The Syracuse Orange open their 2021 campaign on the road against a difficult Ohio Bobcats team. Head Coach Dino Babers began his opening press conference yesterday praising recently retired Bobcats head coach and legend Frank Solich as a walking book of knowledge, and wishing good luck to his successor Tim Albin “but not this week.”
The biggest takeaways from Babers’ weekly coach speak session were around the offensive line and quarterback competition. Tommy DeVito was named starting quarterback in the first depth chart released yesterday, and Babers was asked about the young QB’s improvement.
Babers said QB Tommy DeVito got better during fall camp. “I think the big thing is just his pocket presence, knowing where people are.” Also said getting rid of the ball quickly.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) August 30, 2021
Anyone who watched ‘Cuse last season or the year before has seen DeVito’s struggles in these two areas. At times, this seemed to be because of poor footwork, but as of late it seemed to be comfort with the offense and his offensive line. It seems like Babers is more confident in the QB’s ability to diagnose the defense, and the offensive line improving should help.
Speaking of o-line, Dakota Davis remains out along with defensive lineman McKinley Williams. The head coach was cagey with more information on the offensive side of line, beyond that freshman Kalan Ellis has done well to become a key reserve. Ellis was listed a reserve guard in the depth chart, and is a true freshman from Hawaii.
From the outside, it seems as if the Orange are in a somewhat stable place before taking on a tough Ohio opponent. The line is mostly healthy, the quarterback situation has played itself out, and the Orange staff seem optimistic about the young players who need to take a step forward this year. We’ll see if Babers is in the same mood next week after Saturday night’s matchup.