Football

3 things Dino Babers said on the ACC coaches teleconference in Week 4

Jessica Sheldon | Photo Editor

Dino Babers thinks that UConn's defense will be harder to crack than USF's was.

Syracuse (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) is coming off a 45-20 loss to South Florida. On Saturday, it’ll travel for its first road game of the season against Connecticut (2-1, 0-1 American Athletic) at 1 p.m. The Huskies are coming off a 13-10 win over Virginia.

Here’s what SU head coach Dino Babers said on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.

UConn’s defense is stronger than USF’s

Syracuse had patches of success last week against the Bulls’ defense, moving the ball at will in the first quarter and finding success running the ball for the first time all season.

Babers is pleased that his team finally ran the ball well but is also concerned about the Huskies strong defensive unit.

“I was happy for (running back) Dontae (Strickland) … I was also happy for the football team and the offensive line to kind of get that monkey off their back,” Babers said

“But I really think that Connecticut’s defense is going to be a lot stronger than South Florida’s, they’ve got some stouter people in there … I really think this defense is something to be reckoned with and we’re going to have our hands full.”

UConn is giving up just 19.7 points per game. USF’s defense averages 19 points allowed.

The four-wide receiver sets SU ran against the Bulls was a game-specific plan

Against USF on Saturday, the Orange ran a lot more four wide receiver sets than they had in previous games. It would either be trips to one side with Amba Etta-Tawo by himself on the other side, or Etta-Tawo and Steve Ishmael on the outside on each side with Ervin Philips and Brisly Estime inside next to each one.

Running those four wide receivers (usually accompanied by a running back) meant SU played without a tight end. Babers chalked most of that up to the opponent the Orange was playing.

“That was a USF type of game plan,” Babers said. “It’s not that we won’t do that (in the future), it’s just that we tried to obviously break down the defense, look at their personnel look at our personnel and try and find a set that’s the most explosive set that we can operate from.

Babers doesn’t care how many plays the team runs if they don’t score points.

By this point it’s already known that the Orange’s offense will get off a lot of plays. On Saturday against the Bulls, Syracuse tied the ACC single-game record for most plays with 105.

But those 105 plays only turned into 20 points, and Babers isn’t interested in how many plays the team runs if it isn’t scoring.

“It’s really cute that we ran that many plays,” Babers said. “But it’s not really cute that we scored that many points.”

Syracuse is currently 23rd in the country with 505.7 yards per game, but is just 84th with 27 points per game.

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