After a disappointing first season under head coach Dino Babers, the Syracuse Orange are looking to get the once-proud football program back on track.
With Fall camp underway, the 2017 season has officially begun for the Syracuse Orange football team. Coming off a less than stellar (4-8) record last year, the Orange know that they have lots of work to do before they’re back to respectability.
Head coach Dino Babers addressed reporters before the start of camp and touched on a number of topics. They included the injuries that decimated the club’s chances to contend last season and the importance of staying healthy.
“I thought one of our biggest issues last year was that we didn’t get the chance, or opportunity, to play with people for a long period of time,” Babers remarked. “…the bottom line is we weren’t able to keep the same group of guys on the field for a long period of time. We need to be lucky in that department. We’re not deep, but we’re good.”
One of the players who missed time last season was starting quarterback Eric Dungey. The sophomore was well on his way to cracking the 3,000 passing yards mark before he suffered season-ending head-and-shoulder injuries against Clemson. At one point, there was concern that those injuries would be career ending. Thankfully, they weren’t.
“He [Dungey] said something to the effect that he’s never had the exact same offense two years in a row since high school. …When you looked at him at times last year, he looked uneasy at times. Now there’s a peace about him. He can foresee some things that are going to happen.”
Dungey echoed Babers’ sentiments when he stepped to the podium.
“I’m excited. I cannot wait. We’re going into camp knowing everything, doing the install right now. You kind of learn so much more, pick up on the little things that you sort of bypassed last year. It’s been great. I’m looking forward to learning the offense again.”
Staying under center, there’s a buzz surrounding freshman signal-caller Tommy DeVito, one of the top QB recruits in the country and the future at the position for the Orange. That said, senior Zack Mahoney will once again serve as Dungey’s primary backup.
A pair of graduate transfer cornerbacks—Devin Butler (Notre Dame) and Jordan Martin (University of Toledo)—also arrive at ‘Cuse with big expectations. They’ll join a crowded, talented secondary that includes redshirt juniors Juwan Dowels and Cordell Hudson along with redshirt sophomore Christopher Frederick.
While the Orange are set to play one of the hardest schedules in all the land, there’s reason for optimism surrounding this year’s team. Stay right here for all things Syracuse football as the regular season prepares to kickoff.