The Dino Babers Show - before Louisville |

The Dino Babers Show - before Louisville


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011

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:

You can also listen to the show live each week on the Syracuse IMG Sports Network and 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:

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:
#AskDino or through, (the SU Athletic website):

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 (or theories)

Coach, I want to thank you for signing and sending back Coach Smith’s book on time management in football. I recycled an old envelope for the return and included $5 for postage and Coach sent both back with the book, using a brand-new envelope and paying the postage. Coach does everything first class. Now I can use the book to figure out why you did what you did, (I hope).

I’m going to go out on a limb. I normally avoid making predictions but I’ll make one for this year. Last year was the first year our football team, (which started in 1889), our men’s basketball team, (which dates back to 1900) and our men’s lacrosse team, (begun in 1916) all had losing records. I predict that all three teams will get back on the winning track. You’re up first, coach!

Coach, since we joined the ACC in 2013, we’ve got the worst conference record in football, 22-52. Clemson has the best, 66-8. Louisville, who joined in 2014, is exactly in the middle of the pack at 33-33. We’ve beaten each of them once. Clemson, in 9 games, has outscored us by 174 points and we’ve gotten withing 10 points of them in five of the 9 games, (including the win). Every one of our 8 games with Louisville has been decided by 22 points. Our best team in that stretch beat their worst. Overall they’ve outscored us by 185 points. Why do we have a harder time competing with Louisville than we do with Clemson and have the issues been addressed with this year’s team?

The Show
(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.)

As usual, the phone system was complete garbage and I had to call 6-7 time to get through, getting nothing, getting a busy signal, getting put on the tarmac and then cut off, getting on the show but they couldn’t hear me, etc. At one point the guy who answers the phones said “I’m teaching a new guy”. Good luck with that.

Matt opened the show saying “The hay’s in the barn and it’s time to get going”, meaning that the preparations for the season are done and it’s time play the games. Dino: “People say camp is a grind. I call it a find. It’s like the presents are under the tree and you get to unwrap them and see what you’ve got.”

Matt noted that there is no ‘exhibition’ game against an FCS team to open with this year. Instead it’s a conference opponent who has beaten us three years in a row. Dino: “it’s not going to make or break our year but I like the math at 1-0 better than if we are 0-1.” Matt asked who can be done to maximize performance in such an opening game. Dino wants the fans to make noise, noting that at Texas A&M, they even have ‘yell practices’. “

They talked about the excellent quarterbacks in the ACC and Matt recalled Dino saying a couple of years ago that by this year, the conference will be poised for a strong year because of all the young quarterbacks in the league who will have matured by then. “They are going to make the defenses look worse than they really are.” Matt compared it to the big 12 a couple years back, when nobody thought they were playing defense there but it was about the outstanding quarterbacks in the league. He mentioned that Malik Cunningham is “trying to prove his bona fides as a pocket passer”, which might play into SU’s plans because “Don’t we want to make him one-dimensional?” Dino compared him to another Malik, Liberty’s Willis. “He’s done a lot of his university and now he wants to show the NFL that he can pass the ball like Lamar Jackson and Malik Willis.” Matt asked about Garrett Shrader’s development. Dino said that “his arm got a little tired last season. He hadn’t had to throw that many passes before. He found out how much physical training and coaching he needed and he’s committed himself to it.”

I was still tangled up in the barbed wire of their phone system when Matt read my question off to the coach, who said the Louisville game has normally come “later in the year when we had injury situations. I’m not sure how often our starting quarterback has played against them. I just think this is going to be different. We’re home. We’re fresh.”

After a break, I finally got through, although I could barely hear them. I thanked coach for autographing my copy of Coach Smith’s book and said I would use it to check on any controversial decisions Dino made this year. I’ll want to see if the picture of Coach Smith on the back cover is still smiling, although I’m not sure that is a smile. Coach Babers assured me that that’s what’s Coach Smith’s smile looked like.


He also said that that he’s just had a conversation with Coach Smith’s widow, as he does before each season. She lives in Alabama but has become a Syracuse fan and follows every game.

