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#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS #12 Syracuse Orange: Staff Picks

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The picks are in... and they have some different takes.

What a Notre Dame helmet is supposed to look like.
Mike Miller/One Foot Down

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will continue to make a push for the playoffs when they take on the Syracuse Orange in Yankee Stadium. For many reasons, I can’t wait for this game to be done and won. While I love a good “I told you so,” I love winning more.

The staff picks are in so let’s get to them...

Brad Wechter

Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 24

I wanted to go higher on this one, imagining it will look like the Virginia Tech or Stanford games. Syracuse is ranked 12th in the CFP poll on the strength of a close loss to Clemson. They struggled with North Carolina and lost to Pitt. I don’t know that I truly believe Syracuse will stay close with the Irish in the second half. However, this I’m not entirely sure I believe in new November Notre Dame. I still think the Irish get the win, though.

Miami-Ohio Redhawks 41, Ball State Cardinals 31

Miami beat Northern Illinois this week in some MACtion, and I think they’re poised to finish the season strong. I’m back on the train. Ball State loses to both of my teams this year.

Jeff Czerniakowski

Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 26

From the research I’ve done, Syracuse kicks a lot of field goals. And for those who have watched Notre Dame all year, we know their red zone defense has been pretty good. The difference in this game will be the Irish scoring touchdowns while the Orange kick field goals.

Matt Greene

Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 28

It will be a bit of a shootout, as compared to a lot of our games this year. I think Syracuse is just a pain in the side - keeping it close throughout the game. With Ian Book back, the Irish will just have too much offensively for the Orange. Additionally, I know for some reason talking heads are hating on our defense that hasn’t given up more than 27 points in a game all year, but the defense will be too stout for Syracuse as well. I predict some struggles to get to Dungey, but the D-Line gets some late sacks to seal the deal. I believe momentum from last week carries us through to the last game.

Joe Londergan

Notre Dame 45, Syracuse 31

This is a Syracuse team that puts up a lot of points. Notre Dame can do the same thing though and have a notably tougher defense. We saw that Brandon Wimbush is ready for the big stage, so I’m thinking the Irish will overcome the awful uniforms to win this game.

Oregon State Beavers 21, Washington Huskies 38

Jonathan Smith returns to Seattle to face his former team, but the Huskies don’t have really anything to worry about. The OSU defense is progressing, but at a snail’s pace and that’s just not good enough against an offense that includes Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin. We’ll see some solid offensive things out of OSU once again though.

Billy Gorman

Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 27

Syracuse has a good offense that should be able to pose some problems for Notre Dame. However, the Irish are one of the toughest defenses they’ve faced all year. Syracuse will put up some points and keep it interesting late in the game, but I don’t expect them to score enough to keep up with Notre Dame’s offense with Ian Book back in the lineup.

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 31, South Alabama Jaguars 21

South Alabama has struggled to score points the last few games, and hasn’t gone over 20 since they played Alabama State in early October. They’ll go over 20 this week, but the ULL offense will be too much for them to keep up with at Cajun Field.

Austin Gallagher

Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 28

The Irish come into this top-12 matchup off the heels of a solid senior night win and will carry that momentum over a decent Syracuse team. The ‘Cuse offense will certainly put up points on the Irish - as Dino Babers’s squads tend to do - but their defense will prove far too porous to contain an Ian Book led attack.

Look for a two touchdown(ish) win for the Irish.

Washington Huskies 38, Oregon State Beavers 14

I’ve overestimated the Washington Huskies for much of the season, but that doesn’t change one fact: Oregon State does not have a good football team. There’s not much more to it than that. It should be a blowout in favor of Washington, and I expect as much.

Martin Sweigert

Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 28

With the return of Ian Book, this game is going to be much more about the exposure of ‘Cuse as a top 15 imposter than it is about ND not belonging in the playoff.

Texas Longhorns 38, Iowa State Cyclones 33

We are flipping coins to call Texas at this point. They’re up, they’re down. This time, they build on last week’s win over Tech.

Philip Gough

Notre Dame 42, Syracuse 27

The game is consistently within 7-10 points during the first half before the Irish wear down Eric Dungey and co. Look for a big game out of our Defensive Line and Irish pull away late in the third and into the 4th.

Holy Cross 24, Georgetown 17

HC ends the season with their 4th straight win and finish second in the Patriot League. The momentum carries into the offseason as the first year under new head Coach Bob Chesney is a success.

Jude Seymour

Notre Dame 44, Syracuse 27

I’ve got real concerns about the field at Yankee Stadium. I think it’s the underreported story of the week. But, having said that, I trust Ian Book and the Irish to find their footing -- literally -- quickly and run roughshod over a questionable Orange defense. Eric Dungey and the uptempo Orange offense will get theirs, but I don’t think the game will ever be in doubt.

Clemson Tigers 41, Duke Blue Devils 14

The Tigers are 28 point favorite in this game -- and I think they can cover it against the Blue Devils’ decimated defense (despite my final score). Duke has had a roller coaster season -- started 4-0, then lost three of four and now have won their last two for a 7-3 season. Clemson deftly avoided the Boston College hype train and now look well positioned to finish the season undefeated.

Pat Sullivan

Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 27

Love me some Dino Babers, but this “great” Syracuse offense hasn’t proven it can put up those big numbers against a top defense like the one Clark Lea’s got rolling along. Gimme a solid offensive showing from Ian Book in his return, Dexter Williams with a bunch more yards, and Julian Love with a pick-six because HELL YEAH. Irish move to 11-0 and Jim Boeheim still sucks.

Florida Atlantic Owls 35, North Texas Mean Green 31

This game has already started. North Texas is up 10-0 as I type this. But Joey Freshwater and the boys will rise and conquer. HOOT HOOT OWLS LET’S GO

Lino Garcia

Notre Dame 28, Syracuse 31

Before you start throwing oranges at me, just so know that I want nothing more than to be wrong about this, but my post-traumatic stress from too many Novembers as an Irish fan prevent me from getting my hopes up. This may be a home game for Notre Dame, but Syracuse is motivated, playing in their home state, and I can see Eric Dungey making a name for himself at Yankee Stadium. If my predication comes true, please direct your hate toward the New York Yankees.

Wes Sweigert (texted in)

Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 24

Navy Midshipmen 28, Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Joshua Vowles

Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 20

(Copying and pasting the Anti-Preview pick) I keep hearing about Notre Dame having to score a lot of points in this game to win. I think that people are either overrating Syracuse’s offense or underrating Notre Dame’s defense. Actually — I think both. Syracuse is a team that wants to run a ton of plays, but with the Ian Book passing game and a steady diet of Dexter Williams, the Irish offense is going to limit those possessions for those high number of plays. On the flipside, Notre Dame is too good on the defensive front to allow Syracuse to make enough plays to keep drives alive. I don’t think this will be that close.

Cincinnati Bearcats 45, UCF Knights 41

Out like a light.