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Dino Babers talks Chris Elmore and the struggling Syracuse run game

Babers joined the ACC teleconference before Saturday’s matchup against Central Michigan

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday morning, Syracuse Orange head football coach Dino Babers joined the ACC coaches teleconference to discuss the recent loss to Middle Tennessee, and the upcoming game against Central Michigan.

Safety Position looking solid

Babers praised the the replacements for Antwan Cordy, citing their versatility.

"I think we've got a lot of guys who can do different things well,” he said. “We're going to have to continue to rotate those guys and keep them fresh and see if those three guys together can find a way to replace the whole we have with Antwan being gone."

While it is highly unlikely that they can together replace everything Cordy did for the defense, they just need to be formidable enough to make up for his loss. Specifically, Jordan Martin has the most experience out of the lot. Expect him to take on the brunt of the load going forward at the position. Last weekend, the redshirt senior transfer from Toledo tallied five tackles.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It is on the refs to protect Eric Dungey from being hit after slides

While it is a positive that Dungey has finally decided to listen to Babers and start sliding before being hit, he was routinely the focus of late hits against Middle Tennessee. While not one was called, he is putting Dungey’s health in the hands of the refs.

"The referees are taught to protect those young men out there, and that's their job, and I'm not going to get caught up in whether they do or they don't," Babers said. "It's their job to protect them. It's in their hands. I can't control that."

Perhaps a bit nonchalant, there is truly nothing Syracuse can do to stop him from injuring himself if he continues to slide to avoid hits. At some point, the refs need to step in, throw the flag, and stop late hits from occurring. This may sound familiar to those that read John’s article yesterday.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Run game needs improvement

For the entirety of Baber’s tenure in New York, the Orange have never had a true run game. He recognized this lapse, stating that there is still room for development.

Babers said, “It is not where we want it to be. We are seeing some improvement. We need to have alot more."

Specifically, the newest experiment at creating a run game: Chris Elmore, was important on short yardage plays last weekend and Babers recognized his effort and will to win.

“Mentally, it's not too big for him. He can handle a lot on his plate and still be right on the football field. There are guys bigger, stronger, and faster. But he has a big heart and enjoys the physicality of the game. If you get guys who are smart and enjoy the physicality of the game with a big heart, you can normally find a spot for them on the football field.”

Long term, Elmore is not the lone solution at running back. Of course, the offensive line’s holes are no help, but Syracuse needs to find a fix before they face LSU, Clemson, and other elite defensive lines.

Unrelated, Babers confirmed that Josh Allen will have no restrictions on his transfer (even including ACC schools). This disputes an earlier story from Syracuse.com that said he would not be able to go to other schools in the conference.