The Dino Babers Show - before Wagner |

The Dino Babers Show - before Wagner


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:
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:
#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)

(after I congratulate Coach and the team on the great victory)

“Coach, there are two subjects that have been extensively discussed on since the last game so I’m going with two questions tonight.

On the safety they didn’t call, I look at the film and see Armstrong catching the snap at the 3 yard line, taking a step back, shuffling his feet, then retreating as Caleb comes at him. First contact is made near the 1 yard line but Armstrong remains on his feet, trying to escape, into the end zone, then gets tackled. The refs put the ball on the 3 yard line, saying that was Armstrong’s forward progress, even though he never attempted to move forward. What is your understanding of the rules that apply to that situation and what did the referees tell you about it?

Sean Tucker averaged 6.1 yards per carry last season. This season it’s 3.6. In successive games it’s gone from 4.8 to 4.1 to 2.3 to 2.9. Chris Elmore is gone but everybody else is back up front from last year. Everybody has their pet theory about his: our scheme, their scheme, do we have the right personnel at the right positions, guys are playing hurt, etc. When you look at the films, what are you seeing?“

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.)

Dino Babers on Wagner: “A really good football team. They were extremely physical early vs. Rutgers before the game got out of hand.”

Your comment here: ___________

Matt Park suggested the Virginia game showed that Dino’s team “has a lot of grit. When when they don’t have their best fastball they find a way to win.” Dino: Don’t stop. Never surrender!” [I sincerely hope SU doesn’t have to display those qualities against Wagner.] “I wish we could make it not so close for so long so I could enjoy the game like the fans.”

Matt asked about the “players whose name we’ve had to X off”. DB: “Terry Lockett is out for the season. Everyone else will be with us, except Derek McDonald is 50-50. Justin Barron lost his appeal under the new rule and won’t be able to play in the first half. I just don’t know what the (targeting) rule is. He was not hit that hard and he made 5 catches on us afterwards. I’m not going to get excited about it. I’m not going to be a cry baby. All I know is that if somebody hit my brother in the park that hard, I wouldn’t be fighting him.”

Matt commented that the losses seem to be poling up on the defensive side of the ball. Dino said that they practice with deeper rotations because they are so active on that side of the ball. “Our practices on defense are unique. It’s like when Arkansas was running everybody off the court in basketball”. (40 Minutes of Heck?)

Matt brought up the two sides of Trebor Pena’s day: returning the opening kickoff 57 yards but later having the big fumble. At this point I was trying to get on the show but the weekly technical difficulties prevented them from hearing me and I got cut off. I called back and talked to the producer so I missed part of this conversation. When I got their feed again, they were talking about whether Trebor had signaled for a fair catch before starting downfield. Dino: “The refs told me it wasn’t a clear signal. He has to put his arms above the cross, (?) and his arms came out below the cross so they wouldn’t bail him out by calling the penalty.” [Would the penalty have bailed him out?] Matt suggested that Trebor would never have signaled for a fair catch and then ignored his own signal and run it out. Dino replied “These are young men- you never know.” Matt: “As soon as I said it….” Dino said that he doesn’t remember Trebor fumbling before. “But maybe it’s a good thing I can’t remember.” Both agreed that the quality of special teams play is often the biggest difference between a program like Syracuse and one like Wagner.

I finally got on. First I summarized what happened at the 1983 Kent State game, when Don McAuley kicked 5 field goals to take us form a 0-10 deficit against the team with the longest losing streak in the country to a 15-10 lead and then a 22-10 win and how that led to a three games winning streak, which eld to the first of three straight winning seasons, which led to the recruiting class to pushed us to 11-0 in 1987 and 15 straight winners. It all started with a small but loud crowd and a kicker who can kick 5 field goals for you.

In answer to the first question, (which I actually read off second), “I saw it the way you saw it. They explained it to me as Caleb’s arm was around the quarterback’s waist at the 3 yard line, so that was his forward progress. Once put his arm around the guy his forward progress stopped. I asked them if he had thrown for TD from the end zone, would it count. They gave me the same look those refs at the Rutgers game last year gave, me so I stopped asking about it. Common sense is a big thing with me.”


