The rivalry between Syracuse and Rutgers was addressed immediately in the opening statements this morning at the weekly press conference by Dino Babers.
“I know this has been a rival game for the two universities for a long period of time and I know the community will be excited to be back in The Dome,” Babers said. “We can’t wait to have our 12th man back with us.”
The Dome will be allowing fans in for the first time since 2019. The pandemic placed an unexpected leave of absence on the fans for the 2020 season and Coach Babers is happy to have them back.
The Orange and Rutgers are both coming off of wins against their respective opponents. The Orange ran their way to victory over Ohio in a stunning fashion, with the final score being Syracuse 29 - Ohio 9. Rutgers routed Temple in which the score was one sided, Rutgers 61 - Temple 14. The matchup marks the first time the two teams will face off since 2012. In 2012, Rutgers beat the Orange 23 - 15.
This time around now that Coach Babers is at the helm, he will attempt to make up for the last time these two teams played. However, Babers knows this Rutgers team is a tough one.
“We understand that we have a BIG 10 opponent coming into our house and it's a big game and guys are trying to get healed up because it's going to be extremely physical.”
The skilled positions for Rutgers provided more than a spark last Saturday against Temple. The 61 points Rutgers gracefully put on Temple were rained on throughout the course of the game in various amounts of ways. The versatility of the offense to run and pass and the combination of the punt return and kick return game is what the Orange will have to contain this week.
“This is an explosive crew,” Babers said. “Their skill is really really good. This is a very very skilled unit. If they get out on us they're going to be hard to go get.”
Dino Babers understands the weight of this game and how important it is to stop Rutgers in their tracks. The skilled positions are an area of concern however with the depth provided by Syracuse in the secondary, the receivers for the Scarlet Knights have a matchup on their hands as well.
The Orange kick off in the Dome against Rutgers on Saturday, September 11, at 2p.m. To start the season off 2 - 0 would be a big step from last year and the Orange intend on doing so. However, with Rutgers coming into the Dome, a win won’t come easy. The atmosphere of the Dome and the rivalry should make for a classic.