No. 1 Clemson (2-0, 1-0 ACC) at Syracuse 1-1 (0-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Carrier Dome (49,250), Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Clemson by 27.5
1. Syracuse has played Clemson as well as any team in the country the past two years, including Alabama. The Tigers suffered a 27-24 loss in their last trip to the Carrier Dome in 2017 and had to rally from behind for a 27-23 home win last year. The 2017 loss was Clemson’s most recenter loss in the regular season. Syracuse’s hurry-up offense has caused the Clemson defense some problems in the past, and the Orange defense has surprisingly managed to slow Clemson’s offense down some as well.
2. Clemson has had its starting quarterback knocked out of the game against the Orange each of the past two years, with Kelly Bryant going down in 2017 and Trevor Lawrence being injured last season. As good of a backup quarterback as Chase Brice is, the Tigers would like to be able to play their starter for a full game in 2019, or at least until if and when the game gets out of hand.
3. Syracuse was embarrassed last weekend against Maryland, falling 63-20 on the road. The Orange entered the season ranked in the top 25 before flopping against the Terps. It will be interesting to see if the team that was ranked in the preseason shows up against Clemson and can give the Tigers a challenge or if the Orange are in for a long season.
Three Syracuse players to watch
1. Defensive end Kendall Coleman has eight tackles, three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks through the first two weeks of the season and knows how to create pressure up front. Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott believes with Coleman and Alton Robinson Syracuse has two of the best defensive ends the Tigers will face all year.
2. Safety Andre Cisco was a freshman All-American in 2018 and is off to a strong start this season. He already has two interceptions for the Orange, along with 15 tackles.
3. Receiver Trishton Jackson had to sit out last season after transferring from Michigan State but has impressed through his first two games with the Orange. Jackson, who started four games at Michigan State in 2017, leads the Orange with 10 catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns.