- Aug 26, 2011
The season's first edition of the AmeriCU Dino Babers Show is set to air at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, live from Heritage Hill Brewery.
Coach Babers’s show this year show will be Thursday nights at 7PM except when the game is not on a Saturday. This year it will be 90 minutes, with the first hour being with Dino and the last half hour being with a ‘special guest’, who in the past just got a couple minutes at the end of the show.
The show originates from Heritage Hill Brewery in Jamesville:
3149 Sweet Rd · 3149 Sweet Rd, Jamesville, NY 13078
You can also listen to the show live each week on the Syracuse IMG Sports Network and Cuse.com. Wednesday's show will be on 99.1 FM and 97.7 FM, as well. The show will regularly air on 99.5FM (Syracuse) 99.1 FM (Utica) and 1200 AM.”
You can also get it on: Listen to Free Radio Online | Free Internet Radio | TuneIn
There hasn’t been any change in the phone numbers, which last year were 315-424-8599 (local) or 1-888-746-2873. You can call to ask questions or submit them via Twitter at: https://twitter.com/CuseIMG
#AskDino or through Cuse.com, (the SU Athletic website):
Submit a Question! - Syracuse University Athletics
You can (or could last year, anyway), listen to a podcast of the show, probably the next day, at: Search results for babers | Free Internet Radio | TuneIn
My Question(s) or Comments
First segment question:
“Coach, you’ve given us an exciting team to root for, one that’s strong on both offense and defense. Maximus would say “Are you not entertained?” Critics have to find something else to complain about and punting is boring, so they have focused on your in-game decisions – when they don’t work.
A focal point has been your decision to take the holding penalty at the end of the half against Wake Forest. You’ve already explained your thinking on that one. Could you explain the defense you used on the subsequent 3rd and 23 play? It looked like a three-man rush with one guy to spy on the quarterback behind them and the other 7 defenders were all beyond the sticks, which made it an easy completion.”
Second segment question:
“Coach, we’ve got a great 1-2 punch in the running game with Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader. Ben Schwartzwalder would have loved their two-man game, which resembles his old ‘sissors’ play, which involved the quarterback faking to one back and handing off to another who hits the other side of the line.
On short yardage we are often in the shotgun formation, which means the hand-off would take place 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Isn’t it better to be under center and get going forward immediately? With those two, we’d be hard to stop.”
(I sometimes re-arrange the comments so that statements made on the same subject are reported together, even if they came at different points of the show.)
Matt noted that Syracuse fans have seen three straight games decided on the final play. “What sticks out to you?” Dino: “Opportunities…for players and coaches and for the other team….Happenings that swung the game. We went for two and didn’t get it. I didn’t want a two-point lead with their kicker. As it turns out we could have kicked it and won by one point.” Matt: 99 of 100 coaches would have gone for it. the big question: “When is it too early to go for two?” DB: That’s a huge can of worms you just opened up. There’s a magical analytical two-point chart everybody follows even though nobody knows who made it up.”
(Apparently, it’s Dick Vermiel, if this is the right chart: Two Point Conversion Chart
Doug Marrone had one, too: What's Doug Marrone's 2-point chart like? Don't ask the players
538 has one that seems more advanced: When To Go For 2, For Real
This one has a graph you can try to read:
The art of the 2 point conversion: When and why to go for it )
“I follow Homer Smith. The chart is a wonderful thing but it doesn’t apply to the whole game. I don’t follow that chart until the fourth quarter.” Matt: “Is it a safety/comfort thing?” Dino: “If you always listen to the media and the fans you’ll be sitting next to them. But you’ve got to leave room for a guy feeling. Do I want to go overtime with hits team? When Eastern Illinois beat San Diego State in overtime I decided to go for two after the second touchdown. The refs reminded me that I didn’t need to yet. I asked them ‘Are you tired?’
