I’ll be the first person to call out Dino Babers for the bad things he has done. I said after the UNC loss that it was time to move on from the eighth-year head coach and I still think that’s the case. But, what Babers and the coaching staff did against Pitt yesterday was so incredible that credit must be given.
Carlos Del Rio Wilson struggled mightily against Boston College last week. It was so bad, and he got hurt towards the end of the game so trotting CRDW onto the field felt like an automatic loss. Luke MacPhail the backup behind Del Rio Wilson has never attempted a pass in his collegiate career, and the health around Garrett Shrader was still up in the air.
Shrader came out on to the field to warm up and got the start. But it was obvious from the jump that QB1 wasn’t healthy. So the Orange played a style of football reminiscent of the 1923 team that was honored. Syracuse completed four passes for 17 yards. Garrett Shrader was the leading receiver. Tight end, and former Michigan quarterback, Dan Villari was the teams leading rusher with 17 carries for 154 yards.
The offense was uncharacteristic and just silly at times. QB1 did a backflip in the middle of the play for a reason that is still unknown. But I will say that backflip was impressive.
But backflips or no backflips, the scheme from Dino Babers and Jason Beck was perfect. The two knew that they couldn’t send Luke MacPhail on to the field and try to run a perfect offense. They had to get creative and that’s exactly what SU did. Pitt has one of the worst rushing defenses in the ACC and in the country so the ‘Cuse took advantage of it. Now, is this offense reliable? Probably not. But the Orange have to win just one more game to reach bowl eligibility for the second straight year. Dino Babers has never made back to back bowl games.