Syracuse is coming off a frustrating week 2 loss to former Big East rival Rutgers on Saturday, and social media in the Orange universe was not friendly toward head coach Dino Babers.
We chatted about Babers’ job security, and the offense’s struggles with CuseNation.com‘s Stephen Bailey in this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv.
“I don’t think it’s like he might get fired during the season hot,” Bailey said, when asked about the temperature of Babers’ hot seat. “I don’t think it’s a situation where we’re looking out to see if Dino is going to get fired.”
That said, Syracuse’s offense needs to improve if Babers wants to coach beyond this season.
In what specific areas?
Said Bailey: “Basically, everything.”
It starts with the quarterback play. Both Tommy DeVito and Garrett Shrader have struggled developing chemistry with their wide receivers. SU is averaging just 145.5 yards through the air through two games, good for 114th in the NCAA.
Last year, Syracuse’s offense relied on choice routes, which requires the quarterback and wide receiver to read coverages in the same way. This year, that’s been replaced by concept passing, where a receiver runs a set route.
While the quarterback knows exactly where the receiver is going, it’s also easier to defend against.
“That,” Bailey said, “needs to be sorted out.”
Syracuse has also been without one of its best interior linemen, Dakota Davis, who is expected to be back as early as Saturday’s matchup against Albany. Davis’ return would be a huge boost for the Orange offense, which struggled to open running lanes for Sean Tucker against the Scarlet Knights.
“It’s huge,” Bailey said. “He’s their best interior lineman.”
Bailey also pointed out it’s only the second week of the season, and with several winnable games ahead on SU’s schedule, the furor may die down if the Orange can reel off a few wins.
“To me, it’s a wait and see situation,” Bailey said. “Syracuse still has a chance to win 5-6 games this year if they play well.”
Afterward, editor in chief Brad Bierman calls in to preview Syracuse’s Week 3 matchup with Albany.