The Syracuse Orange have one more game inside the JMA Dome this season. It’s a primetime clash with one of their soon-to-be-annual-foes, the Florida State Seminoles. Before Saturday’s 8pm kickoff, Head Coach Dino Babers and his squad touched on their recent play:
Coach Babers had a shorter conference than normal this week, without any injury updates. Here’s what he did reveal:
- On Carlos Del Rio-Wilson struggling in his first start: “Everybody else is responsible for making his job easier, and as a unit we did not play well.
- Reiterated that Sean Tucker was targeted, either on a run or pass, in about 1⁄3 of the offensive plays on Saturday. Usage shouldn’t be a concern.
- Said that run defense was “not that bad” and the main problem was the defense’s bad 3rd down percentage.
- On his 5-18 record in November as SU’s HC: Injuries are usually a concern by this point in the season, but “We’ve got to figure out a way to win with the guys that we have.”
- On depleted defense still creating turnovers: “I think it’s a testament to Coach White and the defensive staff.”
- “We’ve got four games left: three games and a bowl. And I’m gonna be patient and let this season finish.”
Carlos Del Rio-Wilson
- “I’d say my performance was mediocre (on Saturday)... so this week, I’m gonna focus on just making sure I stay calm in the pocket.” Added that he was “a little too ready to make a play” instead of looking underneath. Sounds like CDRW knows he’ll get the start again against Florida State.
- “Anytime I got one-on-one, I trust my receivers to go get the ball. I’m gonna give them a chance.”
- Said his early connection with D’Marcus Adams is because they worked a lot with each other over the summer when most of the other players weren’t present.
- “Before the game, I was just putting a lot of pressure on myself, telling myself ‘I got to do great.’” With his first start out of the way, Carlos feels he can let “things come to him” now instead.
- Said that Coach Beck is “actually a person outside of football,” and he’s “not just gonna look at you as a robot player.”
- “It hasn’t been a fall-off” playing with Isaiah Johnson as the other CB. Jeremiah Wilson has also stepped up while rotating in.
- On getting prepared for a full-time starting role next season: “I’m just getting my early access... I definitely prepared to be a leader in the room next year.”
- “The Loud House is always a big advantage. We’re the top place to play at in the country.”
- On Senior Day: “I’m just trying to send all the guys out the right way.”
- On Ja’Had Carter: “He’s making the plays that he’s always supposed to make.
- On getting increased playing time recently: “I’ve been praying for this all my life.”
- On people stepping up: “We expect everybody to be ready and on the same page.”
- Said defense made causing turnovers a big focus because of how quickly they can change the momentum in a game.
- Praised Tony White for making him a better person, both on and off the field.
- Leaders like Garrett Williams and Mikel Jones have been very open and give lots of feedback on what they see from the younger guys.
- On playing for the seniors and other departing players: “You just got to put it all out on the line for those guys.”
- The team still believe that they can go 3-0 to close out the regular season.
- “Coming in as a young kid having (Andre) Cisco, Trill (Williams), all those guys... now I’m one of those guys that’s got to show the ropes to the young guys.”
- On the defense growing as a unit: “Over the years, we matured, we got smarter, we got better and we learned the defense better... it’s just coming together”
- Playing FSU, a school from his home state that did not offer him a scholarship, is extra motivation this week.
- Will enjoy pregame on Saturday, but once he puts the helmet on “like a mask,” it’s strictly business.
- The Seminoles’ greatest strength is their speed.
- Mikel is still confident in this group: “We’re finishing how we started.”