John (3-0): Syracuse 34, Liberty 30
Nobody else has the stones to do it, but I’ll do it. Give me Syracuse with the win on a late touchdown and subsequent defensive stop to seal the deal. Look this is a spectacular Liberty team with pretty much everybody back from 2020. However, Syracuse ALSO has just about everybody back from the same team that was embarrassed in the Dome last season.
I think the Orange are at least twice as good as they were at this time last year. What this game boils down to is can the offense score? I think they do thanks to a big games from Sean Tucker, Tommy DeVito, and Taj Harris. The kryptonite of this team in 2020 was the big plays. I don’t think Liberty gets any home run hits against this defense and SU controls the line of scrimmage and wins the game. LU earned its national respect and attention with a win over ‘Cuse last year, this time around they’ll be buried and never heard from again on the national landscape. Give me Syracuse, or give me death.
Ian (3-0): Liberty 34, Syracuse 24
Carter (3-0): Liberty 24, Syracuse 10
Beneath the shine of 62 points and Sean Tucker’s tremendous outing last week, there were some unresolved problems still dogging Dino Babers and his team. SU set a team record for penalties and didn’t quite get a statement performance from either one of its quarterbacks. Those are both dangerous problems to be dealing with at this point in the year. ‘Cuse is about to embark on the harder part of its schedule: Liberty this week, then eight straight ACC matchups to end the year. If Dino wants to prove his up-tempo system isn’t short-circuiting and that this isn’t last year’s team, this is a gigantic “prove-it” game before he ventures into conference rivalry territory. However, my gut fear is that against better competition, Syracuse’s offense labors tomorrow similarly to how it did against Rutgers. If that happens, the Orange will fall to Hugh Freeze’s squad for the second straight year.
Cam (3-0): Liberty 28, Syracuse 23
I’ve spent the entire week trying to convince myself that Syracuse’s defense is good enough to counteract SU’s offensive lulls, and I finally got to that point. But I haven’t been able to lobby for the Orange’s offense finishing drives in touchdowns. It’ll be a closer game than many think because of the explosiveness of Sean Tucker and the return of Taj Harris; however, SU’s early season trend of leaving points on the field will continue. It won’t be a testament to Liberty’s defense, rather a bad onus on Tommy DeVito and company. Expect Malik Willis to put on an offensive show alongside running backs Joshua Mack and Shedro Louis, and get ready for a weekend full of “SU’s defense did as much as they could, but the offense ONCE AGAIN fell flat in the big moments.”
Matt (3-0): Liberty 24, Syracuse 14
If I had more confidence in SU’s quarterback situation I might’ve picked the Orange this week. The Syracuse defense will play well, but not well enough to keep this one under two scores. Sean Tucker will probably once again go off, but we’re finally getting into the part of the schedule that keeps getting talked about in which that SU offense is going to falter. Outside of Sean Tucker, the offense will be anemic.
Jaron (2-1): Liberty 34, Syracuse 24
For everyone overreacting to last week’s win over UAlbany, please stop. Yes, Sean Tucker was unbelievable and the Orange routed the Great Danes, but let’s be honest– that was an FCS opponent. So, if you think SU is going to a bowl game just because of that one performance, you are crazy. This week’s matchup versus Liberty is a whole different story. Malik Willis is as legit as they come. The definition of a dual-threat QB that is going to put a lot of pressure on the Syracuse linebackers. As impressive as the Orange linebacking corps has been so far this season, I think Willis will win that battle and put up some serious numbers. On the flip side, Liberty has a solid run defense, so I wouldn’t anticipate another record breaking day from Tucker. The Flames are a serious team, give me LU by a touchdown plus.
Brad (2-1): Liberty 33, Syracuse 17
This game is going to come down to containing Malik Willis. If the projected 1st round pick QB has his way in the air and on the ground like he did last year, then even this flexing Syracuse defense won’t be able to stop them. If the defense can force three and outs, then SU has a chance so long as they can establish the run game and keep the defense off the field. Sean Tucker ran for 111 yards against the Flames last season. But three and outs against an offense led by Willis who won’t just keep you guessing but keep you clueless are going to be hard to come by.