Fizz Five: The Top Reasons Terrel Hunt Has the Inside Track at QB for Syracuse

With Ryan Nassib now a member of the New York Giants, the leader under center for Syracuse is an unknown. Scott Shafer continues to watch Terrel Hunt, Charley Loeb and John Kinder compete for the starting role, but Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen still awaits his opportunity.

George McDonald has talent to work with in Hunt, Loeb, and Kinder. Many think once Allen is on campus he’ll beat the other three easily because of the competition he saw regularly in practice while a member of the top ranked Sooners.

But it’s far from an inevitability Allen will waltz in and win the job. Coming out of spring ball, Hunt has a lot going for him. Here’s a Fizz Five Reasons why Hunt has the inside track to be the man under center August 31 against Penn State.

  • His performance in the Spring Game

Hunt was very good in the Spring Game. He used every part of the field in leading the offense, and throwing for two scores. This spring has been a learning experience for Hunt, and after the game he said if he’s the current frontrunner, he wants to keep it going. Hunt showed that he can throw an accurate deep ball (something Nassib struggled with every so often), which should make G-Mac excited.

  • Trusting Jarrod West 

He proved he can use West as one of his go-to receivers. West caught six passes for 82 yards and the two touchdowns in the Spring Game. With an offense that will likely focus on the depth at running back, a quarterback’s solid relationship with a receiver can go a long way. The Spring Game was a good opportunity to see how Hunt and even the rest of the quarterbacks would work with the receivers they were given. Early on in spring ball, Hunt said he had already built a comfort level with West. Nassib and Alec Lemon built a terrific relationship, but now both are gone. Who steps into those two slots?

  • Loeb and Kinder’s struggles

Even if Hunt’s Spring Game and practices weren’t strong, Loeb and Kinder have brought little to the table. Loeb was Nassib’s backup for three years and as he enters his senior season, he should be the front runner. But he threw eight passes for just nine yards inside the Dome. He hasn’t looked or appeared comfortable nor confident in himself. Even Kinder looks a little better than Loeb. Kinder threw a 14-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. But Kinder also lacks accuracy on his passes, and often sprays his throws. He also has struggled with decision-making over his career at SU. Hunt has talked about how much he enjoys Shafer’s challenge to the quarterbacks to find a leader, and how he wants a player to grab the job. Embracing the competition is key.

  • Shafer will pick the best option no matter seniority

Allen isn’t necessarily going to be the man just because he’s one and done. Shafer will go with whoever gives the Orange the best chance to win in its first year in the ACC. He won’t merely pick Loeb because he’s waited his turn. If Hunt, a rising junior, is the best option Shafer has he get the nod at Metlife Stadium. Hunt also brings an athleticism neither Allen nor Loeb have. The pistol and read-option have become huge weapons in college football. If McDonald wants a sub-package within his offense with those plays, Hunt could run them.

  • Hunt has the head start

There’s something to be said for being the lead dog on the sled. Coming out of the Spring Game, Hunt is that. He’s had a taste of being the #1, and already has a handle on the SU playbook. He’s been within the program for a few years, and has a head start on Allen. Loeb needs to find more confidence. Kinder must polish up his game. And Allen needs to learn the offense. The competition will be intense this summer, but right now Hunt has to like where he’s positioned.

Posted: Austin Pollack


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  1. LouR says:

    Hunt is a redshirt jumior and has 3 years of eligibility. Hunt looked great and if he can trust his corp of receivers to run their correct routes and get the protection that he needs then we will have a winning season.

  2. Ron says:

    @Austin Pollack;

    Once Drew Allen gets on campus it becomes a two horse race for the starting qb position. Drew Allen will win this race with Terrel Hunt becoming the backup and getting the starting position in 2014. One of the incoming freshmem Kimble and Wilson will be the backup in 2014 to Terrel. The real competition for the job will start in 2015/2016 when AJ Long gets to campus.

  3. orangeinva says:

    Agree it’s going to be between Allen and Hunt. But is Allen better than Hunt?

