Babers On Facing Liberty: It Really Has Me Concerned

Dino Babers explained why Syracuse's season-opener against Liberty is a trap game

The DA Show
August 20, 2019 - 12:38 pm
Dino Babers Syracuse

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No. 22 Syracuse will play a fairly tough opponent in its third game of the season. That would be Clemson, which has won a national title in two of the last three seasons.

But Syracuse head coach Dino Babers isn’t worried about Clemson just yet. No, he’s got his hands full with Liberty in the season-opener, which, by the way, is on the road.

“It’s really got me concerned,” Babers said on The DA Show. “Hugh Freeze does a fantastic job. Liberty is making the jump up to Division I. They’ve got a lot of players that are transferring back there. Obviously we don’t have any tape with the turnover of Turner Gill and Hugh Freeze replacing him. It’s a trap game. It’s really, really dangerous. I’m not getting much sleep over that at night.”

If Syracuse gets past Liberty in the Aug. 31 opener – and Maryland on Sept. 7 – it sets the stage for a Week 3 clash against Clemson. Syracuse/Clemson has become arguably the best rivalry in the ACC. 

Syracuse beat Clemson, 27-24, at the Carrier Dome in October 2017 and almost beat the Tigers in Death Valley last September. Syracuse led 16-7 at halftime and 23-13 in the fourth quarter. Clemson, however, came back to win, 27-23.

“It really tells the fans and the community and the university what we’re capable of doing when we’re all working together,” Babers said. “Clemson is a fantastic football team. Obviously based off of what happened last year, they don’t lose very often. They’re well-coached, they have fantastic athletes, and they run really complicated schemes. But if you stay together and you don’t care who gets the credit, every once in a while David gets to slay Goliath.”

Babers, 58, enters his fourth season at Syracuse. He went 4-8 in each of this first two seasons but 10-3 in 2018. It was the program’s most wins since 2001.

“I just think this is a special place,” Babers said. “It’s always had a history of being fantastic on the gridiron. I don’t see why we can’t bridge that path to what’s going on in the present so we can have a fantastic future.”