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Syracuse Orange Must Regroup During Bye Week

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Daniel Shirey – USA TODAY Sports

The bye week may have come at the perfect time for the Syracuse Orange. After a promising win on the road against the NC State Wolfpack two weeks ago, the Orange went to Atlanta and got blown off the field by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a 56-0 romp. On top of getting out-classed at just about every turn and getting another poor performance from their quarterback, Syracuse has seen the injury bug creep up and decimate their ranks. Can Scott Shafer regroup this program during their off week?

He certainly has his work cut out for him. Going into last week’s game, Tech had lost three straight games but looked like a team that was challenging for a national title against the Orange. Terrel Hunt was not sharp in his third conference game and failed to throw for 100 yards or complete more than half his passes for the third straight game (all against ACC opponents). In three conference games, Hunt has yet to throw a touchdown pass while throwing six interceptions. Shafer seemed to see enough in the GT game and pulled Hunt for Drew Allen, who didn’t look much better.

On top of the quarterback issue offensively, Shafer needs to start worrying about the health of his team. After losing starting linebacker Dyshawn Davis to an ankle injury in the NC State game that kept him out of the game against the Yellow Jackets, Syracuse watched defensive tackle John Raymon suffer a season-ending knee injury last week. He joins three-year starting cornerback Keon Lyn and kicker Ross Krautman on the season-ending injury list after Lyn suffered a lower body injury and Krautman injured his hip.

So on top of trying to salvage his team’s confidence and find a quarterback who can generate some offense, Shafer needs to find some healthy bodies to plug into the starting lineup. Will a week off be enough time to Syracuse back on the right path?

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Duke-Syracuse Game Preview, Prediction





Starting the season outside of the Top 25, the Duke Blue Devils were playing with a chip on their shoulder. Now that they are 7-1 on the year, no one is overlooking the darkhorse favorites to dethrone Florida State for an ACC title. The Syracuse Orange started the season 2-0, but have since lost six of seven to lead to a 3-6 record. While they aren’t a threat for the conference title, the Orange can still play spoiler.

Senior quarterback Anthony Boone has been the spark that has gotten the Blue Devils going this season. Boone has passed for 1,628 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions while rushing for another 243 yards and four touchdowns. Jamison Crowder is clearly the team’s top receiving weapon, catching 49 passes for 636 yards and four touchdowns. Max McCaffrey and Issac Blakeney have been basically equal in the receiving department, both catching 26 passes for three scores apiece while McCaffrey has 261 yards and Blakeney has 259 yards. Freshman running back Shaun Wilson has been a main reason for the team’s run success, rushing for 528 yards and four touchdowns.

Syracuse had been led by a dual-threat quarterback of its own in Terrel Hunt who had 983 passing yards and a touchdowns as well as 292 yards and six rushing scores before his injury. He hasn’t returned yet, paving way for freshman quarterback AJ Long to get the nod as the starter. Long hasn’t been very impressive, however, passing for 727 yards and four touchdowns with six interceptions. Jarrod West doesn’t care who’s behind center as he has been effective either way, catching 40 passes for 610 yards. Steve Ishmael has been the second-best wide out on the team, catching 20 passes for 311 yards and three scores. Prince-Tyson Gulley has been solid this season in the run game, leading the team with 526 yards and a touchdown while also catches 20 passes out of the backfield for 107 yards.

Defensively, the Orange have been a bit above average this season, ranking 38th in total yards allowed as well as 43rd in points allowed per contest. In their three wins this season, Syracuse has given up an average of 12 points. Before last week, Duke had done a solid job of keeping opponents out of the end zone. On the year, the Blue Devils rank 13th in points against and a lowly 81st nationally in total yards allowed.

Duke will travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 8. The game will be broadcasted on GamePlan/ESPN 3.

PREDICTION: Duke 23, Syracuse 21

Want to see the Blue Devils take on the Orange in week 11? Check out ScoreBig for tickets.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.

Duke will travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange in week 11. Who will come out on top?

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