The Dino Babers Show (before NC State)


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.

I’ll be summarizing the comments directly related to the team and the next game (late) on the night of the broadcast and anything else interesting the next day, (if there is anything else that seems interesting). I’ll have a “first hour” and a “second hour” question.

They are doing the show on Zoom, not at any local restaurant.

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: Home | 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:
#AskDino or through, (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
I’ve been asked to continue doing the summaries, even by people who listen to the podcasts. I may focus on the major points, rather than trying to record everything.

My Question(s) or Comments

First, coach, two memories.

I first convinced my father to take me to an SU football game in 1964. We were playing an undefeated UCLA team. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day to start with. SU dominated the ball in the first half but had trouble punching it in and only led 6-0 late in the half. UCLA punted and Floyd Little caught the ball at his own 9 yard line and started down the sideline. One UCLA player had the angle and moved to pin Floyd against the sideline. But #35, Jim Nance had spotted him and was on the way. He hit the guy so hard he launched him into the air. Floyd ducked and ran under the airborn Bruin, cut across the field and out-ran everyone to the goal line. That broke the game open and we went on to win, 39-0. As the score mounted, the weather got worse, going from sunny to cloudy to rain to sleet to snow. I looked at the UCLA sideline and all those surfer dudes looked like the coldest people on earth.

In 1985, Dick MacPherson put together a defensive backfield of four freshmen: Chris Ingram, Jeff Mangrum, Cooper Gardiner and Markus Paul. Eventually Gardenier was injured and was replaced by another player in the same class, David Holmes. We watched them grow up from promising athletes who made mistakes to, by 1987, a veteran group that shut down passing attacks and allowed the defensive line to get coverage sack after coverage sack. Their maturation, under Markus Paul’s leadership, was a big reason for our breakthrough 11-0 season of 1987 and the 10-2 follow-up of 1988, which set us up for 15 wining years in a row. (I’d hoped to see something similar from Trill Williams, Andre Cisco, Eric Coley and Iffy Melifonwu but these are different times.)

My Errol Flynn movie reference for the week is The Sea Hawk, (1940), where Errol and his crew get captured due to treachery and find themselves pushing oars in a Spanish galleon amid great misery. But they rebel against their captors, take over the ship and sail it back to England in time for Errol to have a terrific swordfight with the traitor and for he and his men to join the fight against the Spanish Armada with the Queen making the 16th century equivalent of a great locker-room speech.

The name of this game is football and one way to look at games is how many times the two teams kicked the ball and what kind of kicks they were. Louisville kicked the ball 16 times and 3 of them were punts. We kicked the ball 7 times and 6 of them were punts. The other was the second half kick-off. Andre Szmyt had the game off. The key guys on our offensive line include 2 seniors, 2 juniors and 2 sophomores, both of whom were starters last year. I’d like your evaluation of them as a group in terms of their development into those elephants you want them to be, their current state of health: are injuries holding them back? Also, what was your opinion of their performance against Louisville?

(Note: This week’s show will be on Wednesday. The first Jim Boeheim Show is not scheduled yet. The best the station could tell me was that it would be in ”mid-December”)

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.)

Matt Park had to make the sad announcement that Markus Paul was, indeed dead. He’d had a massive heart attack the day before and was erroneously reported dead but now it was true. He noted that Markus had followed SU’s strength coach, Mike Wojcik into that field after a four year NFL career. Matt noted that he must have been in fine shape and so “You never know”. Jerry Jones eulogized Markus as a “calming influence on the team”, (which Jerry is not), and Head Coach Mike McCarthy called him “a leader within the organization”. Matt said “it’s been a tough week in the Orange family”.

Coach Babers had some technical problems and “had to get somebody to help me”, (probably a kid- they know more about these things). He said “You need to live your life to the fullest, doing things that make you proud that you’d like to be remembered by.” Matt noted that Markus still holds the SU career record for interceptions with 19. Andre Cisco would likely have beaten that record if he’d stayed, (and stayed healthy) for four years but Dino feels that Markus’ record will never be broken because top players don’t stay for four years any more.

That proved to be an excellent lead-in to my second comment about watching the Paul-Ingram-Mangrum-Gardinier/Holmes group grow up and wishing I could have seen the same thing with Williams-Cisco-Coley-Melifonwu. Dino: “I’d love to have the same success and watch the young people grow up and mature. But due to the times, I have to make sure and recruit really good players to fill in behind them, (Garrett Williams, for example).

As to our offensive line, he admitted that the results of the Louisville game mean that “they need to get better”. He proclaimed this “a year of non-development” because players didn’t have access to a weight room, practice was cut way back and all they’ve got to develop themselves is game reps. “Hopefully next year it will all be different. It’s hard to make a true evaluation of anyone this year.” He declined to identify the player but one of them has bene dealing with having both of his parents in the hospital with CoVid 19 in recent games and it’s been very hard to on him. Dino just had a long talk with him. “Nobody’s ever seen anything like this before.”

