Syracuse football coach Dino Babers didn’t hold back when talking about his next opponent, the Clemson Tigers, during a colorful question-and-answer session during the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.
Babers discussed the challenges of facing the reigning national champions and praised Dabo Swinney’s program in advance of Saturday’s ACC game.
He was asked what goes through his mind when he watches the Tigers defense on film and how to scheme against it.
“You look at it, there’s no holes,” Babers said. “There’s no weaknesses. It starts with fantastic athletes. They do an outstanding job in recruiting. Obviously, Coach (Brent) Venables does a fantastic job with the defense. He’s got a lot of experience with spread teams from his Oklahoma background, being in the Big 12. I just think he puts a lot of fantastic athletes in the right spots and gets them to play at a high, feverish pitch.”
“You put those combinations together and you’re going to have a national championship type defense, and that’s exactly what they have.”
Asked what specific matchups are going to be important, Babers said all of the matchups are going to be huge.
“I think their front four is OMG,” he said. “Their linebackers can run with anybody. Their nickel is like a linebacker. Their corners are shutdown guys and their safeties, you can’t see over them.”
“We’ve got issues, and that’s just on the defensive side of the ball.”
Then what about Clemson’s offense, Babers was asked.
“When you go on the other side, they’re a complete team,” he said. “The coolest thing, the biggest compliment I can give Coach Swinney is you’re playing a football team. Sometimes you go against teams like that and you’re playing a bunch of individuals, guys that are waiting for their turn to get drafted in the first round and go make money in the pros. That’s not what you’ve got when you play Clemson. You’re playing a family. You’re playing a team that cares about each other and it’s a big task.”
Syracuse hosts Clemson at the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Clemson, the No. 2 team in the Amway Coaches Poll and Associated Press Top 25, is 6-0 overall and 4-0 in ACC play. Syracuse is 3-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.