Nov 27, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Kyren Williams (23) with the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels defensive back Kyler McMichael (1) and linebacker Chazz Surratt (21) defend in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 2 Notre Dame can’t overlook slumping Syracuse

No. 2 Notre Dame will look to remain unbeaten when it hosts Syracuse on Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.

The Fighting Irish already have clinched a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by virtue of a scheduling change this week. Notre Dame (9-0, 8-0 ACC) likely will face No. 3 Clemson (8-1, 7-1) in the Dec. 19 game.

A huge showdown on the horizon could lead the Fighting Irish to overlook this weekend’s matchup against Syracuse (1-9, 1-8), which sits at the bottom of the conference standings. But the Fighting Irish have proved so far that they can avoid letdowns, with seven of their nine victories coming by double digits.

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams said he never would have expected a ticket to the ACC title game.

“It’s crazy,” said Williams, whose team joined the ACC as a full-time member this year as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the independent school to search for a conference partner. “You come to Notre Dame, and you don’t think that you are going to play in any conference games. But now look, we are in the conference championship for the first time in Notre Dame history and the first time ever in my career.

“This is a goal we as a team have been preaching on since we joined the ACC, that we were going to come in here and we were going to compete for an ACC championship no matter what it was. So I feel like now that we are at that goal — or not yet, because we’ve still got Syracuse — we see that goal in the future that we just can’t forget.

“We can’t forget that we’ve still got to keep working to get to that goal. We haven’t accomplished anything yet.”

Williams leads the Fighting Irish with 901 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns through nine games. Running backs Chris Tyree (350 yards, 2 TDs) and C’Bo Flemister (293 yards, 5 TDs) also contribute to a dominant ground game.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book is a dual threat who could challenge Syracuse’s defense. Book has thrown for 2,097 yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception, and he has rushed for 412 yards and six touchdowns.

Wideout Ben Skowronek has five touchdown catches for the Fighting Irish, while tight end Michael Mayer and wide receiver Avery Davis have two touchdown catches apiece.

Syracuse has dropped seven games in a row, including a 36-29 defeat last week against North Carolina State. The Orange have allowed 30-plus points in six of the past seven games.

Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper will try to move on from an embarrassing gaffe a week ago in which he spiked the ball on fourth-and-goal with five seconds remaining.

“One mistake didn’t win or lose a game,” Orange coach Dino Babers said in defense of his quarterback. “There were other mistakes made during that game, and people need to realize that.”

On the season, Culpepper has thrown for 843 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Running back Sean Tucker leads the Orange with 525 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The top option in the passing game is wide receiver Taj Harris, who has 50 catches for 664 yards and five touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Aug 28th, 1:00 PM

Nebraska -7 -110

Illinois +7 -110

@

Aug 28th, 2:00 PM

UCONN +27.5 -110

Fresno State -27.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 3:30 PM

Hawaii +17 -110

UCLA -17 -110

@

Aug 28th, 9:30 PM

UTEP -7.5 -110

New Mexico State +7.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 10:00 PM

Southern Utah

San Jose State (24)

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB

Jacksonville State

@

Sep 2nd, 6:30 PM

Temple +13.5 -110

Rutgers -13.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

LIU

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Illinois

Ball State (23)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

The Citadel

Coastal Carolina (14)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Wagner

Buffalo (25)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Boise State +4 -110

UCF -4 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Weber State

Utah

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

USF +18 -110

NC State -18 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

UC Davis

Tulsa

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

East Carolina +12 -110

Appalachian State -12 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Ohio State (2) -13.5 -110

Minnesota +13.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Houston Baptist

New Mexico

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green +33 -110

Tennessee -33 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee-Martin

WKU

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

Eastern Washington

UNLV

@

Sep 2nd, 10:30 PM

Southern Utah

Arizona State

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

North Carolina (18) -5.5 -110

Virginia Tech +5.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Old Dominion +32.5 -110

Wake Forest -32.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Duke -7 -110

Charlotte +7 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Northern Colorado

Colorado

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Michigan State +4 -110

Northwestern (10) -4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

South Dakota State

Colorado State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Colgate

Boston College

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +29.5 -110

Kentucky -29.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Army +3 -105

Georgia State -3 -105

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Stanford -1.5 -110

Kansas State +1.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Holy Cross

UCONN

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (6) -24.5 -110

Tulane +24.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan +17.5 -110

Michigan -17.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Penn State +4.5 -110

Wisconsin -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Fordham

Nebraska

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Fresno State +22 -110

Oregon -22 -110

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Rice +20 -110

Arkansas -20 -110

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Lafayette

Air Force

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (1) -18 -110

Miami-FL (22) +18 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +23 -110

Cincinnati (8) -23 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Marshall -2.5 -110

Navy +2.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Indiana (12) +4.5 -110

Iowa (16) -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

West Virginia -3.5 -110

Maryland +3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Central Michigan +13 -110

Missouri -13 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

LA Tech +26.5 -110

Mississippi State -26.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Massachusetts +37.5 -110

Pittsburgh -37.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Montana State

Wyoming

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Northern Iowa

Iowa State (9)

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette (15) +9.5 -110

Texas (19) -9.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 5:00 PM

San Jose State (24) +16 -110

USC (21) -16 -110

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Campbell

Liberty (17)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Gardner-Webb

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

South Carolina

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Akron +36.5 -110

Auburn -36.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Southern University

Troy

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Missouri State

Oklahoma State (20)

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Monmouth-New Jersey

Middle Tennessee

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Baylor -13.5 -110

Texas State +13.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Syracuse -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Central Arkansas

Arkansas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Norfolk State

Toledo

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Texas Tech -2.5 -110

Houston +2.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Nicholls State

Memphis

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Abilene Christian

SMU

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Oregon State +7 -110

Purdue -7 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Georgia (7) +3.5 -110

Clemson (3) -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic +25 -110

Florida (13) -25 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

NIU +17.5 -110

Georgia Tech -17.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Northwestern State

North Texas

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

William & Mary

Virginia

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

UTSA +7 +100

Illinois -7 +100

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Montana

Washington

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

East Tennessee State

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Kent State +30 -110

Texas A&M (4) -30 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Southern Miss -1.5 -110

South Alabama +1.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Duquesne

TCU

@

Sep 4th, 8:30 PM

LSU -4.5 -110

UCLA +4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 9:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman

UTEP

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

Nevada +3.5 -110

California -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

BYU (11) -11.5 -110

Arizona +11.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State +30 -110

San Diego State -30 -110

@

Sep 4th, 11:00 PM

Utah State +16.5 -110

Washington State -16.5 -110

@