By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Dino Babers figures he knows what’s wrong in what has become a tough season for Syracuse, and he needs a quick fix.
“We need to reel it back in,” Babers said. “We talked about eliminating mental mistakes, playing physical. I think that this adversity that we’re going through is going to make them better. We need to work our way through it and persevere, and I believe we will.
“There’s good things happening, but there’s not enough good things.”
That’s for sure.
Syracuse (3-5, 0-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) is the only team in the ACC without a league win, and there are just four games left in the regular season to reach the six-win total needed to qualify for the postseason.
The Orange have lost three straight as they prepare to host Boston College (4-4, 2-3) in an Atlantic Division matchup on Saturday. The Eagles have dropped three of four, including 59-7 at No. 2 Clemson last week.
“We played the national champion. I’d say it was the best game they played all year,” said BC coach Steve Addazio, a former Orange assistant. “It was a homecoming game at night, Saturday night, Death Valley. I mean, they were humming.”
This game between the longtime Northeast rivals is usually very physical. Last year, Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey made the last regular-season game of his college career memorable, accounting for all six Orange touchdowns against BC —three on the ground and three through the air — in a 42-21 victory, running over a defender or two along the way. The previous year AJ Dillon rushed for 193 yards and three TDs in a 42-14 BC triumph in the Carrier Dome.
“They’re known for being bruisers,” Syracuse nose tackle Josh Black, who has 29 tackles, 5.5 for losses, said of the Eagles. “We’ve just got to shut that down.”