Following two straight embarrassing losses, Syracuse Orange (4-7, 2-5) head coach Dino Babers spent Monday discussing portios of the disappointing late season stretch by his team. The Orange have yet to qualify for a bowl game in either of his first two seasons -- a struggle foreign to him given the success teams had in year two at his most recent stops (Bowling Green and Eastern Illinois).
You already saw his reaction to the larger Syracuse community (and media) about the way we handled some success and resulting expectations this year. But his primary update elsewhere was around Eric Dungey.
Dungey has slim chances to play Saturday, but don’t consider his absence the sole reason for losing stretch
After missing out on the last two matchups, it does not appear that junior quarterback Eric Dungey will play this Saturday. Injuring himself against Florida State in October, he has not been able to appear back on the field since, as Syracuse has lost both matchups that he has missed.
“I would like to see if he could or he couldn’t [play], but I wouldn’t bet that he would.” Babers said. “I think that things happen for a reason. We’ll get an opportunity to play one more year with him and that’ll be fantastic.”
Who knows if Dungey’s presence would have changed either of the last two game’s outcomes. Of course, he doesn't play linebacker or safety so it definitely wouldn’t alter any defensive lapses, but his dual-threat capability may have given the Orange offense a needed boost, keeping the defense off the field and allowing them to rest. Yet, Babers does not place any blame on the quarterback’s absence for the defense’s shortcomings in the last two games.
“Eric not playing on offense doesn’t affect how the defense plays,” Babers said. “I don’t think one guy on one side can affect people on the other side.”
Still, with one year remaining, all eyes will be on Dungey next season as he looks to rebound from only playing nine games this season (and last season, and fewer the year before).