Why Rumblings About Syracuse’s Two-QB System Would Be A Big Mistake

According to Nate Mink of the Post-Standard, the Syracuse coaches have not ruled out a two quarterback system. Luckily, quarterbacks coach Tim Lester said on record he doesn’t think that’s “the way Shafer would go.”

Let’s hope not. While it’s fine to play your cards close to the vest, it doesn’t help anyone to rotate QBs in and out every few possessions once games start. The old adage still rings true: If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any quarterbacks. And swapping signal-callers in-game is a recipe for disaster.

It’s one thing to utilize a subset of plays for a quarterback if he brings something special to the table. We all clamored for the use of a Wildcat offense for a few downs last season for the explosive Ashton Broyld. There’s plenty of examples through recent college football memory where a dual-threat running/passing QB had success running a few series in-game. The most famous example is the ’07 Florida Gators, who started Chris Leak en route to a BCS title, but got contributions along the way from freshman Tim Tebow.

And maybe Terrel Hunt is that type of player. Could Syracuse run a traditional pro-style offense with Drew Allen, then throw Hunt into the mix for a few read-option plays? Yeah. That could keep these fast-attacking ACC defenses on their toes during Syracuse’s first foray into its new conference.

But a case where there’s no true #1 guy, just a weekly carousel of rotating QBs will put the Orange in a hole. Establishing the leader of the huddle, and the identity of the offense is critical. SU needs to know who its best option is under center in two weeks when Penn State is on the field, and trust in that.

Posted: D.A.


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  1. chris says:

    I worry about coaches who are so insecure about their team that they look for reasons bordering on the minutia such as keeping secret their starting QB. Does anyone including Shaffer think that PenState coaches are on the edge of their seats waiting to discover the name of our QB to determine the defense they will use in their game against us on the 31st?

  2. Ed Brooks says:

    A rotating 2 QB system is a recipe for disaster, and virtually guarantees that SU won’t finish better than 4-8. I’d like to believe that coach Shafer is smarter than this, and he’s just saying that to keep Penn St. off balance because they can’t just concentrate on game film of Drew Allen. The fact that practice is closed the next 2 weeks leads me to believe that he knows who the starting QB is, and that the QB (my guess is Allen) will be getting all the reps with the first team offense the next 2 weeks. I also suspect that there will be a read option/pistol package installed that Hunt will run, and that Hunt will go in occasionally, like what Marrone did with Nassib in Marrone’s first year where he relied on one year QB Greg Paulus.

  3. Jon W. says:

    I don’t think this is the norm, but Northwestern used a two QB rotation en route to a 10 – 3 season last year. Therefore, to immediately dismiss the option of using two QB’s is silly im my opinion. Again, not saying it’s probable, but we don’t have to look any further than last season to know that it’s possible.

  4. WsaltineW says:

    I agree with the author of this article. Make a pick between the two contending QB’s and give the team a coherent acknowledged leader. Playing a dual Russian roulette signal caller is NOT the way to go IMO. Pick one and ride em.

  5. Chris says:

    I don’t understand why everyone thinks Hunt is so athletic, his speed is comparable to Allen’s and Allen has actually used his legs in scrimmages as opposed to Hunt. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m not quite sure.

  6. If we ride DA all year and don’t make a bowl will it have been worth it to stagnate the development of our future QB’s and be looking for a JUCO or transfer all over again next yr?Unless DA is head and shoulders beyond T.Hunt I hope we at least get him enough rep’s for the sake of development because I think our games will be so close that the 2nd string QB won’t get adequate playing time!I hope at least in the Wagner game we let Hunt play at least a half!Imagine if DA has an injury?This year is gonna be interesting but between our D and the running game I think were up for it!How are the true Fr QBs looking so far in camp? Anyone hearing?

  7. I think the receiving corp’s including TE are solid if unspectacular as long as the OL gives the QB time and DA is all we hope he is.I expect lower scoring games this year unless the D and STs can help put some points on the board!

  8. Terry says:

    Let the coaches coach and besides we don’t know why HCSS feels this way either!!

    Rivals has SU at #70 and falling??

    I see that PSU(on ESPNU) had a complete hour to show off their program. Why??? This program let young boys get raped and not report it, until years latter!! I thought PSU is on some kind of punishment for the deed of hurting young boys!! Its going on 2 years since this horrible incident was first reported(but hid for years from us). ESPNU just needs to wake up and show what happens at PSU is not acceptable. By showing PSU’s program for a hour in prime time shows ESPNU has forgot what happened to those young raped boys!! There are plenty of clean programs out more deserving than PSU!! During the program PSU’s FBHC was asked that maybe they are going to ease up on some of PSU sanctions. DDDOOON”T do it!! Gez!! Another slap on the hand by the higher-ups. Joe-Pa knew what he was doing in putting off this incident. Hopefully the only way for this to never happen again is to punishish the people who caused it. This is not about fixing grades, getting $$$ from sponsers or such, cheating on recruiting etc etc etc!! Its about a child being abused in the most horriable way. At the very least PSU has to pay the full price it was convicted of. Nothing less, but maybe more!!