Later Matt said “Dakota Davis is working his way back. Pat Davis is out. There’s no Chris Bleich. Where is that group, (the offensive line)?” he added that “You’ve flipped Airon Servias and Matt Bergeron”. Dino: “They are durable. Those five guys, (Servais, Bergeron, Elmore, Tisdale and Vettorello) have played all year. Then we got Dakota Davis back. The limit to avoid a ‘no contest’ is 7. We decided that we were going to play games and never quit. I would like to get as many of these guys back as possible, (for next year). Matt wondered if that was 7 guys who don’t have CoVid 19. He wasn’t sure if that could include injured players.

(By the way, Coach has seen “the Sea Hawk and it’s a favorite of his, too, especially the speech at the end. He’s trying to get Matt to watch “The Queen’s Gambit”)

Matt discussed the fact that SU hasn’t missed a game yet when so many of them have bene cancelled or postponed. “It’s no small task to play every game, even if you get no trophy or banner for it.” He said that Florida State’s refusal to play Clemson and the resulting angry exchange was, ”a bad look for the conference it’s a mess.” Dino: “As coaches, I thought we had a commitment to try and play every game. There is a procedure for cancelling but we were going to try to get all the games in. Even if we don’t win, we want to have something we can evaluate.” (An interesting comment since the coach said you couldn’t evaluate the offensive line in a year like this.)

Coach said he was sad that there won’t be any fans or any player’s parents in the Dome for the last home game of the year. (At this point I got a phone call and missed a couple minutes of what was said.) Coach said that JaCobian Morgan had had a chance to talk to his parents after the Louisville game because they allowed some fans there.

John in Baltimore, (he and I are the only ones that call into the show any more), was concerned about penalties and whether they were so many because of all the young players who have had to play with the injuries and the opt-outs. He also wondered why we didn’t throw to the tight ends more, especially to take advent age of Luke Benson’s mismatches.

Dino said that he had a tight end who caught 60 passes in 2013 at Eastern Illinois and was a third team All-American. (it brought to mind a habit of Greg Robinson and Scott Shafer and, no doubt many other unsuccessful coaches – that of quoting what happened in past season with teams they were associated with. I always want to hear a follow-up question: Why isn’t that happening here?) “it doesn’t matter if he's attached to the line or not- he ahs to win his match-up. Luke Benson is fast but he tends to get off to slow starts. He will be an important weapon in the future.”

He agreed on the penalty point- that guys who weren’t supposed to be playing yet are out there.
The Horse Soldiers - Bonnie Blue Flag (We Are A Band Of Brothers) HD
“It’s especially tough when you have second and long or third and short. Matt said that last year we were one of the worst teams in FBS, (#128 of 130) as far as penalties. This year we are 95th. Dino: I hate mental mistakes but physical mistakes cost you more.” Matt suggested that to “stay on schedule, you need it at least 3rd and reasonable.” Dino: “You want 3rd and 10 or less”. (I want 3rd and 5 or less.) “You need to get the defense on it’s heels and slip one over their heads or into the middle.” Matt said “You’re not 3 yards and a cloud of dust but you’re not playing at tempo.” We’re caught in between. Almost 1/3 of our roster are not available due to injury and opt outs. If we’d gone at speed we couldn’t have had a defense by the 5th or 6th game. We needed to slow it down and limit snaps.” (Great job, coach – we ran 41 plays against Louisville.” Matt said that “You can score in three plays or punt in three plays” and pointed out that we had no third down conversions until the last play of the game. Dino: “I love moving the ball and scoring more than anybody. We will be better in the future.”

North Carolina State beat Liberty on a blocked kick. It was the Flames first loss of the season and likely their only loss of the regular season. DB: “It was two good football teams. People are finding out how good Liberty is. NC State is the team that beat Liberty so we’ll have to play our best game just to stay with these guys.”

What is the team plan for Thanksgiving? “it’s such a huge spread that we are going to divide the meal into four corners with a halftime. We used a blank check. Sorry, Mr. Wildhack. And the players can come around to the coach’s home with a Halloween bag and we’ll fill it with dessert. But we will maintain social distancing.

Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh came on with the closing music already playing, (which may be symbolic), to say “we’re going through tough times now. The kids work so hard, especially Rhino, (Chris Elmore), who is a hell of a story. He just loves to play. Matthew Bergeron is a very, very good tackle. Airon Servias loves to play and works his tail off. It’s good to have Dak(ota Davis) back.”
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Aug 27, 2011
I’m proud that this team didn’t quit or forfeit like Florida St. This year has sucked but they have gone out and took their beatings like men. I have been critical of Dino this year but him and the team deserve props for continuing to fight.


All Conference
Aug 20, 2011
“Once more unto the breach”
seems appropriate line for this group.

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