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Dino Babers: ‘(Eric) Dungey is the straw that stirs our drink’

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The Syracuse coach talked to the media today as he preps for the game against Bye Week.

Notre Dame v Syracuse Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Talking to the media on Wednsesday, Syracuse Orange head coach Dino Babers discussed recruiting, Florida State, Eric Dungey, and injury. After facing two top ten teams in a row, the Orange have a week off before shipping out to Tallahassee.

Eric Dungey is so important for the team

Junior quarterback Eric Dungey has sacrificed his body for the betterment of the team. Limping and struggling to get up after almost every play near the end of the matchup with Miami this past weekend, Dungey has tried to lead his team to victory even through any situation.

Dino Babers, Syracuse head coach, said “He is our emotional leader on our football team on the offensive side of the ball... It probably starts with Dungey...Dungey is just so unselfish. You can just tell by the way he plays that all he cares about is winning.”

Though he’s no longer on a record-setting pace for passing yards or touchdowns, he’s still in the midst of a historic season for SU. Describing the QB’s importance, Babers later added: “Well, there's no doubt that Dungey is the straw that stirs our drink. He is our emotional leader on our football team on the offensive side of the ball.”

(Ed. note: Anyone else picturing Dungey in “Cocktail” now?)

Injured defensive lineman have not started running yet

In not so positive news, Kendall Coleman and Josh Black have not begun practicing yet. With a bye week in place, they have a good amount of time to recover.

“They haven't done any running. You're asking me if they're running on the side, and the answer is no,” Babers said. “There may be an opportunity where they can get 10, 15, 20, or 25 plays. Even by doing that, lessening the load on the other guys that are playing, that could make us and our defense better.”

Just by getting Coleman and Black out on the field for a limited amount of time will do wonders for this defense. During the Central Michigan game, Coleman especially, was dominant. He consistently stuffed the run game and forced their struggling pass offense to keep trying the Orange defense through the air. Yet, that was the last full game that Coleman has played since injury. Hopefully, by Florida State these two can recover fully and play even a partial role on the defense.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting always begins near the home

With questions surrounding the recruiting tactics of Babers circulating, the head coach discussed their tactics when trying to bring New York-based players to Syracuse.

“I really want to recruit people from the state of New York to have an opportunity to play in the Carrier Dome, someone that the fans can get behind and rally, gets fans in there, they actually get to watch him play,” he said.

“We always start in the state of New York. We're always looking for the best players in the state of New York that we think are capable of playing on our team. From that point on, we start spiral graphing out trying to find the best players across the country.”

While Babers and the recruiting staff have done a decent job finding players outside of New York, especially in the DMV and Florida, their initial intent is to bring in quality players from New York. With recruiting season only a few months away, perhaps this tactic will be used to bring in more talent to the Orange.