  9. ron says:

    A two QB system is something for all the pundits to write about and put their opinions to print and put their stories in the papers,just to get the fan base all fired upb and mad.

    A 2 QB system is not going to work here. coach shafer has another 9 days to make his decision.

  10. ron says:

    @Russell Stugots;

    Russell I met some parents yesterday that lives in NJ that were getting their son settled in for the year at Syracuse. I found out that he was a school teacher and lived in South Jersey. I asked him about Don Bosco and Bergen Catholic High Schools. Are all of the private Catholic High Schools located in North Jersey with the public schools located in the south?

    I just read where 6’1″ 4* S Kiy Hester olut of Montvale NJ is helping Rutgers recruit top prospects to the school. Any comments on how that’s working out for Rutgers?

  11. Well to a degree Ron.Most of the parochial powers are in N.NJ and the publics are spread fairly evenly in north,central and south Jersey!There are also very good catholic schools in S.Jersey too!Remember there are loads of Italians,Irish and Slav’s in NJ and lots of christian kids from all over flock to the parochials to get better exposure/educations than in some of the publics.For its size NJ puts out as much talent as anyone except Tex,Fla,Cali,Ga or Ohio!Yes even on par with Pennsy as PSU,Pitt and Temples rosters are filled with NJ guys and Urban Meyer,Nick Saban,Al Golden and all major players in talent comb thru NJ!….Yes Ron,Hester,Nelson,Blacknall and Hilliman are working with other recruits to keep as many NJ kids home and its starting to resonate and they call them in the NJ press the “Band of Brothers”??Something is going on down there and the B1G schools are taking notice.Will it translate on the field?Who knows but sooner or later talent will tell!

  12. I don’t want to forget Adonis Jenning’s a 4* 6’3″ 200 WR out of S.Jerseys Timber Lake HS which is a S.Jersey public power fairly new on the scene which RU seems to have developed a pipeline too recently!

  13. ron says:

    Russell, the parochial & public school locations were an assumption on my part after talking with this couple. I didn’t think there could be that much of a divide within the State of NJ.

    Thanks again for the information.

  14. Mademan says:

    The “Band of Brothers” are going hard after Jabrill Peppers. He admitted that he is keeping his eyes on RU but he is Michigan all the way “right now” It’s a long way until signing day and people, coaches, and some in his family are pushing RU to him down his throat. Rumor has it that the pressure might get to him and also his father’s opinion when he is released in November. I personally don’t think he will flip but if anything can happen in recruiting. ND lost a RB. We just have to get him on campus.

  15. Terry says:

    Big fan of ESPNU(sometimes), but recently they have been playing last years great games and also last year’s bowl games. WKU vs Cen. Mich. was just on. WHAT!!! No SU vs WV yet that is. That’s why SU is always fighting in a rain barrel. SU’s PR is just not out there. The Pinstripe/Snow Bowl should of been played out by now on ESPNU. Yes ESPNU is playing good games but WKU VS Cent Mich come on. Another issue that HCSS has to defeat for getting talent in here. Also nearly end of August yet no shovel in the ground for the new facilities. Recruits aren’t that stupid to keep on hearing that the facilities are coming. Where are they then???? If by the 8/31 game against PSU and no shovel in ground for facilities is it a major issue. It should be since it was announced to happen. No word at all about what’s happening on this. God Bless HCSS and staff its got to hurt recruiting by this hidden incident!!

  16. Yes Terry we all know recruiting has slowed down but so will any potential recruits who happen on this board?Thats why I say “for now”lets try and keep focused on next weeks clash/beatdown of PSU at Metlife in NJ!There will be lots of recruits seeing us expose the “Nits” and Holley might get a positive impression and break the ice with downstate bigtimers!!But keep the pressure on em Terry…someone has got too!

  17. JIM says:

    Terry: Your rant about Penn State and the Sandusky affair deserves a response: First, this was/is a criminal case which is being handled by the courts. The NCAA had no business being involved; I don’t recall you being upset with the very ESPN that withheld information on your pedophile basketball program. ESPN didn’t waste an opportunity to skewer PSU at every opportunity while, as I said, leaving their liberal, wingnut buddies at SU alone. Now PSU has a new coach and new beginning and is doing well in spite of the sanctions. Get off your pedestal and get ready for a spanking on 31 August!

  18. Boston Jay says:

    Don’t even compare Ped State to the Cuse basketball “scandal”. ESPN was desperate to break a story and pretty much everyone was discredited.

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