Dino Babers gives injury updates, says Mahoney will likely start if Dungey can’t on ACC teleconference

first_img Published on November 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer Syracuse (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) plays its last home game of the season at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday when it takes on No. 17 Florida State (7-3, 4-3). The Orange is coming off a 35-20 loss to North Carolina State, while the Seminoles crushed Boston College, 45-7, last Friday.Here are three things SU head coach Dino Babers said on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.Injury updatesThe Orange missed two key starters on offense last week when both quarterback Eric Dungey and wide receiver Steve Ishmael sat the game out. Additionally, center Colin Byrne — who has been the starter since Week 3 after senior Jason Emerich hurt his shoulder in the second game of the season — had to leave last week’s game with an injury.Dungey was knocked out of the Clemson game in the first quarter and never returned. He was listed as questionable last week, and then after the N.C. State game Babers called him doubtful to play this week. He is getting a second opinion on the injury but that hasn’t happened yet, per Babers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIshmael was a surprise scratch last Saturday, and Babers said that it was a nagging injury that slowed him down as the week went along. Quarterback Zack Mahoney said that Ishmael was a full-go in practice yesterday, but Babers refuted that today saying that he started yesterday’s practice but didn’t finish it.Babers declined to expand on what Byrne was dealing with. Byrne took a shot to the head was lying on the ground for several minutes before he was be helped off the field.“Well,” Babers said, sighing, “I think we’ve gotta leave that stuff all up to the ACC thing. We’re not supposed to be talking about injuries.”“You saw the tape, you saw the game. I’m just gonna leave it there and you can see the (injury) report on Thursday.”Mahoney will probably start if Dungey is outLeading up to last week’s game, the quarterback situation for SU was murky. It was unclear if Dungey was going to play, and which of the two backups — Mahoney and Austin Wilson — would start in his place was also a mystery. Mahoney was second on the depth chart all year, but it was Wilson who came on in Clemson when Dungey left.Mahoney started last week, but both were listed as backup options on this week’s depth chart. Babers said that based on last week’s performance, Mahoney would probably get another shot.“Well I think right now, based off of how well Zack played, Zack should be the guy that goes up first,” Babers said. “But we haven’t decided yet, have to still see how everything fits in the game plan.”In his first start of the season, Mahoney went 14-for-25 for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception.Dalvin Cook is better than Babers thoughtFSU’s junior running back currently ranks second in the ACC and ninth in the country in rushing yards per game, with 124.2. In the conference, he trails only Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Heisman favorite who torched SU’s defense in Week 2.After seeing Cook on tape though, Babers saw that the star running back is even faster, and better, than he first realized.“I thought he was really, really good, but I didn’t know how fast he was until I saw the Clemson game, and I saw him run away from the Clemson secondary people,” Babers said.“We couldn’t run away from the Clemson secondary people. He’s probably one of the fastest, or the fastest, back we have in the conference.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Beat writer Q&A: Stephen Wiseman of The News & Observer breaks down Syracuse-Duke

first_imgAhead of Syracuse’s (11-5, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) matchup with No. 1 Duke (14-1, 3-0) on Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, The Daily Orange connected with Stephen Wiseman. Wiseman, a Duke beat writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, addressed the No. 1 Blue Devils, the possibility of a Syracuse win, and how Duke’s defense has turned heads in recent weeks. The Daily Orange: Let’s start with what Syracuse fans want to know most: How can the Orange come away with an upset? Where are the Blue Devils most vulnerable?Stephen Wiseman: Prior to Saturday’s win at Florida State, I would have said perimeter shooting. Duke has not been a good 3-point shooting team this season, hitting only 33 percent of its 3s. Duke made 11-of-24 against FSU, with Cam Reddish hitting 5-of-8. That performance looks like an outlier. The Blue Devils get to prove if that assessment is true or not against the Orange’s 2-3 zone.The D.O.: Is there any indication that Duke can shred apart the 2-3 zone, just as it has with most man-to-man defenses? Or might they struggle a bit, at least early on?S.W.: A team has to be super athletic to play man-to-man for 40 minutes against Duke. The Blue Devils are so long and athletic they create matchup problems all over the court. Zion Williamson’s availability will be key against Syracuse because Duke puts him in the middle of the zone to make things happen either by a pass or move to the basket. R.J. Barrett is also adept there. Both can pass, shoot or drive. But, back to the 3-point shooting, Duke will need Reddish and Jack White to hit their 3-pointers to make things easy against the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe D.O.: Besides the big names, which Duke player has surprised you most this season?S.W.: Has to be junior Jack White. He wasn’t a factor in his first two seasons. But he’s playing enough minutes to be considered a sixth starter this season. At a sturdy 6-7, White takes care of the ball, is Duke’s top 3-point shooter (38.6 percent) and has become a solid defender. He blocked five shots against Wake Forest last week.The D.O.: How would you assess the Duke defense and its progression since opening night?S.W.: To me, this the biggest story of the season for Duke. They are back to playing the kind of tough man-to-man defense Krzyzewski loves to coach. Tre Jones is such a good on-ball defender that Krzyzewski has compared him to Bobby Hurley and Steve Wojciechowski. Jones sets the tone, allowing Barrett, Williamson and Reddish to use their length to get into passing lanes for steals that fuel Duke’s transition offense. The Blue Devils also lead the nation in blocked shots per game (7.9).The D.O.: These teams played real close last year in the Sweet 16. But last season in Cameron Indoor, Duke handled SU with ease. Who do you think wins Monday night, and why?S.W.: After how the two teams played on Saturday, Duke looks like a heavy favorite. But we know that’s not how things work in the ACC. If Duke doesn’t shoot well from the outside and Williamson is limited, Syracuse could pull the upset. This Duke team is tough-minded, though. I anticipate a Blue Devils win. This team plays together and has a gear Duke has lacked since the last title team in 2015. Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 13, 2019 at 9:50 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more