'Cuse Football poised for success in 2017 campaign

Coach Dino Babers and returning starters are eager for the upcoming season to start.

The Orange are a lot more comfortable going into this year’s training camp. Head coach Dino Babers, quarterback Eric Dungey, and linebacker Zaire Franklin addressed the media on the first day of their 22-practice training camp.


Eric Dungey, for the first time in his career, will be operating out of the same offense as the year before. The junior quarterback has never used the same playbook in back to back seasons. Dungey is aware of what lays ahead for his team as they move closer to their home opener against Central Connecticut State. Dungey enters this season with a different mentality, and is confident in what he has learned to make him a strong leader.

Eric Dungey at the first press conference on July 30

“My mind sets a lot different going into this year,” Dungey said. “You really got to have a chip on your shoulder. I’m trying to go out there and win some games. I’m not saying no more Mr. Nice Guy, but it’s more like put your head down and get to work.”

Dungey has made it clear that he wants to keep his body in the best condition that he can. Over the past two seasons, Dungey has been sidelined due to injury, allowing him to miss crucial parts on the season.

“I just got to be smart, take what is given to me, and not take any unnecessary hits,” Dungey said. As training camp is officially underway, Dungey is excited to be back, and is looking forward to what the season has in store.


Senior linebacker Zaire Franklin is amazed at how fast the time has gone by. The two-time captain credits his experience on being able to get the most out of each day during training camp.

“Going into my fourth time in it, I’m really able to dictate how my time is going to go,” Franklin said. “Rather than going home and going to sleep for two and half hours and coming back, that’s getting in the training room. That’s watching more film. That’s going out to practice a little bit early to work on little things.”

Franklin is ready to take his game to the next level. Last season, he was second on the Orange with 101 tackles and tied for the team lead with 10 tackles for a loss.

But Franklin isn’t concerned with his own statistics, he wants the defense to do better against the pass this season.

“We worked on a lot of different things this summer,” Franklin said. “Coverage adjustments, technique, and making sure everyone is on the same page because those coverage busters really killed us last year.”

With Coach Babers entering his second season with the Orange, Franklin said the team feels much more comfortable “going to war” for Coach Babers.

“That’s my guy,” said Franklin. “That’s all that really needs to be said.”


Coach Babers is eager for the 2017 season to start.

In fact, day one of training camp is the official start of the 2017 calendar year for Babers, not when the ball drops.

“This is the start of 2017 for me,” Babers said. “It’s football season, does anything else matter?”

Coming off of a 4-8 season in 2016, Babers not only wants the players coming out ready, but the coaches, as well.

“I want to see the coaches coming out the doggone tunnel,” Babers said. “We need to be on top of our game.”

The Orange have a daunting schedule this season which includes games at LSU, Florida State, and Louisville.

“It’s a blessing, we get an opportunity to go out and play the best,” Babers said. “It’s going to be one heck of a year.” Orange fans should be hopeful that the 2017 season will go in their favor.

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