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3 Bold Predictions for Clemson vs Syracuse ACC Clash

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Dabo Swinney links arms with safety Isaiah Simmons #11 and defensive back K'Von Wallace #12 of the Clemson Tigers during Tigers' traditional Face Off prior to their football game against the Syracuse Orange at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Mike Comer/Getty Images

Week 3's primetime matchup will pit Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and No. 1 Clemson against Dino Babers and Syracuse. While the Orange were just thumped 63-21 by Maryland last week, they have given the Tigers problems over the last few years, and will be playing at home in the raucous Carrier Dome. In this oddly competitive rivalry, it's always good to expect the unexpected.

3. Moe Neal Has 150 Yards from Scrimmage

SYRACUSE, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  Dontae Strickland #4 and Moe Neal #21 of the Syracuse Orange celebrate a touchdown run by Neal during the second quarter against the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome on November 9, 2018 in Syracuse, New York.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Louisville v Syracuse | Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Orange's most dynamic weapon on offense is the smaller, shifty back that is Neal, who can plow up the middle like a back 30 pounds heavier while remaining a threat in the passing game. Rather than have Tommy DeVito chuck it up 50 times, the Orange should strive for balance against Brent Venables' defense, which should mean a hefty workload for Neal.

2. Trevor Lawrence Throws for 400 Yards

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 29: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers warms up prior to the start of the Tigers' football game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Memorial Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Georgia Tech v Clemson | Mike Comer/Getty Images

Lawrence has been excellent to start the season, but not transcendentally great like he was last year. Expect that to change against an Orange defense that was carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey by Josh Jackson and Maryland. With Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins going against that group. it's safe to say that the Clemson passing game has a favorable matchup. Look for Lawrence to light it up.

1. Syracuse Hangs Around, but Clemson Pulls Away Late

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 07: Roney Elam #27 of the Texas A&M Aggies tries to stop Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Texas A&M v Clemson | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Certain programs give other programs fits for reasons that can't be explained. For the last three years, Syracuse has either beaten Clemson or given the Tigers a solid game. While Babers' up-tempo offense could cause Clemson some problems, that team is too deep on defense to let DeVito get into a rhythm, and the Lawrence/Travis Etienne combo should be enough to give Clemson a road win.