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Syracuse football looks for 4-0 start against Army

Garrett Shrader (left) and LeQuint Allen (right) celebrate Shrader scored a touchdown against Purdue.
Garrett Shrader (left) and LeQuint Allen (right) celebrate Shrader scored a touchdown against Purdue.

Syracuse football (3-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) takes on Army (2-1, Independent) at noon on Saturday. The Orange and Black Knights are set to face off for the first time since 1996, when SU triumphed by a score of 42-17.

Head coach Dino Babers’ squad has won each of its previous contests by double digits. The Orange, which hold a 11-10 all time record against the Black Knights, look to start off 4-0 for the second straight season.

Conversely, Army aims to win its third straight contest after dropping the season opener to Louisiana-Monroe by a mark of 17-13. Head Coach Jeff Monken’s team has won its last two games against Delaware State and UTSA by a combined 65 points.

"I'm talking about a team that is very capable of beating us,” said Babers. “The way they play the game and the way their head coach coaches the game -- I tip my hat to them. I have a lot of respect for them."

SU has won its last three matchups against Army, beating the Black Knights by a combined 40 points in that span. The Orange have also won seven of the last eight in the series. Following a 27-year interruption in the series, Babers showed elation to play Army ahead of Saturday’s game.

"It's a prideful thing," said Babers. "I told the guys, 'Hey, these guys are different.' They're out there protecting us, and we need to give them the respect they deserve. One of the things they would want us to do is play the best game that we can play.

Aside from facing a hot team, Babers expects Army to bring a slew of its own fans to the Dome. The Black Knights are one of just two other FBS programs in the state of New York.

“They may have more fans than us. So, we may be in our own place and our offense can’t hear what’s going on third down.”

On the opposite side of the football, Coach Monken holds confidence that his team can hold its own with the Orange.

"Our guys want to line up and run around and knock people off the ball," said Monken. "We've got to play a different style of game -- and that's running the football, controlling the clock, and limiting possessions. That's always been our philosophy here."

Syracuse can improve to 4-0 when it takes on Army inside the J.M.A. Wireless Dome on Saturday at noon. WAER’s coverage begins at 11:30 with McClurg Remodeling Countdown to Kickoff.