Clemson University

Final thoughts, predictions as Clemson faces Syracuse

The Syracuse game was viewed as a potential tough hurdle for Clemson in the preseason, but after the Orange were destroyed by Maryland last week, most are expecting a blowout.

Clemson is favored by 27.5 points in the road matchup, despite losing to Syracuse two years ago and nearly being upset a season ago.

ESPN analysts Lee Corso and Desmond Howard picked Clemson to roll to a win on College GameDay. Kirk Herbstreit did not pick the game because he is calling it, but Herbstreit did warn that Syracuse has been looking forward to this game all offseason and could have been looking past Maryland last week in anticipation for this game.

College GameDay would have likely been in town for what would have been a top 25 showdown had Syracuse defeated Maryland last week.

The game will be played in the Carrier Dome, which doesn’t have air conditioning, and the Tigers practiced outside all week to prepare for the warm environment.

Clemson spoke about being highly motivated entering Saturday after the way the last two games against Syracuse played out, and my guess is the Tigers’ offense comes out clicking on all cylinders.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has surprisingly thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions through the first two weeks, and Clemson would love to get the passing game going against a defense that allowed 63 points to Maryland last week.

My guess is Lawrence kicks off his Heisman campaign and the Tigers roll.

Pick: Clemson 52, Syracuse 13

Who is Clemson playing today?

Who: No. 1 Clemson (2-0) at Syracuse (1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Carrier Dome (49,057) Syracuse, N.Y.

Series history: Clemson leads the series 5-2.

TV: ABC (Sean McDonough, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)

Online: WatchESPN

Radio: 1400 AM in Columbia, 93.3 in Greenville (Don Munson, Rodney Williams, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.

Satellite radio: Sirius 108/XM 194

Weather: Dome (No A/C).