Every year, Athlon Sports grabs quotes from around every conference to evaluate teams “anonymously.” While coaches are still pretty positive and constructive overall, the ability to comment without your name attached does lead to more honest assessments than they’d provide in public.
Syracuse.com’s Chris Carlson ran down the list of quotes that Athlon published this year. But we wanted to dig even further — by trying to guess which ACC coaches said what about the Syracuse Orange this year.
Below, we provide the quotes, and the most likely owners for each:
“Dino (Babers) has made it fun to play there. He has given that program a little edge. I can’t think of a person in our league who wasn’t happy when they beat Clemson, other than Clemson. It’s the reward, the end result, we all crave. When you get that and see that and feel that, it’s hard to describe the emotions.”
Would think this is from a coach of a team in the same basic tier of the ACC we’re in, and one that’s pulled a reasonable upset of their own in recent years.
Steve Addazio is the most likely, having been at helm for some big BC wins since he arrived (Florida State, USC). NC State’s upset over Louisville last year was pretty big, so maybe Dave Doeren? Pat Narduzzi, who’s also upset Clemson, is another possibility.
”This is the perfect example of what the right system with the right players can do. They play fast, they spread you out and they’re aggressive on offense. If you can do it, if it’s taught correctly, you can change everything. You can go from a stale program with no juice to a program that young kids see as hip or an up and comer. Believe it or not, a lot of young people would rather blaze their own trail.”
You can attribute this to a coach that probably plays (or has played) aggressively on offense in the past, as well as one that heads an up-and-coming program himself.
That probably narrows it to Narduzzi (Pitt’s offense was great two years ago), Doeren, Larry Fedora (UNC) and Dave Clawson (Wake Forest). Perhaps Bronco Mendenhall (Virginia) too, just because he’s not at a traditional power. Don’t think David Cutcliffe (Duke) would use the word “hip.” Bobby Petrino hates Dino’s offensive style, so he’s out.
“I don’t think Eric Dungey is the same quarterback if he’s not in this offense. The system is a perfect fit for him. Get the ball, get it out quickly and make good decisions. Dino is from that Baylor coaching tree, and we’ve all seen what those quarterbacks do in that system. Dungey is a senior now, and he has seen just about everything. He’s going to have a special season.”
Damn Baylor mention... But in general, pretty positive outlook on Dungey, though does ignore how good he looked even in Tim Lester’s former terrible offensive scheme.
You’ll hear few quarterbacks in the league with more positive feedback on Dungey than Dabo Swinney, and since Syracuse did beat his team last year, I’d bet he’s behind this quote.
“Covering on defense has been a real problem for them. They’re experienced back there, but struggle. They play that Tampa 2 zone-based coverage, and I’m not sure that’s going to work in this league. That system is based on the ability of linebackers to get drops and support coverage. They’re not that good at linebacker, either. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see them play a little bit more man coverage this fall. Or at least mix more into it.”
This seems like a defensive-minded coach, and also one that’s coached against us in the last two seasons. Doeren fits the bill since his teams have carved us up a bit in recent years — plus he knows our personnel this year, so he’s already looking ahead (making it a team on this year’s slate). Same goes for Narduzzi, who was at the helm for this amazing fiasco a couple Novembers ago, and faces us every year because the ACC wants us and Pitt to be a thing and we’re never going to be.
Think I’m off on any of these? Feel free to make your own guesses below.