Syracuse Looks to Earn its Second Straight ACC Win Against BC Over Homecoming Weekend
Syracuse football welcomes Boston College to the Dome looking to build off of last weekend’s thrilling conference win. WAER’s Dan Mallea explains what to watch for in this old Big East matchup.
The Orange are coming off of their biggest win of the season, 41-36 over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg. It was ‘Cuse’s fifth-straight game decided in the final minute, and it broke a string of three straight three-point losses to ACC opponents. After such a gauntlet of tough losses, does that victory give Syracuse a little extra juice throughout the rest of this season? Head coach Dino Babers seems to think so.
“I kinda knew what we were gonna go through, and I kinda knew what it was gonna look like,” Babers said, “but I knew that if we could survive it, there would be better days ahead. And hopefully this is the start of better days ahead.”
Boston College now stands between Syracuse and back-to-back ACC wins, a feat that the Orange haven’t pulled off since 2018. The Eagles came out the gates hot this year at 4-0, but have faltered since, dropping their last three straight. In its most recent loss, BC faced Louisville, who deployed a run-heavy offensive attack leading to 331 rushing yards, headlined by quarterback Malik Cunningham’s three TDs on the ground. And just two weeks before, Boston College allowed 231 yards on the ground against Clemson.
Syracuse has been running all over its opponents all season long, led by Garrett Shrader and the nation’s leading rusher in Sean Tucker. Shrader is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic dual-threat QBs in the nation, the Mississippi State transfer is already second nationally among quarterbacks in rushing yards with 592 despite not starting until week 4. Tucker meanwhile has been one of the best backs in the country, and is the only player in FBS football to have over 1,000-yards rushing this season.
Shrader had an unbelievable game last weekend against VT, throwing two touchdowns and running for three more. The sophomore is closing in on a few different QB rushing records at Syracuse, he's 221 yards away from the single-season quarterback rushing record, and needs three more rushing touchdowns to tie Eric Dungey’s program record of most rushing TDs by a QB at 15. Despite his success on the ground, and how BC has failed to stop the run as of late, Shrader is still treating this week’s matchup as he would any other.
“They’re a really physical team. They’re pretty adamant about the things they do and they’ve got some guys that can play, but just like any other week we’ll try to exploit their weaknesses and try to stay away from the things they’re good at.” Shrader said, “They’re a good team, we’re happy with our plan and we’re ready to go.”
At the end of the day, Saturday’s matchup with Boston College is a chance to see if coach Babers is right in claiming that ‘Cuse’s most recent win could mean better days ahead for the program. Things certainly seem to be trending in a positive direction, and Babers sounds confident in what his team can do moving forward this year.
“I just think there’s something about this team, if we can survive, if the chapter is finished the right way, I think it’s really going to lead to something.” Babers said, “We’ve had our battles, but we’re still together and if we stay together we’re going to be strong.”
Kickoff from inside the Dome is set for 3:30 p.m. this Saturday. WAER’s coverage gets going at 3, beginning with GZA Countdown to Kickoff.