Game of the week: No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Syracuse

Story posted November 14, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by David Saggio

Football is back in the Bronx as the third-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish face the
12th-ranked Syracuse Orange at Yankee Stadium.

Coming into this matchup, Notre Dame is undefeated on the season, with marquee wins over
Michigan, Stanford and Northwestern. Notre Dame is also currently ranked third in the College
Football Playoff rankings. Offensively, Notre Dame
quarterback Ian Book has been lights out this season with 1,824 yards, 15 touchdowns, four
interceptions and a 74 percent completion percentage. The Irish have a workhorse in running back
Dexter Williams, who has a solid 770 yards on the season with a 6.8 yard per carry
average and 10 rushing touchdowns. Defensively, the Irish sport a top 25 unit this season with
potent pass coverage and run defense. Head coach Brian Kelly enters his eighth season with the
fighting Irish and is looking to make a run for a national title for the first time since the 2012
season.

Meanwhile, the Syracuse Orange are a bit of a surprise this season with an 8-2 record and the
No. 12 spot in the College Football Playoff ranking. The Orange are coached by Dino Babers,
who is currently in his third season at Syracuse. For the Orange, quarterback Eric Dungey has
thrown for 2,193 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions en route to a 60.4 percent completion
percentage. Dungey is also a top rusher for the Orange as well with 690 yards and 12
touchdowns rushing this year. Meanwhile Jamal Custis handles the pass catching duties for
Syracuse with 42 receptions for 748 yards and five touchdowns. The Orange do not sport a top
defense however, ranking only 97th in total defense.

This matchup is unique in that it is occurring at Yankee stadium. Normally home to the Bronx
Bombers, college football is no stranger to Yankee stadium with the Pinstripe Bowl being played
there yearly. This should largely be an offensive game as both teams showcase high flying offenses
with quarterbacks who can both run it and gun it. While Notre Dame’s defense is a top-tiered
unit, Syracuse should not be too troubled by it, as the Orange put up 23 points on the fearsome
Clemson Tiger defense which is one of the best units in all of college football. To add to that, the
dual threat ability of Dungey will be huge for Syracuse, as his ability to both pass and run
will no doubt be a threat for the Irish. Meanwhile for the Irish, the health of quarterback Ian
Book is a game changer. After missing the Irish’s last game against Florida State, Book will look
to suit back up this Saturday. If Book’s health again comes under question then the Irish will
have to rely on backup Brandon Wimbush who is no-where near as talented as Book when it
comes to passing the ball.

Taking everything into account, the Irish should come out on top in a close one with the passing
ability of Ian Book and the defense being the X-factor. However, don’t count out the dual threat
danger of Dungey in this one. In the end, Notre prevails 40-35, winning the battle of the Bronx.

 

 

David Saggio is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email
davesag12@gmail.com.