Dino Babers: ‘You’ve gotta play some chess sometimes’ when calling quarterback runs

first_img Comments Published on September 23, 2019 at 3:41 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham Tommy DeVito’s 37-yard touchdown scamper against Western Michigan, where he immediately darted from the pocket forward to his right and into the end zone untouched, was a pass call. It was DeVito’s second 35-plus yard run of the game — the first came on a designed option play that went for 60 yards on the second play from scrimmage. DeVito’s two long carries came on different looks — one intended and the other a freelancing moment — and that bodes well for the Orange. “When the (opposing) coaches go back and look at the touchdown run,” Babers said, “they’ll say, ‘Well this wasn’t a designed run. This was just the quarterback taking off.’ And when we do stuff like that, we make us more difficult to defend.”At his weekly press conference on Monday, Babers was positive on his team’s breakout offensive performance against the Broncos, in which the Orange rushed and passed for more than 200 yards each and scored 55 points. He noted DeVito’s running was a look that WMU gave, and was more of a tendency breaker than a new scheme.“As a coach you’ve gotta play some chess sometimes on whether you’re going to do some of those things,” Babers said of running DeVito on designed keepers. “If we like the matchup, then we’ll do that.” AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRegardless, Babers was more enamored by his lack of turnovers than his five total touchdowns. Its running back core, which broke out for their season best game on Saturday led by Moe Neal’s 123 yards, earned praise not for moving the football, but for their pass blocking ability. Babers also called his wide receivers “a really good group” but tried to not single out Trishton Jackson’s 141-yard, two touchdown performance that sparked the Orange.“To just pull one guy out and say he’s the guy, not ready to do that yet,” Babers said of SU’s leader in receptions, receiving yards and total touchdowns. “You’re going to have to do a lot more, and you’re obviously going to have to do a lot more against better competition.” The offensive line, which Babers predicted to have growing pains, will, according to Babers, show its true colors between games four and six — Western Michigan and North Carolina State, respectively — at which point the coaching staff can assess if the five players currently starting are the right five. As for Saturday’s performance, Babers said he saw good and bad from the group running the ball and protecting DeVito.“I think they got better,” Babers said, “but they’re not exactly where I want them to be.”Babers remains hopeful that two injured defensive backs — Andre Cisco and Ifeatu Melifonwu — will be healthy to play against Holy Cross this Saturday after the two missed Saturday’s game, each with lower-body injuries.  Center Sam Heckel and defensive lineman McKinley Williams also missed action against Western Michigan. Heckel has made one appearance this season — starting against Liberty — before leaving with a lower-body injury. Williams suffered a lower-left-leg injury in camp and was in a cast before the season began. He was in a walking boot on the sideline Saturday. Babers speaks with the doctors on Monday afternoon, he said, but even without updated information, a return closer to SU’s Thursday, Oct. 5, game against the Wolfpack is more realistic, at least for Williams. “I would hope that he would be getting ready somewhere around that time,” Babers said of Williams.Antwan Cordy, a sixth-year senior who start in place of Cisco, left Saturday’s game with an injury in the third quarter. Cordy, who has missed two seasons prior to injury in his college career, looked “OK” after the game, according to Babers, but he didn’t provide a specific update on Cordy. Other notesSyracuse holds the longest active streak in the country for games with a takeaway with 18 straight contests, dating back the 2017 finale against Boston College (which holds the second-longest streak). With its defense giving up yards and points at a higher rate than last season, Babers is glad for the turnovers. “As long as they keep getting us extra possessions, we’re going to have opportunities to win games, as long as we’re efficient on offense.” center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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