Syracuse, New York. – Syracuse fell 4-1 that season with a 38-21 loss to Liberty on Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
Here are Nate Mink's instant takeaways.
The Liberty series has turned into a nightmare
Liberty players returned to the field with camera phones after the win and enjoyed their program's undoubtedly historic win.
Little could Syracuse know what it was getting into when it planned a three-game series with Liberty in early 2017.
Sporting director John Wildhack hailed the series as a chance to play an opponent who falls into Orange's recruiting range. It was also understood for another reason: to simplify the schedule and buy some profits.
This series has now become a nightmare.
The sports department, which has been criticized for playing a school that has been poorly known in recent years for largely non-footballing incidents, is now forced to write a big check to suffer a big loss.
Even the deal struck three years ago, a two-on-one game with two home games, isn't what SU signed up for because the coronavirus kept fans away from the Carrier Dome this year, reducing the amount of money it is brings at the gate.
There aren't many answers to offense or defense
Quarterback Rex Culpepper got rid of the ball quickly to keep the pace moving early in the game, but SU remains a beacon of inconsistency on offense.
The defense and specialty teams forced a couple of takeaways, but SU still gives up too many easy yards with little resistance.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of obvious answers to turn to on either side of the ball considering how much attrition has hit this roster and the staffing constraints on the players who are able to adapt.
"We have to see who we are," said coach Dino Babers earlier this week.
"If someone is out there and is not productive or has no experience, now is the time to cut the fat and find out what they can.
“You'd better get back to what they're doing. If you don't do, it doesn't matter what you do, and now we have to do. "
The games fly by
The length of the games this year is shorter than previous years and a quick look at the boxing results confirms that.
Syracuse and Liberty both completed a decent first half in less than 90 minutes on Saturday, and most games end a little over three hours after kick-off.
I suspect having no fans in the stands helps keep things moving. There are no in-game promotions or entertainment built into game day. There also seem to be fewer instant replay reports that could be due to fewer television cameras in the building due to Covid-19, or just a stroke of luck that the game on the field is undisputed.
More Syracuse Football:
They rate the orange after losing to Liberty
Box Score from Liberty-Syracuse
Syracuse Football Injury Report for Liberty: SU Gets Boost Walking Back, Linebacker
Will Dino Babers play a freshman quarterback against Liberty? (8 things to know)
Meet two newcomers from Syracuse who share the second QB role against Liberty
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