Orange Watch: Ready to put your money where your mouth is for Syracuse football?

Soph. quarterback Eric Dungey has spent a lot of time studying his new Dino Babers-inspired playbook with spring practice underway
Soph. quarterback Eric Dungey has spent a lot of time studying his new Dino Babers-inspired playbook with spring practice underway

Item: The University sent out a reminder email this week that 2016 Orange football season tickets are now on sale. The information highlighting Dino Babers first season directing not your grandfather’s or father’s Syracuse football of coaches, “Ben”, “Mac” or “P”, but rather the unveiling of watching a game “that’s faster than you’ve ever seen on turf,” according to its architect, and with prices as low as $16.50/game for six home games, the bargains are still aplenty to help achieve another Babers goal, to fill the Dome and make it loud.

With four spring practice sessions already completed, as the Orange wasted no time getting the Babers era underway by becoming the first ACC school to begin its formal off season workouts, it’s still way too early to make any determination about how all of the players are fitting into the new schemes on both sides of the ball, with various players sitting out with injuries and the new class of recruits a couple of months away from joining the program.

But that hasn’t detoured Babers from implementing his master coaching plan which highlights technique and teaching, and during the allotted 14 spring practices spread out over parts of three months will limit full contact hitting to the two planned scrimmages, the first of which is Saturday at the Ensley Athletic Center.

» Related: Weekend visit puts Syracuse on the map for 2017 linebacker Dan Damico

“We’re kind of like the NFL style (limited contact in practice),” Babers said following a workout this week. “We don’t hit that much, we save our hits for the games, and we save our hits for the scrimmages. The three times that we’ll really, really get after it will be the three Saturdays (scrimmages and the spring game). Outside of that, it’s very few and far between (that there will be full contact.)”

The final full contact before summer will, of course, occur in the spring game set for April 2 at the Dome, the annual event which also provides current and prospective season ticketholders the opportunity to go seat shopping for the regular season.

With the second-lowest price ticket option for a Power 5 conference team (behind Illinois), as inexpensive as the head-shaking $99 season ticket for six home games (Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, South Florida and Colgate), Orange fans will be greeted and pitched enthusiastically at the spring game about getting on board with the Babers program, of which the coach admitted this week has been unveiled “in parts and pieces” ever so deliberately to the players so that they are not overwhelmed.

“I thought they gave good effort,” was Babers typically understated response after getting his first glimpse of letting the players get into formations and run plays this week. “It’s hard to see what people are going to do naturally until they really feel comfortable and they know what they’re doing. We’re still learning, (we’ll) get a chance to see them on Saturday (closed scrimmage).”

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth 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.