Syracuse football’s season ended in disappointment over the weekend with a loss to Pitt. Now that we’re officially in the offseason, we up with Syracuse great Brendan Carney on this week’s The Juice on the Cuse Podcast, presented by SNY.tv.
Though Syracuse has only had one winning season in six years under Dino Babers, athletic director John Wildhack announced on Monday that Babers will return for a seventh season.
“Bringing him back is probably the right move,” Carney said. “I really believe we are on the cusp of becoming a seven or eight win team.”
The Orange was certainly close, losing three straight games by 3 points, and losing by 10 to former Big East rival Rutgers. Had a few plays gone SU’s way, the Orange could be looking at an 8 win season and a bowl berth.
That progress, coming off a disastrous 1-10 season, warranted at least another season for Babers.
“I think we need to look at the entire picture of where the program stands today,” Carney said. “I’ve said this in the past, but I believe that turning this program around was a six-year deal. I was proud of the guys. I thought they played hard for each other all year.”
I also chatted with Carney about a variety of other topics, including his thoughts on what Syracuse will need from its new assistant coaches. The Orange needs to replace its offensive coordinator, defensive line and tight ends coaches, and will likely add a special teams coordinator that was missing this season.
He also discussed SU’s struggles on special teams, especially in the punting game. Punter James Williams struggled with what appeared to be an undisclosed injury, and walk-on Ian Hawkins started at the end of the year.
Carney, a three-time All-Big East punter and captain of the Orange in his senior season (2006), believes that Williams and the entire special teams unit is in for a big improvement in 2022.
Afterward, editor in chief Brad Bierman calls in to discuss Syracuse’s big double-overtime win over Indiana in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.