Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse football coach Dino Babers hinted quarterback Zack Mahoney would get the start Saturday afternoon against No. 17 Florida State if Eric Dungey can’t play.

Babers did not say Mahoney would start but said he earned the opportunity based on his play in last week’s 35-20 loss against North Carolina State.

“I think right now, based on how well Zack played, Zack should be the guy who goes up first,” Babers said Wednesday morning on the ACC coaches’ teleconference. “We haven’t decided yet.”

Mahoney threw for 190 yards on 14-of-25 passes against the Wolfpack, tossing one touchdown and one interception.

Babers reiterated the players around Mahoney need to elevate their game for the Orange to play better this week against the Seminoles.

Injury updates

Babers provided a few updates on three injured players Wednesday.

Sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey has not yet gotten a second opinion on his injury. It is doubtful he plays against Florida State.

Center Colin Byrne left last week’s game against N.C. State after a big hit up high. Babers did not say what Byrne’s injury was and said a status update would come Thursday evening when the team released its ACC injury report.

“You saw the tape,” Babers said. “You saw the game. I’m just going to leave it there.”

Wide receiver Steve Ishmael did not finish Tuesday’s practice, Babers said.

“He just doesn’t feel comfortable with one of the nagging injuries he got that’s still with him from the Clemson game,” Babers said.

‘No bone in my body’ looking toward next year

Babers was asked a question about balancing outside expectations to show immediate progress versus understanding the rebuilding job at Syracuse could take years.

“I don’t settle for anything,” Babers said. “There is no bone in my body that says, ‘Hey,

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