Syracuse Orange football’s 2019 kickoff against Liberty is only a few days away. On Monday, head coach Dino Babers held his first game week press conference. Here are some of the things he mentioned:
“I’m nervous about this one. I’ve been watching games from Ole Miss, games from Georgia Southern, games from Liberty to look at the personnel.”
This is consistent with concerns Babers aired out back at ACC Media Day in July. With first-year head coach Hugh Freeze at the helm in Lynchburg, it’s tough to find film that will adequately reflect what the Flames will put on the field Saturday. It wouldn’t be surprising if Liberty can use that to its advantage in the early going. Babers even made a comparison between Saturday’s matchup and the 2017 Clemson win in talking about the expectations for this game. However, Syracuse still comes in as a heavy favorite against a program playing just its second season at the FBS level.
“(The starting offensive line) is not solidified. The game is going to start that way... Again, it comes down to learning a lot of offense and practicing it at the tempo you need to practice in...It’s hard for the big guys to get up to speed.”
Babers said this in light of redshirt freshman Carlos Vettorello being named the starting right tackle for week one ahead of South Alabama transfer Ryan Alexander. He had touched on the fact in the preseason that we will likely see a couple more iterations of the front five before it’s officially set in stone.
“(DeVito) is going to have the ball, and the guy who has the ball has a lot of say in what’s going to happen whether it’s positive or negative. When you have people like Airon Servais, Evan Adams, Moe Neal — Moe Neal is like a quarterback on the football field. He knows the offense inside and out.”
Babers highlights that the success of the 2019 team is not entirely on first-year starter Tommy DeVito’s shoulders. Rather, the experienced nucleus around him in that offense has to be prepared to weather whatever storm he’ll face alongside him.
Here’s a full video of his remarks: