Syracuse (1-9, 1-8 ACC) at No. 2 Notre Dame (9-0, 8-0, No. 2 CFP), Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EST (NBC).
Line: Notre Dame by 33 1/2.
Series record: Notre Dame leads 6-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Notre Dame’s final tune-up for the ACC title game on Dec. 19 against either No. 4 Clemson or No. 9 Miami with Tuesday’s ACC announcement that the Fighting Irish would not play at Wake Forest next week. The Irish have the longest winning streak among FBS schools at 15 games, have won 23 straight at home and are seeking their fourth consecutive 10-win season under coach Brian Kelly. The heavy-underdog Orange have lost seven straight and another setback would be their first one-win season since 2005 when they went 1-10 under Greg Robinson. The last Syracuse victory over Irish was 24-23 in South Bend during 2008 season.
QB Ian Book against s young opportunistic Syracuse defense. Book, who has completed 63% of his passes for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 412 yards and six more scores, has a school-best 237 consecutive passing attempts without an interception which came in the season opener against Duke. The Orange’s 3-5-5 defense, which last week started six freshmen, leads the nation in turnovers created with 22 (12 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries). Sophomore linebacker Mikel Jones has a team-high four interceptions, forced three fumbles and recovered two.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: WR Taj Harris. He has 50 receptions for 664 yards and five TDs, averaging 73.8 yards per game and 13.3 yards per catch. In last Saturday’s 36-29 home loss to North Carolina State, Harris had 13 receptions for 146 yards (both career highs) and one touchdown.
Notre Dame: RB Kyren Williams. He has 901 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Williams had 124 rushing yards in last Friday’s 31-17 victory at North Carolina – his fifth 100-yard-plus performance of the season. He also has 21 receptions for 235 yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
Book, who is 29-3 as a starter, becomes Notre Dame’s winningest quarterback with a victory. … Notre Dame has won last three games in series, all under Kelly, whose 101 victories is second on the all-time list behind Knute Rockne’s 105. … Syracuse’s active roster is 71.6% composed of players in their first two years of eligibility, tied for fourth among FBS schools. … In 65 career attempts, Syracuse junior placekicker Andre Szmyt has made 56 field goals, three shy of school record.
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