Liberty has stormed out to a 4-0 start and is the road favorites facing Syracuse, which will be their first game facing a team from a major conference.
The Flames have torched their last two opponents winning by a combined score of 68-14. The team has one of the best rushing offenses in the nation and their D has been lights out in their last two games. Liberty is undefeated but unranked and that could change if they can beat Syracuse in their house.
Syracuse is coming off a loss and only 1-3 but they have faced two ranked teams. They are coming off a loss to a Duke team that came into the game 0-4 where they gave up 38 points. The Orange were lit up on the ground in that game giving up a ton of rushing yards, which is a major concern facing Liberty, who ranks seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game.
All four of the Flames wins this season have been at home.
Defense Shines AgainAfter beating North Alabama 28-7 Liberty’s defense came up big again in their last game where they beat ULM 40-7.
They outgained the Warhawks 400 yards to 198 yards and forced three turnovers. The Flames rushed for 180 yards in the game and in their last two games have rushed for 430 yards.
Malik Willis passed for 177 yards with no TD and an INT in the win over ULM and only completed 39.7% of his passes. However, he also led the Flames in rushing yards with 87 averaging 6.7 yards per carry with a TD and four players had at least 22 rushing yards. Willis ranks second on the team in rushing yards (340) and Joshua Mack(359 rushing yards), who had rushed for at least 100 yards in the first three games, only rushed for 22 yards averaging a paltry 3.1 yards per carry in the win over ULM.
A Little Defense HelpsIn Syracuse’s 38-24 loss to Duke in their last game, their defense forgot to show up giving up 645 yards. They lost by 14 points, but the game was not that close and what saved the Orange from a blowout is they forced four turnovers and did not commit one. Their first four games were all in the ACC and the team is 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.
In the loss to Duke, Tommy DeVito was 13/26 for 255 yards with two TD and no INT and all four of his TD’s on the season have come in his last two games. Taj Harris was his lead target in the game with 238 receiving yards and while Sean Tucker rushed for 54 yards the Orange only rushed for 28 yards with DeVito -19 in rushing yards. Tucker rushed for 112 in the game before the loss to Duke, which was Syracuse’s only win, and his play will be key in this game moving he chains off the ground to help keep the Orange D off the field.
The Syracuse Orange are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight-up loss
- 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home
The Liberty Flames are:
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win