As we countdown to kickoff in September, The Juice Online is going to analyze some of the biggest story lines for the 2016 football team. Today’s question: How long will it take Dino Babers’ new spread offense to take flight at Syracuse?
There’s a scene in Remember the Titans when Denzel Washington’s character, Herman Boone, explains his offense.
“I run six plays, split veer,” Boone says. “It’s like Novocaine. Just give it time, it always works.”
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers directly referenced that scene during Syracuse’s football media day on Friday in a plea to fans.
The wins might not come in the first or second seasons, but they will come, he promised.
“It’s a proven product,” Babers said. “Don’t be quick to judge. I know this is the Google era where everybody wants the answer right now.”
Okay, so Syracuse fans may not get immediate grafication. But how long will they have to wait?
Babers has been quoted as saying the offense takes approximately one and a half seasons to truly take hold.
Some of that has to do with the players getting used to the tempo of the offense. Another factor includes recruiting speedy players that fit directly into the system.
“This is our third-go around putting this thing in. We know how to put this system in,” Babers said. “If you give us what we ask for, you’re going to have a great opportunity to be successful.”
It seems logical that Babers’ system is well-suited to the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome. The controlled environment means that weather will never be a factor when the Orange airs it out.
And yet Syracuse has never attempted this kind of experiment, instead running offenses that relied predominantly on a quarterback lining up under center, and handing off to a burly running back.
It takes time to transition away from that into a lightening quick attack that runs more than 80 players per game. Just how long it takes remains the question.
Optimistically, it could happen as early as this season.
“One of the things I don’t do is put a ceiling on how high we can go or put walls on where we can expand,” Babers said. “No ceilings. No walls. Let’s just go in and put our time in and see what happens.”