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Dino Babers: Syracuse realizes ‘they have an opportunity to be good’

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The Orange coach shares some nuggets during this week’s ACC teleconference.

NCAA Football: Central Connecticut State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange football coach, Dino Babers, spoke to the media on Wednesday morning during the ACC Football Coaches Teleconference. He recapped injuries from last game, spoke about the upcoming matchup with former Syracuse coach (now Middle Tennessee defensive coordinator) Scott Shafer, and a variety of other topics

Antwan Cordy has “been at practice.”

Babers had little to say about his injured star safety. Yet, he was able to update the public that Cordy has attended practice recently. It is unknown whether that means he participated or simply watched. On Monday, Cordy tweeted a somewhat ambiguous series of prayer hand emojis.

The redshirt junior left Friday’s matchup against Central Connecticut State with a right leg injury after propelling himself into a tackle pile. He did return to the sidelines later carrying crutches and a boot. His status for Saturday is still unknown.

Jordan Martin should help alleviate the injury woes

After Cordy left Friday’s game, Toledo transfer Jordan Martin entered and performed “just ok” per Babers. He collected three tackles, all solo, and helped the defense cope with the loss of the upper class men leader.

Babers said, “I thought Jordan [Martin] came in and did a solid job, and if he's needed to play there again, hopefully he'll continue to get better and better.”

It is understandable for there to be a learning curve; Martin has only played one game in Orange. While Central Connecticut State may have not been the greatest test, it is encouraging at the least that he performed admirably.

NCAA Football: Central Connecticut State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse gaining swagger

When asked about what’s changed since the start of fall camp, Babers seemed to see a complete change in mindset (especially versus last year’s group):

“I think the biggest thing is there's a swag about them. I think there's a confidence about them. I think they realize they have an opportunity to be good. I don't think they believe that they're there yet, but if they continue to work hard and take care of their business on and off the football field, that this could be a special year. We have a chance for it to be a special year. Now we've got to go out there and we've got to do it.”

An opportunity to be good is better than a slim chance to be great, to paraphrase one of Dino’s big talking points. Given the schedule, we’ll take a good team.

No “cutting the grass,” but still time to impress Dad

On Monday, Babers said this weekend’s game was a chance for Syracuse players recruited by Scott Shafer to “show Dad they can cut the grass.” He doubles down on the Dad analogy two days later, but this time without any lawn mowing. On how players will deal with Shafer’s return:

“Well, you know, I think it's going to be one of those situations where, you know, those guys want to go out and prove themselves. Coach Shafer has recruited and coached most of the guys on this football team, and it's an opportunity for them to go out and kind of show their dad what they've grown up to be, what kind of men they've grown up to be, so it should be fun for him and for them I'd imagine.”