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Syracuse football: Dino Babers’s Notre Dame week preview

The Orange will be Fighting the Irish to get back on track

Michael Ostrowski

This week is a first for the No. 16 Syracuse Orange this season - they’re looking to rebound after a close loss to Clemson. Before ‘Cuse welcomes Notre Dame to the Loud House on Saturday, Head Coach Dino Babers took the stage to relay some updates.

Change of Pace

For the first time this year, Dino beat us to the punch with his opening statement. It was over eight minutes long and covered virtually every topic of concern from Saturday’s game:

  • On the 25 second runoff before using his final timeout: “There was a mistake on our part. It’s been handled internally.... Based off of how we do things, I feel like it’s corrected, and that will not happen again.”
  • On Sean Tucker’s limited usage: “When it comes to Tucker having five carries, that’s something that should not happen. I agree with everyone else.”
  • On penalties: “Everybody’s entitled to a mistake. We’re trying to make it so we don’t make constant mistakes.”
  • Dino compared Elijah Fuentes-Cundiff’s hit on Clemson QB Cade Klubnik to a situation from last year. During their game against FSU, the Orange defense failed to force their quarterback out of bounds, and he picked up yardage that eventually led to them winning the game. “We use a new technique, what we call ‘escorting’ their quarterback out of bounds... We were not going to allow him to cut back inside of us and do the same thing that happened to us last year.”
  • Babers didn’t argue the penalty call but questioned why a flag wasn’t thrown when Garrett Shrader was hit a similar way. He also said that he submitted both plays to the league for an official explanation. Former NFL QB Mike Glennon seems to feel the same:

Finally, Dino did not offer any injury updates.

“We Win Together. We Lose Together”

For all the faults of Saturday’s loss, the Mob showed up yet again with a phenomenal performance. Getting four turnovers off one of the top teams in the nation is no small feat, one that the ‘Cuse head coach recognized.

“It was unbelievable,” Babers said. “You really wish it was a defensive performance that you could add a ‘W’ on.”

Dino also acknowledged one of the glaring problems on offense - the lack of a defined No. 2 receiver. Earlier in the year, Garrett Shrader was able to sling the ball around to just about every receiving target on the roster, but that’s devolved into more and more of a one-man show by Oronde Gadsden.

“I can’t wait for someone to develop into the 2nd receiver,” Babers said. “It’s something that is not given; it’s something that’s earned.”

He also gave the message that from now on, everyone in Syracuse, from the players to the fans and even the media, are in this together.

“Even though you may not have all been with us (to start the season), you guys are all with us now. And how we handle this, as a community, as a university, and as a football team is going to be the key to the end of this season.”

On that note, here’s everyone’s favorite mascot to remind you to keep things positive:

No Moral Victories

At this point, SU is completely focused on Notre Dame. “Our motto is ‘We want to be 1-0 (every week),’” Babers said.

Dino also said that this team is locked in after the close loss and ready to take advantage of another challenge - facing one of the biggest brands in college football.

“The culture of this team through seven games is different than the culture has been on any other team. They’re showing it in their record, and they’re showing it in how they play.”

“Coming Out Party”

That’s what Dino wants the game against Notre Dame to be for the Syracuse fanbase. We saw a rocking capacity crowd during the last home game against NC State - but this time, the Orange will be in front of a national audience on ABC.

“Hopefully the fans will come out and show them what our 12th man can do.”

General tickets have all been sold, with only a handful of student tickets remaining. SU has a chance for multiple sellouts in the same season for the first time since 1991.

The game kicks off at noon on Saturday.