Caleb had his arm around him in front of the 1. Armstrong couldn’t have thrown any touchdown pass from the end zone but he wasn’t brought to the ground until he got there on his feet. The one thing we can all agree on is that Caleb didn’t have his arm around him at the 3.

Regarding the running game, “Look what we’ve done before. We’ve never had a 1,000 yard runner here before, (since Dino has bene here). People have really changed how they play us. They’re not going to allow us to run. We’ve got do our part, to try harder but running the ball is not easy. That’s the fun part.” Matt suggested we might be able to “unlock it with something else we do, such as passing”. If they are taking away the run, you should be able to pass and you can’t be hard-headed. Yet sometimes you have to be able do what they are trying to take away. You have to be able to do both. You can send a young man deep when, after some short passes, they are covering him with a linebacker. I never heard of a linebacker being on the track team.”

Brian called in to ask if Dino was “happy with his empty backfield.” Dino: “We’re excited about it since Sean Tucker is in motion on that play and we do have a running back in the backfield as Garrett Shrader is one of the best running quarterbacks in the conference.”

Dominick in North Carolina said that his 7 year old (nephew?) from Pennsylvania was a running back on his team and had gone to his first game at the Dome and how excited he was about it. As he matures, they will take him to camps up here. “He loves hitting people.” [he might want to work on avoiding them, too”.

Matt asked Dino about his Saturday recruiting trip. He said that he’d had a great time. “It was high school homecoming and our prospect did really well.” matt asked how recruits are reacting to our undefeated record. Dino: “There’s a really good feeling out there. It’s the academic reputation of Syracuse backed up from with good solid football.” [Does our academic reputation really impress recruits?]

In practice this week, they focused, in this order, on: “cutting down penalties, tackling and the run game. (To eliminate penalties) we’re trying to eliminate mental mistakes before the snap.”

They brought on Jason Beck, who said it was strange looking at the opposition and seeing Brennan Armstrong, who had been his charge at Virginia the last few years. He said that his approach to a new job is to “get a feel for the identity and strengths of players and then to build and develop a system s they can play at their best. Whether they are a pocket quarterback or a mobile quarterback or anything in between, we just want to get the best, toughest competitors and adapt to their skill set. When I got here, everyone raved about Garrett Shrader’s competitiveness and his ‘it’ factor. Time, experience, and Garrett’s own hard work get the credit for his improvement. He’s great with his legs and can extend plays big time.” He referred to our only score in the Virginia game, where he ran 17 yards for a score on 3rd and 15 after “finding a crease when the first option is not there”. He said that “each week presents a different challenge for a quarterback”. Matt suggested that the “mental gymnastics require a nimble mind”. [Nimble feet help, too.)

Matt noted that we’ve scored every time in the ‘red zone’ but that 9 of them were touchdowns and 7 of them are now field goals. Jason pointed out that we were running 70% TDs before the Virginia game. “I’d like to think it was a one-off.”

Dino came back and John in Baltimore called in, suggesting that if we spread out the offense more, that would open gaps in the defense. Dino responded that “It’s a viable thing. I won’t say what we will do but that’s something we could do….Rhino was irreplaceable but he only played 4 games last year – Rhino, forgive me….Playing your best guys gives you the best chance to win.”

Matt asked how hard it is to develop wide-outs. Dino said the key was “being consistently good. I’m really excited about what our young men can do. Orondo didn’t turn around until the ball was half-way there.” [Not sure which catch he was referring to but it could be several of them.]

What does he want to see Saturday? “A nice, clean game, with low penalties.” [and no more injuries!] “Then, we’ll be OK.”


All Conference
May 19, 2021
I always appreciate your write ups, feel like I’ve gone back in time anticipating reading something in print. I’m also glad the team is focusing on penalties and the run game. We need to shore up fundamentals before NCS.

Forum statistics

Latest member

Online statistics

Members online
Guests online
Total visitors

Top Bottom