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Dino Babers on Eric Dungey: Still undergoing ‘tests’, will know more on Thursday

Who will start at quarterback for Syracuse on Saturday? It’s still anyone’s guess.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse coach Dino Babers, once again, elected not to shed more light on the health of starting quarterback Eric Dungey when addressing the media on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.

“We’re waiting for the tests to come back and that’s going to clear up basically what our opportunities with or without him are going to be,” Babers said.

Dunger was forced out of Saturday’s game against Clemson after suffering a hard hit to the head-and-neck area during the final minutes of the first quarter. The sophomore quarterback was taken into the locker room for an evaluation before returning to the sidelines and watching the remainder of the game in street clothes.

On Monday, Babers said Dungey is undergoing ‘testing’, but declined to elaborate what specifically those tests were, and whether or not Dungy is in the concussion protocol. Babers explained on Wednesday his reasoning for not disclosing that information is because he is worried about the potential legal ramifications if he does so. He did, however, say that more information will be provided on Thursday once the injury reports are released.

“Well I really didn’t say what the testing was for because I think I have some legal rights that I’ve got to make sure I don’t surrender in Eric’s situation,” Babers said. “He’s still under testing and we’ll make a release with the ACC Thursday night.”

Dungey reportedly practiced on Tuesday, but Babers refused to clarify in what capacity. If Dungey is unable to play, either junior Austin Wilson or sophomore Zack Mahoney will replace him in the starting lineup. The question, however, is who?

Prior to this week, Mahoney had previously been listed as Dungey’s backup on every two-man depth chart, and saw action against Colgate, Louisville, South Florida and Wake Forest. However, when Dungey went down against Clemson, it was Wilson – not Mahoney – who entered the game.

The surprising move to have Wilson leapfrog Mahoney and replace Dungey on Saturday, and his resulting disappointing performance, has lead to one of the most uninspiring backup quarterback controversies in recent memory.

The uncertainty surrounding the game’s most important position only intensified after Babers listed both Wilson and Mahoney as co-backups on this week’s depth chart, the first time he has chosen to do so.

Unfortunately, no clarity was given on Wednesday, as Babers, once again, refused to tip his hand on the breakdown of practice reps and who would start if Dungey is unable to play. Instead, Babers said no matter who is named the starter, the offensive system and style of play will remain the same.

“We run our system. We’re going to do the things that we do,” Babers said. “We think that Austin has certain skills that are very favorable. We think that Zack has certain skills that are very favorable.

“But the biggest thing is not trying to change your entire offense, you need to do what you’ve done all year long. And hopefully the players around you, around the quarterback position if Eric doesn’t play, plays better.”

If this is the case, it appears that Wilson has the slight end on Mahoney, since the general consensus has been Wilson is the superior passer and Babers’ offenses tend to pass the ball upwards of 40-50 times per game.


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