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Dino Babers: ‘(Eric Dungey) is going to have to take it easy’

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Entering the matchup with Wake Forest, Dino discussed his quarterback’s health among other things

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After two straight disappointing close losses in Florida against Miami and Florida State, the Syracuse Orange will return to the Carrier Dome this weekend to face Wake Forest. Needing at least a win to become bowl eligible (APR scores), SU football head coach Dino Babers’s team is facing serious pressure.

Dungey will play through the pain

After experiencing an unspecified (likely ankle) injury, junior quarterback Eric Dungey returned to the field to try and lead a possible comeback win. While he was not able to do so, he perhaps injured himself even more. Even still, Babers believes Dungey will be able to play this weekend.

“(Dungey) is going to have to take it easy," Babers said. "He's not going to be able to do all the work... We'll just practice the other guys. He'll be ready to go."

While it is admirable to watch him put his heart, body, mind, and soul for the sake of the team, at some point he simply needs to rest. In the end, his health is more important than a win (as tough a pill as that may be to swallow). The last thing we want is to see him injure himself more.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Devito is ready to play

Freshman quarterback, Tommy DeVito, was long expected to redshirt this season and be prepared to be the backup next year before becoming the starter in 2019. Yet, with Dungey’s current situation, there is a necessity for a backup plan. With senior backup Zack Mahoney not impressing in limited play time, there have been calls to burn the freeman’s redshirt.

“If we think (playing DeVito) gives us the best option to win based off all the situations, then yes,” Babers said. “We look at it as an opportunity for him to step up and help the family."

Even if Dungey is able to play this weekend and not injure himself more, it is a positive to note that there are four possible quarterbacks available. Redshirt freshman Rex Culpepper saw time in game one and could be tapped if need be too.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Lack of wins on the road

Perhaps the main issue with this iteration of Syracuse football is their inability to win on the road. After going 4-1 at home so far, they are currently 0-4 on the road. With all four losses being one score games, it is obvious that the Orange have had possibilities to win these games.

“We have not won on the road, but you need to look at where we’re playing and who we’re playing,” Babers said. “When you compare it to some other people in the league that have won road games I think our team is just fine so we’ve had some tough luck.”

Obviously Babers is referring to the very difficult slate of LSU, NC State, Miami and Florida State — no easy collection of road foes by any means.

Syracuse will have one more opportunity to win a road game on November 18 against Louisville. If they are not able to strike luck and defeat the Cardinals, it will mark over 13 months since their last win away from home (last year’s win over Boston College).