Syracuse coach Dino Babers hasn’t exactly been one to mince his words when speaking with the media, so what did he have to say after the Orange fell 50-33 to the Notre Dame
Angry Momma Bears Fighting Irish on Saturday?
Let’s take a look.
On Going for it On Fourth Down
Dino Babers says media criticized him for being too aggressive on fourth down earlier (doesn't ring a bell for me). No commented on today.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 1, 2016
This is pretty interesting, considering the fact – after suffering through three seasons of the ultra-conservative Scott Shafer – the majority of the media and fans alike actually supported Babers’ philosophy of being aggressive on fourth downs.
Babers elected to punt eight times against Notre Dame and went for it on fourth down just twice, converting once.
On the Defense and Injuries
Syracuse coach Dino Babers said "there's always a concern" with defense, but notes inexperience and injuries.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 1, 2016
Dino Babers: "You're only as strong as your weakest link." Injuries really hampering SU with minor aspects of plays.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 1, 2016
Syracuse gave up 654 total yards of offense and 50 points to Notre Dame on Saturday – 41 of which we’re given up by the defense, other nine by special teams on a blocked extra point and kickoff return for a touchdown. In each of Syracuse’s three losses this season, they have given up at least 45 points (62 to Louisville, 45 to USF and 50 to Notre Dame).
While you want to support your players, even Babers notes “there’s always a concern” with Syracuse’s defense. Of course, season-ending injuries to Antwan Cordy and Juwan Dowels, and nagging injuries to several other key players, doesn’t help.
On Special Teams
Dino Babers says special teams has probably been the team's strongest unit this season. Not thrilled with their performance today.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 1, 2016
Let’s just ignore the second part of this quote since I don’t think even the parents of Syracuse’s special teams unit would be thrilled with their performance today. The surprising part regarding this quote is the first sentence. While Babers has been tough on the offense all season long, it is utterly shocking he would label Syracuse’s special teams as the Orange’s “strongest unit” over its record-breaking offense.
In case you need a refresher, kicker Cole Murphy is now 1-4 on his field goal attempts in his last two games, punter Sterling Hofrichter has shanked a number of punts this season and, after Saturday, Syracuse has now given up both a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown in just five games this season.
What do you think of Babers’ quotes? Leave a comment below.