Ranking the Trap Games for Syracuse Football

How Syracuse navigates a schedule that includes multiple trap games will make or break the season

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Syracuse wide receiver Taj Harris (80) celebrates a touchdown against Wagner. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

There was a time when any talk of trap games on Syracuse’s schedule would certainly have revolved around what home game Jim Boeheim’s hoopsters would drop despite having no business losing.

Football trap games? Surely you jest!

That was then, this is now.

Syracuse football stands at the precipice of a revival thanks to the man at the helm. He goes by the name of Babers. Dino Babers (read that in James Bond voice).

And after a 10-3 breakout campaign, Babers and the Orange are no longer the ACC cellar dwellers that other teams plan to get their backups some extra snaps. College GameDay is even being predicted to make its Syracuse debut.

Now, Babers and Syracuse have gone from the hunters to the hunted. And with those expectations, trap games are sure to abound.

At Liberty 8/31:

Syracuse starts off with a road game for the second straight season. Liberty is led by former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze. And what better way to repair his reputation than to knock off the Orange. Syracuse’s talent disparity should be enough to avoid a catastrophic start to the season. Trap Game Rank: 4/10

At Maryland 9/7:

Two weeks, two road games. A visit to College Park brings with it a step up in competition. Though, the tougher opponent that day might be the temptation to look ahead to the following week. You smell that? Smells like a trap game. Trap Game Rank: 8/10

Clemson 9/14:

The Tigers will be a heavy favorite heading into this contest. We all know how Clemson fared the last time they visited the Carrier Dome.

Both teams will be focused, especially Clemson, given how tough Syracuse has played them. Make no mistake; it’s not revenge the Tigers are after. It’s the reckoning. Trap Game Rank: 0.0!!!

» Related: Syracuse football isn’t afraid of anyone in 2019

Western Michigan 9/21:

Slay the giant at home and Syracuse will be feeling their oats when old friend Tim Lester comes calling. Get drubbed by Clemson, and the Orange’s confidence might take the bigger beating. Did someone say trap game? Trap Game Rank: 7/10

Holy Cross 9/28:

OK, perhaps Syracuse takes a series or two to get the offense in gear. But can Holy Cross actually beat the Orange? Fuhgeddaboudit! Trap Game Rank: Not Happenin’!

At NC State 10/10:

Despite losing Ryan Finley to graduation after what seemed like seven seasons, the Wolfpack will probably use the 51 points that Syracuse hung on them in last year’s Dome track meet as extra motivation. And Raleigh is no walk in the park. Disclaimer: If Syracuse enters the game undefeated, now we’re talkin’ trap game. Trap Game Rank: 2/10

Pitt 10/18:

After dropping last year’s nail-biter at Clemson, the Orange might’ve read a few too many press clippings. Syracuse showed up at Pitt a week later looking like a team that was pretty satisfied with themselves. No way Dino lets them overlook the Panthers this year. Trap Game Rank: 3/10

At Florida State 10/26:

Despite the Seminoles recording a decisive Dumpster Fire Electoral College win last year, Syracuse – and Tommy DeVito – used that victory to show other teams that they had a chance to be pretty good. FSU probably hasn’t forgotten the short end of 30-7. Trap Game Rank: 2/10

Boston College 11/2

What to make of Seven Win Steve and his collection of #Dudes? AJ Dillon will be a beast, assuming he’s healthy. And Anthony Brown is sure to be better.

But the Eagles lost a lot on defense. And this one is for regional recruiting stakes. Though, a win at Florida State the week before might have Syracuse looking past BC. Trap Game Rank: 5/10

At Duke 11/16:

“You know, we have a bunch of really good kids who just love the college experience and who truly are student-athletes. Blah, blah, blah. Eye roll, eye roll, eye roll.”

Oops, wrong sport. Sorry, the mere mention of Duke brings out a certain level of phoniness that only Dick Vitale truly believes, and only John Calipari can closely replicate. Still, Daniel Jones is on the Giants and this is a road game. Trap Game Rank: 6/10

At Louisville 11/23:

If Louisville makes this a game, something terrible has probably gone wrong with Syracuse’s season. This win should be finger-lickin’ good! Trap Game Rank: 2/10

Wake Forest 11/30:

If the season unfolds as the prognosticators think, Syracuse will be playing for a very good bowl slot and probably a ninth win. Wake should be able to score points in bunches this year, but no way guys like Alton Robinson, Kendall Coleman, and Moe Neal lose on Senior Day. Trap Game Rank: 4/10

Dino Babers once asked Syracuse fans for belief without evidence. Avoiding trap game losses will provide more evidence that Babers is the right man for the job. But fans should already believe that.

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About Steve Auger 96 Articles
Steve Auger is a freelance writer whose work has covered a variety of topics including sports, pets, parenting, healthy living, local government and human interest stories. His work has been published on Care.com, Tom’s of Maine, Purina’s Petcentric.com and the Westford Patch. Steve’s been a diehard Syracuse sports fan for over 25 years. To this day, the words “Smart takes the shot” still make him cringe. Follow him on Twitter @Corner_Cube.