- Aug 26, 2011
The AmeriCU Dino Babers Show returns to the airwaves on Thursdays this fall, and will once again be broadcast 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:
Heritage Hill Brewhouse in Pompey. Handcrafted Beer, Homemade Food & Amazing Views set upon our active crop and animal farm. A family friendly destination that's an escape but close enough to call home.
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: https://tunein.com/radio/home/
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 (or theories)
“Coach, you mentioned that Sean Tucker was the 5th string running back when his career began here. I remember that two guys opted out, one transferred and another was injured and later transferred. Cooper Lutz, who had been a high school running back but had switched to wide receiver, switched back to back up Sean and even had to replace him for a game. It made me wonder who the 5th and 6th string running backs are this year. Looking at your roster, I see Sean, LeQuint Allen and Juwaun Price and four walk-ons listed as running backs. Do we have anyone at another position who played running back in high school who could switch back as Cooper did in an emergency?”
(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 Purdue “could be 2-0”. Dino said that they “had a fantastic opening game that they should have won”. (Dino says “fantastic”. JB says “unbelievable”.) He added that they won 9 games last year. (We won 5.) Matt also noted that Purdue has a 24 year old quarterback. Dino: “He’s the real deal and their defense can make plays. If you have that you have the opportunity to win games.”
Amazingly there were no technical glitches and I got right through with my question, which Dino said was “fantastic”. He cited Trebor Pena and Marlowe Wax as guys who could be pressed into services as a running back. He noted that Wax had gotten a chance to return a kick-off and seemed to enjoy the experience. Here are their high school tapes:
Marlowe: Year 3
Man, those guys are FOOTBALL PLAYERS. I’m glad we’ve got ‘em. I think Pena would find playing running back again an extension of his current duties: another way to get an explosive player the ball. In fact, I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer Pena to be the #2 guys over Allen and Price. But I’d hate to pull Wax away from the linebacker corps, especially after we’ve already lost Thompson.
Dino also said that “any of our defensive backs could play running back. We like to recruit guys who played both ways. Matt said that, unless you are a ‘selector school’, “you’ve got to find players who can play multiple positions”. Dino said that this team has more such players than any of his previous teams here. He loves to recruit winged T quarterbacks “because they are such great athletes…The more positions a player has played, the more ways we have to evaluate him.”
Coach also said that “We have very good walk-ons who are capable”, although he didn’t mention specific names. Matt noted that Purdue had a walk-on get 11 carriers against Indiana State. (That would be this guy: Dylan Downing Stats, News, Bio | ESPN). And their 24 year old quarterback, Aidan McConnell, went there as a walk-on. Dino said that he had coached at Purdue, (1991-93 – no he wasn’t there when they clobbered us 0-51 in 2004 but he was at Pittsburgh in 2003 when they clobbered us 14-34), and that they have an excellent walk-on program “Public schools have an advantage with lower tuition. They can bring on walk-ons who turn into scholarship players.”
Matt noted that his first game as “Voice of the Orange” was that 2004 Purdue game – what a way to start! Dino responded that Purdue coach Jeff Brohm began his career as a head coach against Dino’s first Bowling Green team, a 31-59 Western Kentucky victory, the game in which Matt Johnson was injured. Saturday’s game will be Jeff’s 100th game as head coach. Dino said that, although Louisville would love to have Jeff come back to his alma mater, he seems to be happy at Purdue.
A caller named Ray asked if the NFL was taking interest in Garrett Shrader. Dino said that some scouts are starting to show up, asking about him. “He has a ways to go but isn’t stuck in the blocks.” Matt wondered if we might see more “shots over their heads in this game. Dino said that “if you have a running game and can attack them with the short passing game and the capability to go up top, you are going to give the defense problems.” When do you take a shot? “When you think it might be the moment to take a shot, everybody else thinks so to. You want to be unpredictable.” Matt noted that D’Marcus Adams caught a long one against Connecticut. Dino started to say that Adams might be “the fastest guy on our team” then walked that back, “I don’t want to get anybody mad at me. Sean might have something to say about that.”
As the show continued, Jeff Brohm made an announcement that his leading rusher, King Doerue, would be out for this game. Dino wasn’t sure who their #2 guy is but, in fact, Doerue is actually their fourth leading rusher this year, although he has the most carries, (the Indiana State blow-out would be a factor). 2022 Purdue Boilermakers Stats | College Football at Sports-Reference.com
Dino remembers playing at Hawaii and one year they knocked out Brigham Young’s quarterback, (whose name he didn’t say), so they brought in Jim McMahon. The next year they knocked out Jim McMahon so they brought in Steve Young. College Football reference.com says Dino played at UH in 1982 and 1983 and that Steve Young was the Cougars QB for both years.
