With an critical upcoming matchup against the Louisville Cardinals, Syracuse Orange coach Dino Babers discussed the state of his quarterback, the next few games, and what it will take for SU to make a bowl game.
Dungey is almost ready
After missing last weekend’s matchup against Wake Forest, junior quarterback Eric Dungey is on the path to play again. Leading the team in rushing and passing, he is the heart, mind, and soul of the offense. With only five days before the matchup against the Cardinals, Babers needs to see more before making a decision.
“From what his body looked like to what it came to on game day, I think he made drastic improvement,” Babers said. “We just need a little bit more for him to be able to defend himself."
If Dungey is unable to play, it will most likely be senior quarterbacks Zack Mahoney who will take snaps. If his number is called again, hopefully Mahoney can bounce back from a disappointing second half last Saturday. He did finish with 384 yards and three touchdowns on 55 percent passing, however.
Syracuse needs to create its own momentum
Now 4-6, with only two games remaining to reach automatic bowl eligibility, the Orange’s hopes for the season are hanging by a thread. After blowing a 17 point lead to Wake Forest, the overall outlook is bleak for the Orange.
“I tried to say you need to take one game at a time,” Babers said. “Now, here we are in November and we better take them one game at a time... We need to create our own momentum for Louisville.”
Winless on the road this season, the Orange need to take advantage of their final away game this season on Saturday. Facing the former Heisman winner in Lamar Jackson, the defense will be forced to stand tall. As well, the offense may have to score more than the 43 points they scored this weekend.
Dino has praise for Devin Butler (the receiver)
Entering the season, there were really only two known receiving targets in seniors Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips. Early on, it appeared as though sophomore Sean Riley appeared to be the third option, but drops and route running became issues. Eventually, sophomore Devin C. Butler took on this role.
“He’s been doing a nice job getting involved,” Dino Babers said. “I saw that their defensive backs were playing short and we threw the first one to Devin Butler.”
Last game, against Wake Forest, he totaled five receptions for 49 yards. Since the loss to N.C. State, he has caught a ball in every game, including a seven reception game against Pitt in October. Hopefully, with the stakes higher than ever, he will continue his growth into the third receiving option for the Orange.