Matt suggested that the longer a game goes, the more likely the better team was to win. Was that why Dino decided to go for two after Tucker scored?” DB: “We have as many athletes as they have but that play by Sean moved me. The kids were going for one after a massive celebration. They reacted as young people do. So did I, even though I’m old.” He said that he coached in the game that changed the overtime rule such that after the third overtime, a team must try for two – 11/2/96 California beat Arizona 56-55 after the game was tied 21-21 in regulation. “They have now changed that mandate to after the second overtime.” (Why have extra points in overtime at all?)
I called in my first question. Dino: The linebacker- I won’t say his name or number – was supposed to be at the chains, right in front of the receiver. He should have bene 2-3 yards shallower. We did have a three-man rush with a spy, but he got more time than I thought he would. It was a little unique to have all those defenders watching where the ball was thrown. Anyway, it led to quite a finish.” (I’m sure from watching the film that linebacker in question was Geoff Cantin-Arku #31)
John in Baltimore praised the creative play-calling we showed in this game. He wants to know if we can get the ball to Damien Alford more, especially on deep passes. He also asked why we didn’t use time outs on defense when it was first and goal for Wake Forest with 2:40 left. Dino: “They can also use those time-outs to score on you. I want control of the ability to stop the clock. With time-outs, you can use unusual plays. You can use the middle of the field. Sean Tucker can split a defense expecting a pass in two. We could get 30 yards….As to Damien, he’s young and continues to grow. I don’t know how much he can help us this year. There are certain things he can do. In a year he’ll have full knowledge of the entire offense and then you could really see something.”
Mike from Stamford gave Dino “a lot of credit. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and you have to make tough decisions, like the one about Taj. But you stand by your decisions.” Then he asked why the players were not ready to try for the two-point conversion. Dino: “I’ve bene through this but when Sean caught that ball and ran right through their safety it electrified the fans and everybody. That run put him in a different category. I think in visual pictures. If he’s going to play like that let’s end this thing now. I had a lot of stuff to do really quickly I’ve got to inform our staff, rally the troops and get the play call in. And we only missed it by two seconds! If it had bene a normal run we would have kicked it and got it done. But Sean’s run was not ‘normal’.”
They discussed the use of time-outs further. “In the first half I have no issues. If I don’t like a defense for our play, I’ll call a time out. In the second half, I’ll keep it and take a delay of game. Time-outs are to be used They are a get-out-of-jail-free card. Their value changes from the first half to the second half. In the first half, there’s so much more football to be paid.”
They got around to talking about Clemson. Matt: “the notion that they are terrible is laughable. This is the first time they haven’t bene ranked in the top three, (since Dino’s faced them). Dino: “They have 11 guys on offense with 44 or more stars and 11 more on defense. You could lie down and have a lot of stars to look at. We might have the North Star. They’ve had 10 days to prepare for us and we’ve had 5 to compare to them. But we have an advantage, too. Their quarterback has never been in the Dome. The crowd can cut their communications on offense. In 2017 the noise level was deafening.” Matt said that this year’s student section has been the most ‘vibrant’ he’s seen since he’s been doing the games. Dino: “We need them to get crazy and own it. I’ve seen the impact on defense.”
He also offered to meet the student who, on that occasion grabbed him by the head and ‘mussed’ his hair in the post-game celebrations in the parking lot. He was kidding but it’s quite an achievement to rub Dino’s hair.
They discussed how physical the games had bene: In 2016 Dungey went out on the first play. In 2017 We knocked Bryant out of the game and in 2018 Lawrence. Brice came in and fed the ball to Travis Etienne on that final drive. (This year we’ve got a guy like that.) This year we’ve got to deal with DJ Ulagalelei and an outstanding linebacker in James Salski.
Matt brought on Nick Monroe, who has been with Dino since the Bowling Green. He coaches our safeties and rovers, (AKA nickel backs). Matt said that Clemson “will have 6-4, 6-5 cats running down the field and we don’t have defensive backs that size. Nick said that that “makes every person’s role more critical. We’ve got to eliminate the chunk plays and when you get the chance to hit them legal, take advent age of it.” He said that his unit, other than Eric Coley, is “really young and there’s been some injuries”. But they’ve got some leaders including Garrett Williams, “who is watching film right now.” Matt said that we’ve got a situation where current players are modeling themselves after the guys who were here when they came and being models for the players who came after them. Nick: “It starts with culture.” Then the music began playing.