    Here’s why I ask…

    Nassib was selected before Landry Jones in the draft. Allen over 2 years couldn’t beat out Jones as starter at OU. So Nassib would be somewhat “better” than Allen and Nassib had his shortcomings..couldn’t throw the deep ball and didn’t move well in the pocket. How much better is Nassib than Hunt right now??

    I’m thinking Hunt and Allen may not be that far apart in ability and given Hunt’s “familiarity” with the playbook, players, coaches..he could be hard to beat.

  4. Pollack says:

    Ron,

    What makes you think Drew Allen will win it? What is your reasoning? I know that’s worded like I’m attacking you but meant to just be about curiosity.

    AP

  5. WsaltineW says:

    It should be a horse race between Allen and Hunt. Each brings his own advantages/disadvantages to the Carrier Dome but in the end I suspect Allen will win out as he is physically bigger and stronger and has as much or more experience than Hunt. Allen’s challenge is to learn the playbook, shmooze with his fellow players and coaches, and demonstrate his capabilities clearly. May the best man win.

  6. Russell MacEachern says:

    @orangeinva,very good observation thats crossed my mind too!!Are we infatuated with the mystique of the Okie Sooner brand in assuming DA is an upgrade?Why isn’t he staying where he came from fighting for what would be “his turn?”!If he thinks were a pushover team devoid of 1A talent he’s in for a shock!

  7. Drew Allen says:

    I’m going to win the job. I have the looks of Charley Loeb, the arm strength of Big Ben, the accuracy of Aaron Rogers and the swagger of Ron Jeremy.

  8. 4orty4our says:

    @ LouR. If he has three years of eligibility wouldn’t that make him a Redshirt Sophomore athletically and Junior academically?

  9. Terry says:

    Since Ryan left I have no real favorites for the SU QB!! I do think its between Allen and Hunt. But I only want a QB with the intelligence and athletic ability to perform accordingly in the ACC!!

    Ron/Russ how do you like the idea of SUBB doing their midnight madness in Sept=BULL BLEEP. Come on its FB season then. BULL BLEEP #2!! I’ve been beating the drum on this issue. No way the SUFB program will grow if they constantly have to compete with the SUBB program. Move it back and have some class=DOC!!

  10. thesackster says:

    i would have to say hunt, and allen. lets not forget the incoming freshmen coming in to compete. i saw some improvements with hunt, but i’m not flabergasted. terrell still needs to work real hard this offseason as well. as of now its hunt for our qb with kinder and loeb.

  11. Pollack says:

    Keep in mind that Shafer will pick the guy who is going to help the team win. Drew Allen may be the favorite going in because he used to play at Oklahoma and his size, but I think it’s pretty much obvious that the job will go to whoever helps this team win. This is about winning…not necessarily who looks better on paper.

  12. Russell MacEachern says:

    I just hope he’s not as “over the hill” as sleazy Ron Jeremy!!

  13. Russell MacEachern says:

    BUT ADMIRE the CONFIDENCE!!!may you come in early enough to make your case!Good Luck!”Go Cuse”

  14. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Terry,with you and I its ALWAYS football season if we wan’t to be accepted in the bigboy club football needs to be like hoops here…a year round topic!!!!

  15. Ron says:

    @Pollack;

    First let me say that I’ve never thought after asking the Fizz a question that any of the responses were attacks agains me.

    Here’s my reasoning as to why Drew Allen is going to get the starting job over Terrel Hunt. I really don’t like saying that because of what we went through with Greg Paulis. But here goews;

    Reason #1–Terrel Hunt did not have a good performance during the spring game. Looked to jumpy in the pocket,didn’t plant his feet and for being a duel threat QB,didn’t escape the pass rush when implemented. Didn’t show me that he could throw the deep ball. Yes I know he hit Jerrod West down the left side of the field for a 39 yard touchdown.

    Reason #2–Drew Allen is bigger and stronger and will have the advantage of looking over the offensive line to see his recievers down field before throwing to them. With the tight ends that we have he should pick the opposing defenses apart with ease.

    Reason #3–for as little as Drew Allen was used at Oklahoma,he still has more game experience than terrel Hunt.

    Reason #4–wasn’t he in Marrones dog house? If Marrone hadn’t left for Buffalo,Terrel would never have seen the field.

