There was a moment during spring practice that quarterback Eric Dungey and head coach Dino Babers were seen sharing a laugh.
That laugh wouldn’t have happened last year. At this time in 2016, Dungey was still feeling out the new coaching staff, including his new head coach.
A year later, Dungey has hit a comfort level in his second season in Babers’ uptempo offense, and the humor and trust has come with it.
“Last year, I was a little nervous around him,” Dungey said during spring practice. “But this year, I was joking with him. But at the same time, he still means business.”
Babers said when he arrived at Syracuse that it takes approximately a season and a half for players to truly understand the intricacies of his offense. But once the offense finally grasps it, it’s bad news for other teams.
That would put Syracuse about six games away from truly realizing its potential. That timeline has not been lost on Dungey, now a junior.
“I’m looking forward to working on it, and when everyone’s on the same page, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Dungey said. “There’s so much more that we can do.”
But the hardest part seems to be behind Dungey and his offense.
“Last year, there were some nerves coming into it because it’s a new offense,” Dungey said. “But it’s the second year in this, so I’m excited to get out there and work with the guys.”
Inside slant: Dungey was named to the 2017 Athlon Sports Preseason All-ACC Third Team, a nod to his ability to grasp and execute Babers’ offense. So long as Dungey stays healthy, he should rack up some gaudy numbers this season. That’s a big if—more sliding and less hurdling would help.
- Birthdate: June 1996
- Hometown: Lake Oswego, Ore.
- High School: Lakeridge
- Position: Quarterback
- Class: Junior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 221 lbs
Career highlights: As a sophomore, Dungey completed 230-of-355 passes, including 15 touchdowns. Dungey ranked sixth nationally in completions per game (25.6), 12th in passing yards per game (297.7) and 13th in completion percentage (64.8).
Jim Stechschulte contributed to this report.