Well, here we are! It’s the Orange’s first game week of 2019. Syracuse travels south this weekend for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Liberty Flames. Currently, SU is favored to win the game by 17.5 points. A loss in week one for Dino Babers’ team would be a serious gut check.
Outside of winning the game, there are a number of things the Orange should look to accomplish this Saturday in Virginia. We examine the top three:
- Get Tommy DeVito off to a good start: This is going to be crucial. Early in the game, Babers needs to find a way to make DeVito comfortable. With all the weapons around him this fall, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Look for SU to work in some quick routes screen plays to loosen up the redshirt-sophomore quarterback. After that, DeVito can showcase his strong arm and pinpoint accuracy.
- Pressure Buckshot Calvert early: New head coach Hugh Freeze inherits Calvert, a senior quarterback who will make his 31st consecutive start on Saturday. He’s shown flashes in his first three years, but has struggled with consistency: Calvert through 21 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2018. Freeze has urged Calvert to embrace his craft and spend more time in the film room. If Liberty’s signal caller is anxious to prove his worth to Freeze, a little pressure from guys like Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson could spell trouble for a sometimes wild-throwing Calvert. Not to mention, causing chaos in the backfield is crucial for the long-term success of this team.
- Find swagger: From the pre-season camp series “La Familia,” to random posts on social media before and after practice, this year’s team appears ready for action. A key early on will be establishing swagger that will be needed for an Orange Bowl run. Many have predicted, including myself, a ten-win season. That’s only going to happen if the Orange play with confidence. A bad break here or there could hold Syracuse back from its full potential and translate to a 6-8 win season.
These are just a few keys for the Orange in week one against the Flames. Keep it locked to OrangeFizz.net as we continue to get you ready for the week one tilt.