Syracuse Orange football coach Dino Babers spoke to the media on Monday. Among the big topics of discussion: SU’s defensive performance, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders’ “mysterious” cramping issues, and more...
“A lot of cramping” for Middle Tennessee
During Saturday’s game, the Blue Raiders consistently fell to the ground with either cramping or muscle issues at fairly convenient moments; either when the Syracuse offense was gaining momentum or was running up-tempo.
While he did not specifically outline certain moments, he did express his displeasure with the reoccurring incidents
“The dome must have been extremely hot. We had a lot of cramping issues going on at certain times of the game for the other team, which obviously slows us down quite a bit... I would love to keep track on how many plays those guys are out before they come back in. That would be an interesting stat... If those guys are tired or injured, then they need to come out of the game.”
Again, there is no definitive proof of any foul play here, but it is interesting to notice that even Babers was willing to comment on this issue.
A solid defensive performance
Nestled in the disappointment of the loss on Saturday, the defense, specifically the front seven, was on form. They held a fairly explosive offense to only 30 points, forced three turnovers in the first quarter, and made life difficult for Blue Raider quarterback Brent Stockstill.
Babers echoed this belief, citing their solid performance.
He said, “Our defense played extremley well. When you look at what they did in the first half with turnovers and things like that. Getting off the football field...I'll take that defensive performance for the next ten games.”
Perhaps a tad of coach speak, as he probably wants to raise the moral of a group that allowed three second half touchdowns. Yet still, the defense was not the problem on Saturday. If the front seven can perform that well for the rest of the season, the team will not be in awful shape.
After Saturday, there was much scrutiny placed on the defensive back unit. Especially in the second half, they struggled to stop long passes, allowing three passing touchdowns (two that were longer than 25 yards). Babers understands that the corners and safeties need to be more consistent if Syracuse wants to get back on the winning track.
“You had the deep ball... in the first game and you had another deep ball in the second game. You're just trying to limit that over the course of the season so it's a good acceptable number... It wasn’t a bad game by any stretch."
Hopefully, as the Orange face more challenging games later in the season, the defense will continue to improve.
Remembering September 11
In remembrance of this somber date, Babers recounted his memory of the day. At that time, he was the quarterbacks coach for Texas A&M. The head coach of the Aggies at that time, R.C. Slocum, pulled the coaches out of their offices to watch the events unfold.
The next day, the athletic office announced they wanted to commemorate the events.
“They sent out an email to all the season ticket holders on Wednesday [the day after 9/11] and asked what section they sat in to make the stadium come out red, white, and blue,” Babers said. “This was my first experience with true Aggie stuff. Every veteran coach said, ‘you watch this.’... On Saturday, it was red, white, and blue ...down to the T.... That is one of the things I remember about 9/11.”