Ryan from Rome asked how good the defense can be this year. Dino said that they will do well, even with the young defensive line. “What we have to do is decide if we want to use a rotation of players vs. sticking with 1-2 standouts.” I like the notion that we could have 1-2 standouts we wouldn’t want to rotate out. “The rest of the defense is extremely solid…. the thing about offensive and defensive linemen is that when we get them at age 17-18-19 they are big but not men yet. Their middle hasn’t spread out, their voices haven’t changed and they don’t have Adam’s apples. They don’t have old man strength yet.” [Coach, I have an Adam’s apple somewhere in there, my voice changed a long time ago and my middle spread out not long after that. What strength I have is ‘old man strength’. I’m ready if you need me.] Dino pointed out that Louisville has four offensive linemen returning and were second in the league in rushing last year, “so that’s a big concern”.

Mark in Long Island wanted to know why Justin Barron was our holder for place-kicking. He’s never heard of a defensive back doing that job. Dino: “He’s had successful surgery and for the first time since he came here, he’s pain free. He has outstanding hands. He played both offense and defense in high school. I’m giddy that he’s our holder. We’re putting our best tools around Andre, (Szmyt). The get-away times are the fastest I’ve ever seen. We don’t just want to be good. We want the best kicking in the ACC.”

Laurie in Rome asked who will be the “freshman standouts”. Dino felt that the newspaper covered that very well. (In their Sunday supplement.) “LeQuint Allen is really exceptional. We’ve got some good offensive linemen – they will make me happy in 1 ½ years. Jeremiah Wilson as a defensive back.” He went on to talk about how Sean Tucker was 5th string when he came here, before Jawhar Jordan tore his ACL and we had Covid opt-outs. He didn’t say who is 5th string now, which would be interesting to know.

They talked about upgrades in the JMA Dome. Dino: “We’re not equal with everyone in the conference but we are a lot more even and that gives us an opportunity to be a top 40 program.”

Defensive coordinator Tony White then came on. He said “Malik Cunningham presents unique challenges. People under-estimate his ability to throw catchable balls. And he’s got those quick feet.” Matt repeated “Your goal is to make him a one-dimensional player.” White: “We have to be patient and can’t get disheartened if he makes a big play. He makes them on everybody.” Matt said that Cunningham had accounted for 40TDs last year, 20 each through the air and on the ground.

White talked admiringly of his linebackers. “They put ideas to the grass almost immediately.” I guess “putting it to the grass” has come to men to turn thoughts into reality. “They are capable pass rushers and are well-qualified in coverage, man-to-man or zone.”

The transfers from Rutgers, (Alijah Clark) and Louisville (Bralyn Oliver) have impressed him and Jason Simmons “has had a great camp”. Dartmouth transfer Isaiah Johnson is “big, tall and twitchy”.

As to his line, “the biggest concern is settling down. it will take a couple of possessions to do it.” [I hope we’re not down 0-14 at that point.]

Dino came back to talk about Sean Tucker. “he’s been locked in since last season, making himself better. And he is better. I look forward to the opportunity to see him behind our offensive line. He ran for 1,500 yards against a stacked box last year. He may have the same number of carries this year but with a lot more yards.”

Unlike Jim Boeheim’s show last year, there is not ‘overtime’ segment on Twitch and no second hour.


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
This article talks about Garrett Shrader talks about his problems throwing the ball last year:

"By the time he took over the starting job in Syracuse, Shrader was on his sixth offensive coordinator in seven seasons dating back to high school. He hadn’t taken a lot of snaps in more than a year. The increased load aggravated the muscle near his throwing elbow, though he was reluctant to say the pain had an impact on the offense’s putrid passing numbers at the end of last season."

Babers, above:

"Matt asked about Garrett Shrader’s development. Dino said that “his arm got a little tired last season. He hadn’t had to throw that many passes before. He found out how much physical training and coaching he needed and he’s committed himself to it.”

Close enough. It would have been nice to know that Shrader's increased passing workload had compromised his arm. The fans might not have been as hard on him. But then Dino didn't want the opposition to know that his quarterback was having a hard time throwing the ball. Yet they were obviously able to figure that out on their own. At least, something could have been said at the close of the season.


All American
Sep 28, 2021
Happy to hear him say Tucker might have the same number of carries, my concern with this year was getting too pass happy.


2nd String
Oct 4, 2011
Love the question about Justin Barron being the placeholder. Not everyday you get a placeholder question! Good analysis by dino. Excited to see a healthy Justin Barron!

Forum statistics

Latest member

Online statistics

Members online
Guests online
Total visitors

Top Bottom