    Reason #5–Drew Allen is the proto typical NFL QB. He has size,strenght over Terrel,that alone is going to get him the job.

    Like I said in the beginng,I really don’t like the idea of bringinng someone in for a year to play. If Drew Allen wanted the job he should have committed to Syracuse 5 years ago.

    That’s my reasoning for feeling the way that I do. And please believe me,your comments wasn’t an attack against me.

  16. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    Where did you read that about Mid Night Madness being in September this year?

    They should let the fans enjoy the football season before they do a dumb thing like that.

    Do you think the football schedule has anything to do with the decision?

  17. Pollack says:

    Ron,

    I like your points. I agree with the ones about his size and the benefit that brings, but I’m trying to put myself in Shafer’s shoes. We need to remember something…..we haven’t seen Drew Allen practice here yet! He may look like the next big thing here or something. I still like Hunt, but I respect your opinions.

    AP

  18. Terry says:

    Ron=Syracuse.com on Friday!!

  19. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,does Drew Allen have good mobility in the face of a fierce eastern style blitzing D?Most of those B12 schools dont seem to emphasize D like we put a premium on in the NE!If TH couldnt get passes off quick enough ..will DA?just something to think about!…btw I like APs thoughtful,honest but friendly commentary!!

  20. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Terry,it seems our problem is ALWAYS giving HOOPS priority and don’t think football recruits don’t notice that….I agree with you that I think its a BAD idea!!Let the Football Team have its time in the sun to grow and breath!!

  21. Ron says:

    @Austin Pollack;

    Austin you answered my response on a Saturday,that’s impressive. The Greg Paulis is always going to be thorn in side and most of responses have been based off ofthart one experience.

    I truly hope that Terrel improves to where he get’s the starting job. He committed to Syracuse in hopes of playing QB here.

    If Shafer picks Allen as the QB,I think that it’s going to send some bad messages to the rest of the team. Trust and loyality are two things that you have to earn.

    Austin thanks again for responding to my post. What I wrote is only my opinion. I hope that I didn’t ruin anyones day. I agree with your point that Coach Shafer is going to do what’s best for the team.

    Thanks again

  22. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    Thanks Terry; after reading the article,it wasn’t Syracuse that has changed the date. It was the NCAA changing the rules giving the schools more practice time before the games actually start. Holding the event on Sept.27 isn’t so bad.

    After what happened at the event last year(the fights that led to a stabbing)why have it at all? Take advantage of the extra prcatice time and open the season in November like it always has been done.

    I guess when you think about it,it’s always been held during the football season,hasn’t it?

  23. Ron says:

    @Russell MacEachern;

    Your point about Allens mobility is a good one. Will he be able to withstand the pass rush that Shafer likes using all of the time is another good point.

    Terrel Hunt would have been sacked at least 5-6 times if it were a regular game. I hope that he improves(before the season starts) if he’s going to be the chosen one.

  24. Terry says:

    RON RON RON!!! Its still the same old BS!! SUBB program and its insiders still will hammer its success on the SUFB program. Just because the NCAA says OK doesn’t mean your ruin the party or do you enjoy ruining the party. I really wonder if SUFB does get better if SUBB will slide back into its shell. I doubt it!! Look Sept is football time period!! When the snow starts to fall that’s basketball season. Basketball programs national wide now can disrupt the start of College Football season. In the long run your effecting the #1 college sport college football!! S#@T the college BB season already runs into April!! Enough Already!! GEZ!!!

  25. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    Your missing my point here. I really don’t care if they hold midnight madness ever again at Syracuse University. Whenever the damn NCAA gets involved into something they always screw it up.

    If I remember things correctly,college basketball practice always started in late September/early October. The NCAA rules committee thought that was to long of a time to practice and reduced it to what it was last year. Now(to me)they’ve gone back to what it used to be. Relax Terry,college basketball will never ever replace college football and become the national pastime. Never going to happen.

  26. Terry says:

    That’s my point Ron. The time issue compared to both sports!! Yes FB gets spring time, but BB starts in Sept is way to early. NCAA knows there’s a gap in fan support for these sports nation wide and its trying to equalize them. Never will happen. At SU the BB program I feel is # 1 now in fan support and it deserves that. But trying to extend the BB season season is an over reach. If anything it should happen to Football!!

