The Clemson Tigers went to New York as 6.5-point favorites in the JMA Wireless Dome against the Syracuse Orange. Syracuse was a popular upset pick by many analysts but the Tigers suffocated the Orange offense and won comfortably to improve to 3-2. The final game prior to the Clemson bye week is this Saturday against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. How did the rest of Clemson’s opponents fare this past weekend?
Week One - Duke Blue Devils (4-1 - 21-14 Loss to Notre Dame)
The Duke Blue Devils hosted ESPN College Gameday for one of the most important home games in recent program history. The two battled to a near standstill. Duke had a late lead and a chance to seal the win, but punted in Notre Dame territory. On the ensuing drive, the Irish were facing a 4th-and-16. Fighting Irish quarterback Sam Hartman scrambled for a first down to keep them alive and Audric Estime scored his second touchdown of the game to put Notre Dame ahead. A two-point conversion made the score 21-14 and that’s how it ended. Duke got the ball back with less than a minute to go and QB Riley Leonard suffered a serious high ankle sprain. They have a bye week next, but he is likely to miss the NC State and FSU games after that.
Week Two - Charleston Southern (2-3 - 13-10 Win Over Kennesaw State)
The Buccaneers knocked off Kennesaw State to move to 2-3 on the season.
Week Three - Florida Atlantic (1-3 - BYE WEEK)
The Florida Atlantic Owls were off this week. They host Tulsa (3-2) on October 7.
Week Four - Florida State Seminoles (4-0 - BYE WEEK)
Week Six - Wake Forest (3-1 - BYE WEEK)
Wake Forest was off this week so they have a full two weeks to prepare for their trip to Death Valley and figure out what went wrong in their loss to Georgia Tech.
Week Seven - Miami (4-0 - BYE WEEK)
The Miami Hurricanes are unbeaten and had the week off. They return to action with a home game against Georgia Tech before traveling to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina.
Week Eight - North Carolina State (3-2 - 13-10 Loss to Louisville)
North Carolina State and Louisville played in Raleigh on Friday night and it was an ugly clash with the Cardinals prevailing thanks to a late 53-yard field goal. The reunion of offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterback Brennan Armstrong has not gone according to plan as the passing game has been atrocious all season. Armstrong was just 13-25 for 112 yards with two interceptions and the Wolfpack don’t have any difference-makers at the skill positions. The NC State defense is strong but there’s very little margin for error for them thanks to the anemic offense. This will still be a tough game for Clemson in Carter-Finley Stadium, as it always is, but it’s hard to see NC State scoring much against this Tigers defense.
Week Nine - Notre Dame (4-1 - 21-14 Win at Duke)
Notre Dame bounced back from the heartbreaking loss to Ohio State with a close victory at Duke. Notre Dame was without a couple of wideouts and the offense was hindered by the Duke defense as Sam Hartman completed only 15 of 30 passes for 222 yards. It was two turnovers by Duke along with a first down scramble by Sam Hartman on fourth and long that swung the game in Notre Dame’s favor. Clemson is hosting the Irish in week nine and much can change before then but that looks to be a very low scoring affair.
Week Ten - Georgia Tech (2-2 - 38-27 Loss to Bowling Green)
What a wild couple of weeks for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. They won in impressive fashion at Wake Forest and seemed to have a lot of momentum but lost a shocker at home to Bowling Green on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets allowed 438 yards of offense to the Falcons, a team that entered the contest 1-3. It was three Georgia Tech turnovers that cost them the game. The Yellow Jackets now head to Miami to play the unbeaten Hurricanes.
Week Eleven - North Carolina (4-0 - BYE WEEK)
Teams with an off week was the theme this week and the North Carolina Tar Heels joined the party with a bye week. North Carolina will spend three straight weeks in Chapel Hill with Syracuse, Miami and Virginia coming to town.
Week Twelve - South Carolina (2-3 - 41-20 Loss to Tennessee)
The South Carolina Gamecocks were expected to challenge a vulnerable Tennessee squad but the Volunteers pulled away for a comfortable victory, outgaining the Gamecocks 477-333. Spencer Rattler struggled in the contest and the offensive line continues to be a major weakness for the Gamecocks. This was not the offensive fireworks display many expected but it was a relatively easy win for the Vols nonetheless. South Carolina now has a bye week before hosting the Florida Gators.
Clemson won comfortably and looked pretty good doing it while a few future opponents looked quite vulnerable. The Tigers will look to build some momentum heading into an off week as they host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.