Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Babers' Keys to Success This Season

Story and photo by: Ashley Burroughs

SYRACUSE, NYMany would think that January was the start of the new year but according to Syracuse Head Football Coach Dino Babers, July 30th is the start of 2017, it is of course, the start of football season. 

The Orange started its first day of camp today and will continue throughout August. 

Syracuse finished 4-8 last season and Babers’ main focus is for the defense to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks to create opportunities for the offense. 

Babers, who enters his second year as head coach, was forced to make adjustments last season because lack of availability of players due to injuries.

Unfortunately, the Orange have already lost two top linemen prior to camp. Redshirt junior guard, Aaron Roberts, suffered a season ending knee injury and junior left tackle Steven Clark transferred.

Syracuse does not have much depth to its roster, but Babers says the Orange needs to be lucky when it comes to staying healthy. “We are good on the top and if we can keep some of those good players around for a long period of time, it’s going to give us a better opportunity,” Babers said. 

He also says that the Orange will need quarterback Eric Dungey to be the voice and leader on the field. “I want him to be able to anticipate a call before he even comes into the game," Babers said.

Dungey says he has a new mindset after playing only nine games, before suffering an injury at the Clemson game, last season.

“I just have to be smart, take what’s given to me and not take unnecessary hits,” Dungey said.

This is the first time Dungey is going into the season knowing and understanding the offensive schemes.

He says he is excited about this upcoming season and just wants to put in work that will reflect a winning record.

Senior linebacker, Zaire Franklin, also returns for the Orange and says the experience of linebackers, Jonathan Thomas and Parris Bennett will help the chemistry on the defensive end of the field.

“It’s always fun when you are playing and have your two closest friends right next to you. Me, JT, and Parris have been playing together since we got here,” Franklin said.

The Orange opens its season against Central Connecticut State on September 1st at the Carrier Dome.

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