Then Gomez came on for the last half hour. He asked about the practices this week. DB: “We had to put that game to bed. Clemson ahs 3 losses in the last 6 years.” (I assume that’s in conference.) They have the most athletes, the most coaches and the most quality control.” (Dino’s annual pitch for a larger staff.) Gomez pointed out that Clemson’s two losses were in overtime and on the road to a ranked team, (currently the #1 ranked team.) the point spread is our biggest of the year, 14-15 points.
Gomez noted that Dino had seen the Wake Forest kicker kicking 58 yarders in the warm-ups and that impacted his decision making. DB: “Watching young men on tape all week is not the same as watching them in person, moving through space. You get to see their receivers, defensive backs and linebackers – can we really match up with them? Are we going to have to get five flat stones from the riverbed?” (A reference to David preparing for Goliath.) “Josh Black says he’s bigger than DJ. I told him to prove it by tackling him.” (Josh is listed at 6-3 290, DJ 6-4 250) Gomez described meeting Larry Csonka, his boyhood hero, for the first time and being amazed at how big he was. Dino said that he met Larry, Floyd Little, who is being honored Friday, and Tom Coughlin, our mid 60’s backfield, (with Rick Cassata), and marveled that they were bigger than the backs he had now. (Larry was 6-3 237, Floyd 5-10 196, Tom 6-0 195.)
Gomez asked if you can tell what position a player should play be seeing their parents. Dino: “Makes sense…but no. The gene pool is strong. They may look like their mother or their father. But Kalen Ellis’ Dad is a big guy. Don’t get him and at you.” Gomez asked how they did parent’s weekend at Hawaii, which was so far away from where many of the players came from. Dino said that his mother, who would not fly, say him play twice and saw him coach three times: in the Rose Bowl, the Holiday Bowl and when EIU played at San Diego State.
I called in again but now had two questions: 2A – Could we have gone for two even after the ball was moved back to the 8? Doesn’t that actually make a pass play easier? 2B – My planed question about the use of the shotgun on short yardage. Dino actually answered them in their original order and said the first one “was one of the best questions ever. You’re right – some plays are better from the 8 than the 3. The only difference is that every defensive coordinator knows that Shrader and Tucker can run the ball. At the 8 they take off all the run defense and load the secondary. We could run it from the 8 but I don’t want to not make it and be the Da Da coach on the radio the next week…Shotgun teams believe that if you run the shotgun for 8-0 snaps there’s no reason to put the quarterback under center when bad things might happen. I don’t believe that. We’ve scored on shotgun plays and also on I-formation scissor-type plays. When the quarterback is under center, there’s one more tackler to run to the ball. In the shotgun, someone has to look at the quarterback. Even Tommy DeVito can out-run most defensive ends is they take a step inside.”
Gomez said “There’s a lot of analytics to look at on 3rd and 13.” Dino: “there’s a lot of religions out there. I follow Homer Smith. He was spot on. I’ll hang my hat with him and as he goes, I go.” Maybe we should all read his book before criticizing Dino:
I decided to send for it.
Gomez asked about Shrader getting as many as 32 carries in a game, (actually 29). Dino: “A bunch where passes where he just took off. We didn’t decide to run him 32 times.”
Gomez asked about allegations that Penn State faked injuries in the Iowa game. “Injuries are not something to question. You shouldn’t be able to come back into the game on the same possession.
Jerry Rice’s name came up. Dino: “Everybody thought he was a bust as a freshman.” I think he meant rookie. Jerry Rice Stats | Pro-Football-Reference.com
“The college ball is fatter in the middle for the option game. The pro ball is thinner for passing. Also the college ball had white stipes on the tip and the pros don’t. Sometimes receivers have trouble getting used to that.