It hasn’t been an ideal start to the Dino Babers Era of Syracuse football. After dismissing Colgate, Syracuse got run over by Louisville and South Florida at the Carrier Dome and the optimism that was building before the season began has all but evaporated. So, after two ugly loses, is it time to hit the panic button?
There answer is no. Not yet, at least. There were always going to be growing pains with a new coach and, even more importantly, a new system. Babers has not had the chance to install his players on either side of the ball. Yet, there have still been flashes of what this team could and might be.
The Orange got off to a flying start against the Bulls of USF last week, jumping out to a 17 point, first quarter lead. The offense was marching down the field and putting up points and the defense was holding a very capable quarterback in Quinton Flowers. Then, the wheels fell off and it was like deja vu of the week before.
Syracuse has a chance to right the ship on Saturday against a relatively weak opponent. UConn may be 2-1, but they are hardly a dangerous opponent. They are coming off of a 13-10 win over the struggling Virginia Cavaliers. This game is a chance for the defense to start figuring out this “bend don’t breal” Tampa-2 defense. The Orange have been doing a heck of a lot of bending but even more breaking in the early stages of this season.
UConn is a team that wins low-scoring games. The exact opposite style that Babers and the Syracuse Orange play. This game is exactly what the Orange need. With that said, Syracuse may lose this game and that doesn’t necessarily mean all is lost. However, if UConn looks like the USF or Louisville offense on Saturday, it may be time to start worrying about this team.
The Orange are going to score points. It comes down to how good this defense can be against a poor offensive team. If you are looking for a reason to panic, wait until after the UConn game. If it gets ugly, panic away Orange Nation.