Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) celebrates his touchdown with tight end Davis Allen (84) during the second quarter of the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Syracuse Faces No. 5 Clemson

Week eight of the college football season will feature a premiere ACC matchup between two top-15 programs. The 14th-ranked Syracuse Orange (6-0) will head to Death Valley and take on the fifth-ranked Clemson Tigers (7-0). Both teams are undefeated and could make a push for the College Football Playoff with a win Saturday.

Syracuse Surprising Season

The Orange have been arguably one of the most surprising teams this season. Not only have they exceeded expectations of competing for an ACC title, but they are in the conversation to make a playoff run in January. If they manage to pull out a victory in front of a deafening Death Valley, they should move into the top 10 and be the team to beat in the ACC.

Syracuse has seen great play on both sides of the ball, so far. Sophomore running back Sean Tucker is being mentioned in numerous Heisman conversations. In the Oranges’ six games, Tucker has rushed for 644 yards and scored six touchdowns. He has been the focal point of their offense and is going to need to put up a strong effort against Clemson’s defensive line.

Top Five Tigers

This season, Clemson has been doing regular Clemson things. They’ve dominated opponents both at home and in tough road environments. They’re defense has been as strong as they were projected to be coming into the season. On offense, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has improved week-after-week and has seemed to find a groove that other teams struggle to stop.

This upcoming game against Syracuse is probably one that the Tigers didn’t have circled coming into the season. They can’t make the mistake of underestimating this team after they’ve beat some talented opponents. If Clemson can stop the Oranges’ strong run game and showcase an above-average offensive performance, a victory is in their sight.

CFP Hopes for Both Programs

The College Football Playoff committee will begin releasing their rankings on Nov. 2. As of right now, Clemson is just one spot shy of being in the top four. A win this weekend can definitely help them make the case for one of the playoff spots. Syracuse on the other hand, must win this Saturday. This game will be their toughest challenge so far, but if they manage to win, they’ll have the possibility of making history in upstate New York.

About Daniel Haviv

Hello, my name is Daniel Haviv and I'm a junior sports journalism student at the University of Florida. As a sports writer, I have published content on a multitude of different sports across all levels. Additionally, I was a beat reporter for the Gators Men's Basketball team for the 2022-2023 season. Game-day previews and post-game articles are featured.

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