first_imgNo. 13 Syracuse squares off with No. 3 Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The game will mark the first time Syracuse participates in a top-15 matchup since the 1997 Fiesta Bowl. Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said he doesn’t see Saturday as one of the biggest games since Syracuse was last ranked in 2001. “To me, this is like a freebie, we’re 4-0 in the second part of our season,” Babers said.  “We have a nonconference opponent we’re playing and it doesn’t affect our conference standing, but it does affect our overall record. So I look at this one a little bit differently.” Saturday’s game, a home game for Notre Dame, will take place at Yankee Stadium rather than Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish made the decision this past offseason to move this game as part of its Shamrock Series, which aims to have “home away from home games” for Notre Dame. In the past, the series has traveled to cities such as Boston, Chicago and San Diego. At Monday’s press conference, Babers referred to his only game coaching football in a baseball park. In 2006 as a member of the UCLA staff, Babers coached in the Emerald Bowl against Florida State in AT&T Park. During the game, both teams were forced to share one sideline as a result of the park’s unconventional dimensions. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“If you get two really good teams that are motivated, they’ll really play anywhere,” Babers said. “So as long as it’s not concrete and it’s grass. I’m OK. I think the team will be alright.” While Babers has only played in a ballpark once, Syracuse has played eight times in Yankee Stadium dating back to 1923. In those games, the Orange are 7-1, including a 14-7 win over Notre Dame in 1963. During the Shamrock Series, Notre Dame has played in two baseball stadiums, collecting wins at Fenway Park in 2015 and Yankee Stadium in 2010. This year the Irish defense, headed by former Syracuse assistant Clark Lea, ranks 15th nationally in points per game, allowing 18.7 points per game. The offense sits at 30th in the country, scoring 34.5 points per game. “They’re really, really long and they have a really, really good scheme,” Babers said. “So it’s the main reason why I’m sure that a lot of teams had a lot of difficulty scoring points on those guys … So you’ve got to kind of find a way to see if you can get it into the second half and get into the third and fourth quarter and make it a tight game. I think they’ve been playing really loose, but they’ve had leads and comfortable leads.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44last_img

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