The Syracuse Orange (2-3), coming off of a frustrating 50-33 loss to Notre Dame (2-3), will look to rebound when they take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1) at BB&T Field this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
Syracuse coach Dino Babers discussed Syracuse’s recent play and how the potential chance for inclement weather on Saturday has affected the team’s preparation while appearing on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday morning.
Run Dungey Run
Prior to the start of the season, Babers knew he had a quarterback in Eric Dungey who liked to take off running if he saw an open lane. In just eight games last season, Dungey rushed 91 times for 351 yards and five touchdowns.
The problem? Babers also knew Dungey had to develop into more of a pocket passer and be smarter running the football, after the sophomore quarterback endured several big blows and ultimately had his freshman season cut short following his second concussion.
Despite a few scary hits – including a failed hurdle attempt and suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit after trying to slide against Notre Dame – Babers said he likes what he’s seen from Dungey, who has rushed for 116 yards and five touchdowns, so far.
“I think he’s been giving us exactly what we want,” Babers said. “I think he’s been relatively smart with it. I think he’s much better than he was last year, based off the tapes I’ve seen so far. And I think as he continues to grow, he’ll be better and better at it.”
The Defense’s Problems Isn’t Just On The Defense
Through five games this season, Syracuse’s defense ranks as one of the worst in college football. The Orange have allowed 504.2 yards per game, No. 122 in the nation, and 37.6 points per game, No. 122 in the nation.
Although the unit has posted some of the worst statistical numbers in the country, Babers said some of the fault lies on the offense for their frequently stalled drives. Syracuse punted nine times against Notre Dame last week, four of which were three-and-outs.
“Some of those yards, those aren’t the defense’s fault,” Babers said. “Some of those times it’s too many three-and-outs by the offense and giving those other teams too many opportunities to give and extra two, three, four drives versus our defense that affects those numbers.”
What’s The Weather Like Ollie?
The forecast for Saturday’s game, which is a home game for Wake Forest and being played in North Carolina, is not exactly a pretty sight thanks to the impending arrival of Hurricane Mathew, which is expected to hit the eastern coast at some point on Friday.
While Wake Forest officials say the game is unlikely to be cancelled, heavy winds, rain and potential flooding is a possibility. In order to prepare for the inclement weather, Babers said he has developed game plans for multiple weather outlooks and adjusted practice as a result.
“You’ve got to prepare for both situations if you’re going to really give your team a chance,” Babers said. “You’ve got to do the wet ball drills. You’ve got to prepare for wind. You’ve got to know if you can get the snap from shotgun or whether you have to go underneath the center. You’ve got to prepare for all of that stuff.”
What do you think of what Babers had to say? Leave a comment below.