At the risk of reminding Syracuse fans of the Pollyanna days of Greg Robinson, junior quarterback Tommy DeVito says despite its paltry performance in game one, he's 'optimistic, for sure' about the capabilities of the Orange offense.
"Just seeing how that game could've [gone] with just the slightest detail," DeVito said. "It feels a little frustrating, but you know about the good that is to come."
Robinson became infamous for telling SU fans about the 'flashes' he saw on the film, despite one disappointing showing after another between 2005-08. DeVito wasn't resurrecting Robinson-era optimism, but rather pointing to several situations he saw on the Carolina tape that could've had much better outcomes with one simple tweak.
"The tiniest, tiniest details that could've led to so much more," he said. "There was so much meat left on the bone, there could have been so many points on the board so early in the game. That's just the little things that we're cleaning up. I'm glad we got that out early in the first game, I'm looking forward to next week."
Head coach Dino Babers was whistling the same tune during his weekly press conference Monday, claiming the Orange were their own worst enemy at times against the Tarheels. He also blames the team's virus-affected off-season workouts, which didn't give DeVito and his receivers much time to work out the kinks.
"A lot of self-mistakes, there were a lot of times we shot our own selves in the foot," Babers said. "And, I think that the throwing game is the thing that gets left behind, because they didn't have an opportunity, with the pod situation, to practice the way they normally do in the summer. So, I think they're going to be much better, this game."
DeVito, who completed better than 60 percent of his passes last season, connected on less than half of his throws against North Carolina, victimized by drops and harried by an aggressive pass rush throughout the game. On the bright side, Tommy became the program's new record-holder by extending his interception-less streak to 201 passes over an eight-game span. But, it's the throws he didn't make toward open receivers that may be the bigger concern moving forward, something of which DeVito himself is seemingly aware.
"Just that timing deal, the slightest split-second, as soon as I see the receiver take that one step, just letting it go and just trusting that ball in the air, just trusting them to make the catch. Just that tiny split-second is what could have made a big difference in the game."
The pressure on DeVito is immense, but the plucky Jersey boy smiled throughout his weekly meeting with the media Tuesday night, giving off an air of confidence in the face of adversity. He admits missing spring ball, especially with a new offensive coordinator, makes things difficult. But, he's also not making any excuses.
"We were given just about the same amount of time as the other teams in the conference. We just have to go out and play football now."