Staff Predictions: Liberty vs. Syracuse
Tomorrow, Liberty will be in upstate New York battling the Syracuse Orange for a chance to improve to 5-0. Should Liberty win, the Flames will exact revenge for a 24-0 loss last year on opening week and increase their credibility on the national stage. Should Syracuse win, the Orange will set themselves on a path to redeem a season that has gotten off to a shaky start. This game will be tightly contested and entertaining, and our staff has provided their thought on how tomorrow’s matchup will unfold.
John Nekrasov, Editor – Syracuse 24, LU 20
After thrashing ULM Saturday, the Flames will enter the game against Syracuse with a 4-0 record, while Syracuse comes in with a 1-3 record after some comprehensive losses, including a 38-24 loss to Duke. Liberty failed to score against Syracuse at home last year, but a new-look offense led by Malik Willis will push the Orange to the very end. The Flames could pull off an upset here, but the ACC team will probably have just enough to hand Liberty its first loss of the season.
Christian Weaner, Asst. Editor – LU 37, Syracuse 33
This one is tough. Syracuse is banged up and majorly struggled defending the run in a 38-24 loss to Duke last Saturday, not to mention their starting QB Tommy DeVito is likely out for the season. My gut says the Power Five Orange are still a better team, but I have to go with my heart on this one. A sharp Willis and staggering rushing attack will be enough to earn possibly the biggest win in LU football history.
John Simmons, Web Manager/Reporter – LU 27, Syracuse 24
After a relatively easy first four games, Liberty will travel to New York to play the Orange, the team that beat the Flames 24-0 last year in Liberty’s first matchup against a top 25 team. While the Orange will be the toughest opponent to date, Liberty will be able to exploit a defensive unit that has given up nearly four touchdowns per game over the last four games. Once again, Malik Willis will be the star and finish with 200 yards passing, 90 rushing yards and two total touchdowns.
Emmanuel Adamson, Social Media Manager/Reporter – LU 24, Syracuse 20
Syracuse is off to a 1-3 start and after losing to Duke Saturday, they have most likely lost their starting quarterback Tommy DeVito to injury. Although Syracuse is a Power Five football team, the Liberty Flames are off to a red-hot start thanks to Flames quarterback Malik Willis and an impressive defense. I think this will be a close one, but the Flames will be able to just edge the Orange out.
Mario Cosentino, Reporter – LU 24, Syracuse 21
The Flames will face their toughest challenge of the season thus far against Syracuse University, who isare off to a rough 1-3 start. Their record is deceiving, however, as Syracuse’s defense is among the nation’s top teams in terms of takeaways this season. As the Flames defense continues to roll in 2020, Coach Freeze will look to his offense to avenge a devastating loss against the Orange last year.
Joshua Lipowski, Reporter -Syracuse 28, LU 24
Looking back at the game last season between these two teams, Liberty was in the game for the first half, and its defense was stout. Malik Willis adds another element that Buckshot just did not have which should allow Liberty to score some points. However, Syracuse is a Power Five school, and probably the toughest task Liberty has had all season. Liberty will be humbled but will earn some respect amongst the college football ranks with a close loss this weekend.
Christian Shields, Reporter – LU 34, Syracuse 31
Liberty Football has started extremely well this season. They have far outclassed all expectations. They are facing a quality ACC opponent in Syracuse, but don’t expect Liberty to release its grip on the chance of a perfect season. Coach Freeze and company will get it done on the road. It is hard to bet against Liberty right now.
Season Standings: 1- Adamson (4-0), 2- Nekrasov (4-0), 3- Shields (4-0), 4- Cosentino (3-1), 5- Lipowski (3-1), 6- Simmons (3-1), 7- Weaner (3-1)
Last Week’s Closest: Emmanuel Adamson
Prediction: Liberty 35, ULM 10 Actual: Liberty 40, ULM 7