Teams: Syracuse Orange (2-1, 0-0) vs. Liberty Flames (3-0, N/A)
Day & Time: Friday, September 24, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Liberty opened as a -7 favorite, while the odds currently float at -6.
TV/Streaming: ACC Network, WatchESPN
Liberty Blog: A Sea of Red
Rivalry: 1-1 Tied
Current Streak: 1, Liberty
First Meeting: 2019 marked the first time the two programs faced each other. The Orange defense shined with two forced fumbles and two interceptions. SU also held the Flames to minus-four rushing yards and held Liberty scoreless as the Orange scored three rushing touchdowns en route to a 24-0 win.
Last Meeting: Syracuse got shredded on the ground. Shedro Louis had 172 yards on 10 carries while Peytton Pickett added 120 yards on 23 carries. That’s all Liberty needed to win 38-21 over the Orange in the Carrier Dome last year.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Dino Babers (sixth year, 26-37) | Liberty - Hugh Freeze (third year, 21-6)
Coach Bio: Freeze started his D1 head coaching career at Arkansas State, where he was the offensive coordinator for one season in 2010 prior to taking the job. In 2011, he led the Red Wolves to a 10-2 record and a Sun Belt title, which gave Freeze the opportunity to head up Ole Miss the following season. In five seasons with the Rebels, Freeze went 39-25 with a Sugar Bowl win in 2015, but 27 of those wins were stripped from his record due to recruiting violations.
Freeze was also forced out of Ole Miss in 2017 after he reportedly made calls to a female escort service and was forced out by Ole Miss administration. Freeze returned to coaching in 2019 as Liberty’s first head coach eligible for bowl selection after the program’s transition from the FCS.
Last Year: Liberty went 10-1 last season, the only loss being a 15-14 defeat to NC State. The Flames made a bowl for the second year in a row, beating No. 12 Coastal Carolina 37-34 in overtime.
Last Game: Liberty didn’t need to try too hard to take down Old Dominion last week. The Flames outgained the Monarchs by over 200 yards in a 45-17 win.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Malik Willis has developed his passing game nicely, making him a hot NFL draft prospect. Some sites believe he’ll be one of the first two quarterbacks taken. The quarterback didn’t have his best game against Syracuse, but he didn’t need to with his running backs torching the Orange last year.
If Syracuse Wins: Never remix a classic
If Syracuse Loses:
Fun Fact: Sean Tucker had his first 100 rushing yard game of his career against Liberty last year.