Syracuse football has had its share of special teams problems this season. From inconsistency in the punting game to missed field goals to blocked extra points, special teams have been anything but special. What has gone wrong this season, especially with the backdrop that special teams have been a strength of the Orange over the last few seasons? Head coach Dino Babers was asked that very question during his weekly press conference.
"It's not really technical stuff," Babers said. "It's mistakes made by young people that I'm not going to call out in situations like this, that have been told. My big thing with the coaches is, and I'm not slamming my coaches, this is what coaches do. This is how I look at a football game. A football game is an exam. It's a physical exam. You have your instructor and you have a T.A. (Teaching Assistant). The assistant coaches are T.A.'s, which means they can't give you the answer but they sure in hell can remind you of things before the physical play happens. 'Don't forget to remind them of this, hey if you get this problem you want to answer (like this).' Because you can't physically go out there and do it for them. I want my coaches to do a better job with reminders and then I want those guys to go out there and do a better job of execution. It's not rocket science out there. I can tell you exactly why the kick got blocked. We all know on our football team.
"Every player knows why the kick got blocked (against Virginia Tech). Everybody knows who was wrong and he knows what he did wrong. He had done it right numerous times but on that play he did it wrong and they took advantage of it. We had a situation where a guy got the ball and could've fell down with the ball. But he picked up and run with the ball and the ball got ripped out. Now you have another situation where it got picked up and we couldn't cover the guy and they got two points. It's part of the process of growing up. When the older guys do it, you can give them like, 'you're the oldest son. You know what you're supposed to do when we're not at home and you and I are going to have a talk about this.' When it's the youngest son and they really hardly know their name you've got to treat it a little bit different. Are we happy with it? No. Am I happy with it? No. But I'm willing to keep working at it because I know it's going to get better and I know those guys are giving maximum effort."