Dino Babers - Hawaii (DB/RB)
Matt went over the stats of the Purdue receivers, including Iowa transfer Charlie Jones, who has caught 21 of their 47 completions. He caught 21 passes all last year at Iowa.
He asked how the team deals with the sudden wave of optimism over the team – how does he keep them grounded? Dino paraded out every available coaching cliché – but you know what? Cliches become cliches because they are true! “We need to stay on the ground, [not float away], focus on the process, stay locked in and give our best effort to get the result we want. You could look at two games as a ‘cycle’. If so, we’ve got five cycles to go.” (We play one cycle at a time!)
Matt said that it’s big that the NCAA allowed teams to “add an additional coach”. (The NCAA controls the number of coaches?) “it allows teams to have a special teams coordinator”. Dino noted that 1/3 of plays are special teams plays. “I was a special teams guy. It was eating me alive all of last year that we were so bad on special teams. It was affecting my sleep. Good leaders find ways to eliminate things so they can focus. We wanted a veteran guy who could handle all the bullets coming at him and I got the best guy I knew of.”
With that they brought Bob Ligashesky onto the show at 7:35, instead of the end of the show. Matt looked at his resume and suggested his theme music could be Johnny Cash’s “I’ve been everywhere”. Bob agreed, saying he’s coached for a lot of teams and under a lot of great coaches. Matt asked him what he does when he joins a new team. “Well, I get the kids together and tell them what we’re going to do. We work on punting first because that’s about field position. Then it’s the coverage units.”
Matt noted how many starting players are participating with the special teams units. “We want to put our best players on the field and these guys want to do this. On other teams there’s a lot of guys who don’t.” Bob said that it’s all about “attention to detail, lay down the standard foundation of who we are”. (Football teams are always trying to figure out who they are. It does no good to know the score, the opponent, down and distance, the formation and the play if you don’t know who you are.) His mentor was Frank Gaines. (I found a basketball coach by that name but not a football guy- I may have the name wrong.)
Matt suggested that Trebor Pena has bene close to breaking one and that could be an omen. Bob said that “All great returns begin by making someone miss and then breaking a tackle.” Matt suggested that it’s good to inherit a Lou Groza award winner, “there aren’t too many of those”. Bob said that Andre Szmyt’s “potential is unlimited but it’s about the snap, the hold and the kick”. He noted that Justin Barron had handled a couple of high snaps and gotten the ball in proper position. Matt noted that Purdue is also noted for having excellent special teams. They also have an Australian punter. BL: “I was able to go over there under Pro Kick Australia. They are hungry to come over here and kick the ball. They didn’t have a football field, (not under the metric system) so it was hard to measure distances.” Charlie Jones was the Big Ten kick returner of the year. He took a punt back in 2020 and scored on a kickoff last year.
Dino came back on to close the show. “The team is ready. The captains have done a fabulous job. We didn’t have a fantastic record in close games last year.” [We noticed, coach.]
Jonathan in Baltimore had two questions: Are there any future coaches on the team? And what can be done to keep Sean fresh for the whole season? Dino: “Sean wants the ball. He’s thinking about the NFL. We aren’t going to treat him like he’s average. We’re going to give him the ball as much as we can.”
He warmed to the question about coaches. “DeVaughn Cooper could be a wide receiver coach. Chris Elmore could be a coach. Matthew Bergeron, Dakota Davis and Carlos Vetterello could be coaches from the line. Mikel Jones would make a fabulous coach. Garrett Williams, Duce Chestnut and Eric Coley could be coaches, as could Justin Barron. Caleb could be in the line. They know what’s right what’s wrong.” Travis Greene, his leading rusher at Bowling Green, is on the staff as an ‘analyst’, as was Matt Johnson for a couple of years. Kendall Coleman is a grad assistant. “He will be a fabulous coach.” Sean Lewis has had success at Kent State “and then there are those guys at Vanderbilt”.
Tom in Pulaski wondered “When will we fill the Dome?“ the coach is hopeful but it’s up to the fans. The 12 Noon kickoff won’t help. “People may choose other options. We appreciate whatever support we get.”
Matt asked for a scouting report. DB: “A lot of 2x2, 3x1, multi-formational, you could see everything. The move their people around. It’s very hard to practice against.” (Anyone out there know what 2x2, 3x1 means, except 4 and 3?) “It should be a really close game. I don’t think we’ll have 18 penalties and I don’t think we’ll have 3 penalties – somewhere in between. I can’t predict the future.”
Someone asked what hobbies the coach has when he’s not coaching. “Thinking of memories with my family and watching movies. If my mind gets idle, all I do is think about football.”