Clemson-Syracuse Preview Capsule
The Associated Press
Nov. 12, 2015
No. 1 Clemson (9-0) at Syracuse (3-6), 3:30 p.m. EST (ABC, ESPN2)
Line: Clemson by 26 1/2.
Series Record: Clemson leads 2-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Clemson has clinched a share of the ACC's Atlantic Division title and a berth in the ACC championship as it strives for a berth in college football's final four. The Tigers can become the outright Atlantic champion with a win over Syracuse. The Orange has lost six straight, the longest skid in coach Scott Shafer's three years as head coach. An upset would be an invaluable boost for the future.
Syracuse's offensive line against the Clemson defense. The Tigers have limited opponents to 287 yards per game, have notched 26 sacks, and are allowing only a 21 percent conversion rate on third down. Orange quarterbacks have been sacked 15 times and the team's average per pass is 6.6 yards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
CLEMSON: DE Shaq Lawson is a disruptive force on the defensive line and leader of a group that lost all four starters from last year, including first-round NFL draft pick and all-time school sacks leader Vic Beasley. Lawson leads the Tigers with 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for losses of 60 yards.
SYRACUSE: Brisly Estime has returned two punts for TDs, including a 59-yarder at Florida State two weeks ago, the first punt return TD allowed by the Seminoles since 2001. He ranks third nationally in punt-return average (19.2 yards per return) and is sixth in the ACC in all-purpose yards (119.56).
FACTS & FIGURES
Since the start of the Associated Press poll in 1936, Syracuse has faced the AP's top-ranked team 10 times and is 1-9 in those games. ... A Clemson victory will give the Tigers at least 10 wins for the fifth straight season. ... The Orange won the first meeting between the two programs, 41-0 in the 1996 Gator Bowl. QB Donovan McNabb threw for 309 yards and WR Marvin Harrison completed his Syracuse career with seven catches for 173 yards. ... Clemson has a 1-1-1 record in the state of New York — a 21-6 loss at Army in 1937, a 12-12 tie against Fordham in 1952, and a 49-14 win at Syracuse in 2013.