Syracuse Football: Expect a 15-round heavyweight fight, Dino Babers says

Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The word from SU Athletics is that there could be more than 45,000 tickets sold when No. 18 Syracuse football welcomes top-15 N.C. State to the Hill this Saturday afternoon.

With a win over the higher-ranked Wolfpack (5-1), the Orange would move to 6-0 and achieve bowl eligibility.

But knocking off N.C. State will prove a huge challenge for the ‘Cuse, and Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers says that he expects a closely fought, physical contest to transpire on Saturday.

“This is 15 rounds. Heavyweight,” Babers said, according to a cuse.com press release. “There’s going to be some slugging. There’ll be some shots. You’re going to get hit hard and how you handle that is going to affect the game. That’s for everyone that’s out there on the football field. It’ll be a physical contest.”

Syracuse football has a big-time bout on its hands with N.C. State.

The Wolfpack has endured two tough games in a row. First, N.C. State fell by 10 points at top-five Clemson. Then, this past Saturday, the Wolfpack secured a home defeat of Florida State by two points.

For the Orange, it won easily over Wagner, 59-0, in week five, and then the ‘Cuse had a bye week in week six, which was much needed to provide the team with an opportunity to recharge and work on some things.

Plus, as well as Syracuse football has played so far in the 2022 stanza, the roster has gotten banged up. Babers confirmed earlier this week that defensive lineman Denis Jaquez Jr. is out for the remainder of the current term, according to Emily Leiker of Syracuse.com.

Jaquez is the fifth Orange player to unfortunately go down with a season-ending injury, joining fellow defensive lineman Terry Lockett, linebacker Stefon Thompson, fullback/tight end Chris Elmore and wide receiver Isaiah Jones.

My fingers are crossed that Syracuse football can avoid further injuries to its roster when the ‘Cuse faces the Wolfpack in what Babers is characterizing will be a bruising, physical affair.

The size of the crowds at Orange home games to date in 2022 has been a hot-button topic among some ‘Cuse fans. I would imagine that the Dome crowd this Saturday will be the largest so far this term, given that both teams are ranked inside the top 20.

According to an article from James Finneral of 247Sports, Babers is hoping for at least 44,000 fans (#OnBrand) at the Dome versus the Wolfpack.

Said Babers: “44,000 and above is the number I’m looking for. That’s when it’s loud.”

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