CLEMSON–The Syracuse Orange gave up 63 points in their last game against Maryland—but don't mention that fact to the Clemson Tigers.
In fact, the Clemson offense believes that they will receive the Orange's best shot Saturday when the the Tigers travel up north to take on the Orange inside The Dome.
"It's going to be loud. Contrary to what you may think, it's going to be loud. It's going to be hostile," " co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. We have to make sure that we block out the noise, we focus on ourselves, and we've got to throw what happened last week out the window. This is a team, I think at that time they ended up that season maybe not having a winning record, and they beat us up there on a Friday night. So this is a team that is confident, right? They feel like they played with us last year. They beat us a couple years ago. So this is a team that you can't look at what happened to them last week, and think you're just going to walk in there and they're going to lay down.
"They've still got everything on the table for them. This is a division game. They're undefeated in the division just like we are. So this is going to be a situation where we've got to control what we can control, not get distracted by anything other than coming from the outside, and just know that these guys are going to come to play, and it's a very very good football team despite maybe the outcome last week."
Syracuse's defense obviously had a rough time against a lot of unknowns with Maryland, but the difference this week is that they are very familiar with the Tigers.
That means that Elliott and the rest of the Tigers need to be prepared for a defense that has proven to have answers for what the Tigers like to do.
Well, I think the way they're structured, that's what they want to do," Elliott said. "They want to be an eight man front team. They're going to play a one high structure, get that safety, or that nickel/sam in the box, try to get to at least a three man box or a four man box with the backers and the safety down there. So they're built to stop the run. They're going to make you beat them with the pass, make you be patient to go down the field.
"I think the two defensive ends that they have are as good as we're going to see in this league or at all this year. And their back, they've got a lot of experience. They played against us for several years, so they're going to be confident."
The Tigers will have to be at their best if they expect to leave upstate New York with a victory, because they will be facing a group with a great history and ton of pride.
"What I remember the first time going up there is there's a lot of tradition that you may not know about Syracuse football, being where we are," Elliott said. "But you know they've got the placards of their players up on the wall. So you kind of see that oh man, these guys have got some tradition.They've got some pride. Their fans get into it. They do a good job of creating some noise when they can, just like we do in our stadium when their defense is on the field. And again, it gets louder than what you would think, being that the noise is trapped in there. So it's going to be a hostile environment. It's homecoming for them, so they've got a couple things that they're playing into."