  27. Russell MacEachern says:

    Ron,Guys,my grandpa told me basketball was invented to be played inside old barns back in the day to give kids something to do when the snow started flying?No wonder its bigger in cold climes than down south where warmer weather prevails almost yr round!!

  28. Ron says:

    @Terry;

    Football just finished their spring practice time ending with the spring scrimmage game. (30 days)
    Students come back on May 20th and start conditioning getting in shape for the fall campaign which starts Aug. 31st this year and ends hopefully with a bowl game that will get played sometime in December or early January. So we go from May 20th all the way to December. (8 months for football,total time 9 months if you add in the spring practice time.

    Basketball will start late September and end with March Madness. Total time for the sport is 6 months and 1 week.

    I think the point that everyone is missing is football plays 12 regular season games and a possibility of the 13th game if they go to a bowl game. The reason for only 12 games is the physicality of the game.

    I know basketball seems to play a longer season because they play close to 42-43 games a year if they make it to the National Championship Game. Yes, I know Syracuse is on tv a lot during the season which only makes the season seem longer to most.

    Football—total time close to 9 months.
    Basketball–total time 6 months.

    Terry I think one of the problems that we both share is that there isn’t enough coverage by the sports writers or sports web sites. We want all information given to us on all of the recruits that the school is going after and I don’t think that we’re getting enough of it.

    But that’s a whole nother story for a another time.

    In the end,football does exceed basketball time. We’re just not hearing enough about it from the media. That’s my take on things Terry.

  29. Terry says:

    Sorry I count 6 months if you consider spring ball that is not close to 30 days. If basketball starts in Sept that’s 7 months until April!! Yes the number of games is greater for BB. But BB is so boring until the brackets come out. You can loose 7 games and still make the brackets. That will never happen in College football. Yet they for some reason extend CB. Most fans would feel that College football should be extended to. I’m done whining on this mater.

  30. Russell MacEachern says:

    @Ron,Terry,..Ron u hit it on the nose…football’s physicality is such that a lot of players are held out of practice for fear of injury,..thats why DEPTH is very important and lengthening the season is almost (for us) a pipedream!! I fear this concussion mania may kill our beloved sport soon as mothers of the middle and upper classes won’t let their “babies” play anything rougher than Lacrosse or soccer!!Were witnessing the beginning of the femiminzing of our country b4 our very eyes!!PC is weakening the fabric our nation was built on!!

  31. Russell MacEachern says:

    Keep an eye on that characters case against the B1G…it could ruin football for ALL OF US not just the B1G!!

  32. Ron says:

    Thank you very much Russell MacEachern for mentioning the efforts to soften the game of football.
    I can see it now,the powere to be will force the players to wear tights and tutu’s,no more helmets and shoulder pads. Players will have little flags attached to their half naked buttocks for the opposing teams to grab indicating to all that the player was tackeled and play ends. I know that there is a certain element in our society that will just love seeing football players wearing white tights and tutu’s,throw in a few(ahem)flawed individuals and the game of football will be no more.

    Rodger Goodell has ruined the game of football. Lets get serious here,the NFL is in a huge battle with the medical association as to who should take Junior Seau’s brain for study to see what kind of damages it does to a person after recieving a concussion.

    Rule changes are forcing the running backs to run “straight up”,no more lowering of the head to protect themself’s from an opposing 245/250 lb linebacker that wants to tear their damn heads off.

    I can see it now,the football players dressed in their tights and tutu’s doing silhouettes on the field. Boy that ought to be real interesting to watch.

  33. Pollack says:

    Terry,

    Syracuse is Syracuse…both football and basketball should have a reputation. I think one of the biggest reasons why basketball has always been superior is simply because of the success. Big East football has never had a real big reputation (recently) but Big East basketball has been one of the best conferences, if not THE best conference in years.

    Football is still VERY important. It’s important not to forget about the team. But basketball has just been the leader. I like where the football program is going…I think the Shafer era will lead to a TON of success and many more bowl games.

    AP

  34. COLE says:

    GO ORANGE!!

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