My dear wife Karen and I have attempted to attend the Syracuse Orange’s annual spring football game, loyal season ticket holders that we’ve been for seven seasons now.
It’s not always been so much fun, through the four years under the guidance of Doug Marrone, even though that Orange alum turned a bad team around to bowl-worthiness before leaving for the Buffalo Bills, and three for Scott Shafer, whose first squad made the Texas Bowl but them plummeted to a pair of 3-9 seasons, prompting his dismissal after last season.
Which brings us to new coach Dino Babers, who just completed his first spring session leading the Syracuse team.
Babers arrived from Bowling Green, where his teams ran an offense that scorned the huddle, instead getting up after a play, racing to the line of scrimmage, turning toward the sideline to receive the play, and hiking the ball as quickly as possible.
He learned this style while an assistant at Baylor under Art Briles. Baylor regularly scores, oh, 50 points a game.
There is great anticipation for what might happen to the Syracuse program now that Dino Babers is calling the shots. Well, enough anticipation for a bit more than 4,000 folks to show up for the game on Final Four Saturday, anyway.
Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on any of the images for an enlarged slide show.
Of course, the players must familiarize themselves with this style, which is far different from the past regime’s.
QB’s Eric Dungey and Zack Mahoney looked fairly at ease racing up to the line of scrimmage, and passing the ball.
Dontae Strickland ran well, and Brisly Estime caught most everything thrown his way.
Most interesting was a quote in Sunday’s Post-Standard.
Said Babers: “We’ll never be that slow again.”
If that’s the case, expect a lot of noise from Otto’s Army come September.
Here’s a YouTube clip of a short touchdown drive I caught in front of us.
If you’ve attended a spring football game, what campus was it on? What did you think of the game? Does your school have a scary mascot or comforting mascot, and which do you prefer?