Game Day Central: Syracuse
History will be make on Saturday when No. 22 Syracuse comes to Williams Stadium, marking the first time the Flames have hosted a Power 5 and nationally ranked FBS team.
"4 Downs" with the Orange 1. Saturday's game will represent numerous "firsts" for the Flames. Hugh Freeze's first contest as Liberty's head coach will see the Flames open their first season as a full-fledged FBS member. Liberty will host a FBS Top 25 opponent at Williams Stadium for the first time. Syracuse is also the first ACC squad and the first football team from any Power Five Conference ever to play at Liberty.
2. The Flames' clash with No. 22/22 Syracuse will mark the program's second meeting with an FBS Top 25 foe. Liberty opened the 2014 season with a 56-29 setback at No. 23/23 North Carolina. Saturday will mark the second time Syracuse Head Coach Dino Babers has coached at Liberty. He was running backs coach at Eastern Illinois on Sept. 26, 1987, when the Panthers edged Liberty by a 17-14 count.
3. Saturday's game is likely to attract the Flames' third home crowd of 21,000+ spectators in program history. The Williams Stadium attendance record of 22,551 was set on Sept. 19, 2015, when Liberty topped FCS No. 8/7 Montana, 31-21. The Flames also packed 21,712 fans in for the 2016 home finale versus Charleston Southern.
4. Liberty is kicking off the 2019 season with four home games in the first five weeks, also including visits from Buffalo (Sept. 14), Hampton (Sept. 21) and New Mexico (Sept. 28). The only other FBS teams who will play four home games before the end of September are Boston College, Michigan State, Pitt and Washington. Syracuse is the first of four first-time opponents the Flames will face in 2019.
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