Beat writers unanimously pick Syracuse to beat Liberty in season-opener

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 31, 2019 at 3:15 pm No. 22 Syracuse opens its season in Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Orange, who are ranked in the preseason AP Poll for the first time since 1998, haven’t lost a season-opener since 2013, but faced a scare last season in the fourth quarter when they ultimately defeated Western Michigan, 55-42.  Here’s who our beat writers predict will win on Saturday.Eric BlackExtinguishedSyracuse 41, Liberty 20In arguably its most anticipated season in decades, Syracuse opens its schedule in Lynchburg at the home of a team that has only been a member of the FBS for one year. I don’t think that sits well with the Orange, who, with expectations as high as they’ve been in recent memory, should blow the Flames out from the get-go. This will be a nice tune-up game for Tommy DeVito and SU’s revamped offense, which will feature a handful of new starters at skill positions. And while Liberty’s offense is its strong suit, if Syracuse’s defense plays up to its potential the way it often did during training camp scrimmages, this one may get ugly. Andrew GrahamBurn it downSyracuse 38, Liberty 13AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse opens its 2019 campaign with one of the easiest games on its schedule — save for perhaps Holy Cross and Western Michigan — and should, barring surprises, cruise to victory. Head coach Dino Babers has warned his team of the unknowns with the Flames but the fact remains that SU is more talented, familiar with their schemes and has an advantage at the line of scrimmage. LU might have flashes in new head coach Hugh Freeze’s potent scheme, but it should be Syracuse torching the Flames on Saturday night.Josh Schafer‘Cuse didn’t start the fireSyracuse 42 Liberty 14 There are countless unknowns entering the first game of a new season. Because of that, there’s a scenario where this game is close but that’s a little too far into the guessing game. The bottom line is this is Liberty’s first full season in the FBS and Syracuse is the No. 22 team in the country. With a deep running back group, Syracuse should move the football consistently on the ground if Tommy DeVito has any slip ups in his first start. The Orange’s pass defense should be a strong point this year and that’ll be no different in Saturday, even against a Hugh Freeze-orchestrated offense. And if Freeze is truly coaching from the press box, it only furthers questions on how well this Liberty offense can execute Freeze’s new system. Commentslast_img

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