Orange Watch: ACC’s points allowed in bowl games bodes well for Syracuse, Dino Babers


Dino Babers has excitedly preached a fast-paced, no huddle offense for Orange football coming this fall

Item: The nine ACC football teams that recently completed their seasons in bowl games (with Clemson, of course, still having a game left to play next Monday night against Alabama for the CFP national title) went a combined 4-5, and in three of those games Virginia Tech (W), North Carolina (L), and N.C. State (L) gave up a combined 152 points. Throw in Pitt allowing 44 points (L), Duke 41(W-OT), and even Florida State’s ‘D’ victimized for 38 points in a loss to Houston, and you get the point(s). In 2015 Syracuse averaged 25 ppg in its 2-6 ACC season, bolstered in part by scoring 30 against lowly Wake Forest and 38 in three overtimes against Virginia. It’s safe to say that after leading Bowling Green to 43 ppg in the 13 games he coached this past season, Babers will be busy this winter cooking up schemes in his new Manley laboratory once recruiting dies down following the Feb. 3 NLOI signing day.

There’s no doubt that back on Dec. 7 during his introductory press conference, Dino Baber’s ‘psychic-like’ diversion for both those attending in person and watching the live stream was not only intended to fire up the audience members by having them close their eyes to visualize the scenario being painted by the new coach’s words, but was also the first indication of the type of out front, gregarious personality Babers displays in winning over his intended target by various means of communications – social media or more traditional.

Whether that’s a coaching candidate to join his just-announced new staff, a recruit to commit to join his new program, the media that ricochets his specifically targeted messages through its various platforms, or the other major constituents comprising the Orange Nation fan base.

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“You have an offense that will not huddle,” Babers proclaimed that December day to the faithful. “And you have a game that’s faster than you have ever seen on turf.”

Words that were instant magic to the ears of the aforementioned fan base, tired of wasting the Dome’s climate-controlled, flat track advantage to speed and tilted to allowing an offense to go at it by simply challenging the opponent to try and score more points, as opposed to the longtime more conservative-leaning approach on offense and rotating reliance on defense to win games.

Yes, Bowling Green’s offense struggled late and turned the ball over in the second half in its bowl game loss to unheralded Georgia Southern, but that was minus Babers’ direction for a 10 win team playing with an interim coach after winning the MAC title, and the B.G. defense gave up 58 points in the defeat.

We’re more impressed with the fact that the Falcons averaged nearly 38 points in three games against Power 5 conference teams this past season, going 2-1 against Tennessee (L), Maryland (W), and Purdue (W), and that’s the kind of offensive production that Babers looks to evolve and refine on a consistent basis against more stout ACC competition.

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Brad Bierman

About Brad Bierman

Now in his fifth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.
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