SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse running back Sean Tucker says he’ll make a decision about his future after the season but believes he’ll return to the Orange in 2022.
“I believe a lot I’m going to be here,” Tucker told reporters Tuesday, adding that a coaching change could alter his plans.
Coach Dino Babers has had only one winning season as his sixth year at the helm draws to a close, but that was a 10-win campaign in 2018 that finished with the Orange ranked No. 18.
When asked Monday at his weekly press conference about his job security, the 60-year-old Babers delivered a simple answer.
“My job belongs to my employer. My career belongs to me,” he said. “I only control the things that I can control. But I’ve always thought that ... whether I was an assistant, a coordinator or a head coach, it’s not the most important thing.”
Tucker, who has one more year before he can enter the NFL draft, eclipsed the program season rushing record this season and has rushed for 1,467 yards, third nationally. He’s become the focal point of the offense since Babers tabbed dual-threat quarterback Garrett Shrader to replace two-year starter Tommy DeVito in the fourth game of the season.
The Orange have exceeded preseason predictions after losing 10 games last year.
Syracuse (5-6, 2-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost three straight games in October, each by three points and each on the final play — 33-30 at Florida State, 40-37 in overtime at home to then-No. 19 Wake Forest, and 17-14 to Clemson, also in the Carrier Dome.
They rebounded with a road win over Virginia Tech (41-36) and a victory at home over Boston College (21-6) but have dropped two straight road games by wide margins, 41-3 to Louisville and 41-17 last week to then-No. 25 North Carolina State.
The Orange host No.17 Pittsburgh (9-2, 6-1) on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams and there’s a lot riding on the game for the Orange. Syracuse has to win to become eligible to play in a bowl game.