In Dino Babers two previous head coaching stops, his football programs made big jumps during his second season mostly behind improved quarterback play. If Syracuse is to become relevant in one of college football’s toughest divisions, then junior quarterback Eric Dungey must lead the way.
Dungey ended last season injured, but in nine games, he completed 64.8 percent of his passes for an average of 7.5 yards per attempt. He threw for 2,679 yards, 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
But as much as the game experience from last year is going to help, having a full year in the same offensive system will be an even bigger advantage. For the first time in his career, Dungey is using the same playbook two consecutive years.
“You learn so much more,” Dungey said according to syracuse.com. “You pick up the little things that you kind of bypassed last year. I’m looking forward to learning the offense again and again, so it’s going to be fun.”
Dungey has also bulked up, gaining about 20 pounds over the last two years. Now at 222 pounds, the junior says his body is ready to withstand a full season of pounding in the daunted ACC schedule.
In his second year with Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green, Babers led both schools to double-digit win seasons. If he is going to do that or even get Syracuse to a bowl game, Babers and Dungey will have to earn it. The Orange visit LSU, N.C. State, Miami, Florida State and Louisville while also playing host to Clemson and Pitt in 2017.