The Dino Babers Show - before Virginia Tech |

The Dino Babers Show - before Virginia Tech


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 60 minutes, with the first 50 minutes being with Dino and the last 10 minutes 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 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: (Update: this account seems to have closed.)
#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

My Question(s) or Comments (or theories)

“Coach, we lost to Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State by a combined 24-112. On Saturday, Miami beat Clemson, Virginia beat North Carolina and Duke was ahead of Florida State much of the game. The combined score of those games was 79-85. Why weren’t we able to compete with those teams in the way Miami, Virginia and Duke did?”

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 said that Blacksburg at night is a “tough place for a road team” in front of “a lot of audience”, (since the whole country will (theoretically) be watching on Thursday night. Coach Babers: “It will be fun: exciting, loud and difficult. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Matt noted that both teams are coming off of a bye week and described it as “a chance for a team to look within”. Dino called it “a chance to get healthy. [So who did?] We practiced one time last week, on Thursday, then Sunday and Monday. We fly out tomorrow.” Matt: “I know you’re not a fan of practicing on Sunday, when the plays usually have their own time and see to their faith.” He did a Coach Pasqualoni imitation saying, “Monday is Tuesday and Tuesday is Wednesday and Wednesday is Thursday”. Dino laughed and admitted that he often has to ask which day it is in these situations.

Matt ended the segment by saying that Virginia Tech is 3-4 but they’ve won 2 of their last 3.

Mel in Cicero beat me for the first call. He said “Our guys are so much smaller than everybody else’s. It’s like the PeeWees vs. a high school team.” Dino questioned that analysis, saying that our line averages 300+ pounds per man and said “Our Quarterback is 245 and our receivers have length. We use a different stle of defense, looking for speed and impact. We have better height than when I came here. We’ve lost 2-3 offensive linemen to injury. We’d be bigger if they were healthy.” Matt said that Mel’s observation might be more appropriate to other years. Looking over the 2-deep he said that Kevon Darton, our nose tackle, might be the only important player who would be considered under-sized – and his back-up, Braylen Ingraham, is 6-4, 301. “We’re not going to have a 330 pounder in there anyway.”

I was next and observed that if I see an undersized player on the field, I assume that he must be a heck of a player to beat out bigger guys for that spot. That got a chuckle out of Dino. I then asked my question. Dino: “That’s kind of wide open. I can’t talk about point differential. It’s about momentum, match-ups and turnovers. The first four games we got all of them. Since then, we’ve gotten almost none. On some of those plays we were taking on NFL guys. When we had Matthew Bergeron, we knew he could take on anyone 1 on 1 and that we could do things with our other guys as a result.” He repeated that he wasn’t going to discuss point differential. [I don’t blame him.]

I ended with a comment lauding the Virginia team, who had that terrible tragedy last year, (not long after their game with us: the player who caught the TD pass that put them ahead with 5:51 left, Lavel Davis Jr, was one of those killed), and had won just one game in the last year, over William and Mary, an FCS team, rose up and smote mighty North Carolina. Matt said they deserved praise for “just showing up” after that and declared it “an eye-opening result”.

Next was Mark from NYC, “1/2 court shot Mark”, whom Dino hugged after he made it. Dino said “You always bring a smile to my face.” Mark asked Dino how cool it was to see Garrett Williams get an interception in his first NFL game after coming back from an injury. “How cool is it to see these guys grow up?” Dino was excited about that and also the Zaire Franklin continues to lead the NFL in tackles and now Andre Cisco leads in interceptions. Matthew Bergeron has started every snap in Atlanta. “The way they handled the locker room like pros, the way they handled their schoolwork…they way they were different put them in the NFL.”

Matt talked about how the breaks have gone against SU recently. He referenced the blocked punt against North Carolina that wound up with them getting the ball. He also had this stat: on the season the opposition has fumbled 18 times and we’ve wound up with the ball 6 times. Dino wondered what the stat was on how many times we got out hands on the ball first and didn’t wind up with it. “The analytics don’t seem to apply to us all the time.” He said he’d been coaching for 37 years and he learned a new rule, “so that’s a good thing”. No doubt he was talking about the ruling in the Purdue game about when the guy whose foot was out of bounds touched the all and we recovered it but it was a dead ball because of the foot. Matt said that Dwight Freeney had caused 47 fumbles in his NFL career. DB: “I’d like to meet him a gain and shake his hand.”

Matt said that there wouldn’t be “a huge talent disparity in the last 5 games. Dino was still bemoaning the “turnovers, extra possessions, the last possession, 14 point swings. It has to turn our way.”

Coach Nunzio Campanile is our tight ends coach and chief recruiter in New Jersey, where he’s been a lauded high school coach and previously worked for Rutgers. His brothers also run “big-time high school programs” and it was painful for their family when they had to play each other. [What’s not painful for SU is to have a potential pipeline from multiple big-time high school programs in New Jersey.] “The best team won every time. We’re working hard to be a presence in that area.” Matt said that LeQuint Allen was a recent example of the kind of player SU could get from New Jersey.

“Dan Villari has filled some of the hole left by the loss of Oronde, (Gadsden). Jason (Beck) is open minded as to how we use our players. Max Mang has made great strides. He’s really physical and very strong, a huge kid. David Clements a chance to be a really good player.”

Matt asked Dino about the recruiting schedule. DB: “The coaches were out recruiting last week and some of them won’t come home from the game. They will be hitting DC, Virginia and Atlanta. [And don’t come back without a commitment!] Matt asked how important it is to “retain recruits close to campus”. He pointed out that our basketball team got Justin Taylor from Charlottesville. Matt doesn’t like “Conferences morphing into ridiculous shapes” but wonders if that might help us recruit in different areas. Then he said to Dino “Your recruiting has gone south” and rescued himself by saying “geographically”. Dino said “Everybody’s after all your guys, even legacy kids. We need the southern kids for speed.”

Matt wondered if it was an advantage to have won in this stadium two years ago and thus to “know you’ve done it.” Dino didn’t think so. “Both teams are different.” Matt wondered about the effect of the coaching change. Dino started talking about “Coach Pride”, then I looked it up and Tech’s new coach is Brent Pry. “I met him. I liked him. They are a different team after their quarterback change. Their backs are bigger. They alternate them to stay fresh. They are hard to bring down. You have to get a whole bunch of guys on their back. They have a receiver who is amazing. [That would be any one of five guys with between 16 and 21 catches: 2023 Virginia Tech Hokies Stats | College Football at ] They fight. They have life. Both teams are fighting to have a certain look to the season.”

[I’d asked the guy who took the phone call to have Matt announce when the first Adrian Autry Show would be scheduled for, and he said he would. I may have missed it but I didn’t hear a response. If anyone else did, please tell me.]
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Mark from NYC always with great questions. Nice to see Dino comment on the Ohana

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