one of the best change-of-pace backs in the nation and could cause nightmare’s for Syracuse’s defense. But the Orangemen do have a stout run defense and overall group in general. 

It’ll take a lot of miscues for Clemson to move the ball effectively early which opens the door to Syracuse leading at the half. 

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