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Fizz 5: Hunt Explodes vs. Wagner, Run Game Steps Up, Allen’s Murky Future

The Orange finally had the breakout game offensively we were waiting for.

We expected Syracuse to get Scott Shafer his first career win Saturday, but not this easily. The Orange shut out an opponent for the first time since 2005 (vs. Buffalo) and sent the Seahawks flocking with a 54-0 beat down inside the Dome. SU’s offense ignited once sophomore Terrel Hunt entered on the fourth series. He led the Orange to five first half touchdown drives. The last time SU scored 50 points was back in 2002 against Virginia Tech, a game that took three overtimes. But let’s remember, it’s only Wagner. Still this was an impressive performance. The five biggest takeaways from Saturday’s game:

  • Hunt dominated, unquestionably the starter

Dating back to last Saturday’s loss to Northwestern, Hunt has coordinated seven offensive drives and converted six touchdowns. After the game, he told the press he kept the guys loose and joked with them a bit. Hunt said he “maximized his opportunity,” and his efficiency certainly proves that. On 3rd downs, he was six for six at the end of the 1st half. He finished with 265 yards passing with 3 touchdown passes to a slew of different receivers. When asked about his relationship going forward with Drew Allen, Hunt recognized it’s about the team:

“It’s a team effort. It has nothing to do with one guy. When you’re the quarterback you’re supposed to be the leader. You can’t win with just one guy. You have to win with eleven. I’m going to keep pushing him, and he’s going to keep pushing me. That’s what competition is.”

His leadership was obvious from the get-go. Jarrod West and Jerome Smith admitted things started to click once Hunt entered. West said “we just started making plays,” while Rome differentiated the two QBs, saying Hunt was “softer spoken,” while Drew “gets on you.” If you go back to the Spring Game the relationships offensive personnel have with Hunt seem stronger than Allen. Both players worked pretty much equally with the first team throughout camp. Going forward into Tulane, Shafer hinted its Hunt’s job.

“I feel great about him. I think he’s on a high. He gives us a great chance to win. I was really proud of the way he moved around the pocket and made plays with his feet. I think Terrel will be ready to start this thing off. I’ll be surprised if I feel differently…”

  • Where does this leave Drew Allen?
This is a nightmare for Allen. He got the nod to start against the Seahawks, and perhaps he folded under the pressure knowing Hunt would enter at some point. Three consecutive “three and outs” on offense sidelined the Oklahoma transfer. Allen was just 3-6, -1 yards passing against an FCS team once he was pulled. Overall, he reentered action to finish with a respectable 8 of 11 for 62 yards and a TD pass to Chris Clarke. Obviously Hunt’s act stole the show, so is the end for Drew? How could Shafer not start Hunt against Tulane? SU’s head man had Allen’s back:

“I’d have a hard time thinking any different. He [Hunt] played great and I’m excited for him. But we have another game, another quarter, [and] every snap counts. We are going to continue to compete to put the best guys on the football field. You’ve got two Big 10 teams Drew went up against. I don’t want us to get all down on Drew Allen because I believe in that kid as well.”

Shafer said he believes SU can win with both quarterbacks. He’d do his “due diligence and go back to watch every snap to put the best product on the field.” Perhaps Allen gets some action against the Green Wave, but expect Hunt to roll as the starter.

  • West emerges on day he receives sad news

The junior wide out found out Sunday morning his grandfather passed away. In his honor, West put on a show. He caught five balls for 147 yards. Hunt threw 65-yard deep ball in the 3rd quarter to allow West to reach the end zone and live up to his pre-game expectation. He prayed to his grandfather he’d meet him there, and he did. West was the centerpiece for the receiving corps and helped get other WRs involved. Clarke caught two balls for scores. That’s huge for him going forward, especially with Adrian Flemming done for the season. Nine different Orange players caught passes. Hats off to George McDonald for getting everyone involved in the blowout.

  • Speaking of the Mailman, SU’s running game finally showed up

The combination of running backs used in Syracuse’s 236-yard attack was what we’ve been waiting for all along. Shafer’s “sure thing” heading into the season was the ground game, and SU prioritized to run over the Seahawks D. It ran the ball so effectively that the Orange defense had plenty of rest to hold Wagner without a first down until a minute left in the first half. Smith led the rushing charge with 61 yards and two TDs. It’s great to see McDonald incorporating the young guns like Devante McFarlene and George Morris. Even Adonis Ameen-Moore saw action. Shafer and McDonald stuck to their principles and continued to mix everyone in.

  • Shafer showered, first career head coaching win

Shafer got the first one off his back Saturday, along with a Gatorade shower to celebrate it. This whole process has been a whirlwind for him personally. Doug Marrone is busy changing the culture in Buffalo, as Scott heads Syracuse into its inaugural season as a member of the ACC. Shafer has been down to business since getting the job. Again, it’s only Wagner, but Shafer appreciated the support at the Dome and understands the team can’t look too far into this one. No question Saturday was a game of just getting that taste of what it felt like to win. The Orange sets itself up nicely, as it could even up its record at 2-2, take a nice week off, and finally prepare for a showdown, the conference opener with Clemson. ACC time is coming.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen

14 Comments on this Post

  1. Charles Davis

    Did the team put forth the same effort with Allen in as it did with Hunt? Didn’t seem so watching the game.

  2. @Charles Davis

    Why would the team play with any less effort with Drew Allen? That is a stupid conspiracy theory you have there. These guys want to win, I dont think it matters to them who is under center. It just so happens that Hunt is better than Allen.. which I have been saying all along.

  3. at this point you go with terrell hunt, he clearly has a better handle on this offence and also communicates better with the players. i’m very happy for terrell because i beleive now he’s our qb moving foward.

  4. @Andrew;

    I hate to say this,but I agree with what Charles Davis is saying. The team definately looked better than what was shown us in the first two weeks of play.

  5. Here’s my 2 cents Shafer kept saying that these 2 qb’s were better even through out the Summer Allen has struggled in all 3 games he has started. So the move to Hunt makes perfect sense from a statistically stand point when you compare both qb’s Allen 2 td 6 int Hunt 3td 0 ints and every possession Hunt has been on the Field the offence got points which when you break that down he has lead the team to 6 Td and 1 fg in 7 possession. Allen has led the team to a total of 54 pts in 3 games and Hunt has the lead the team to 45 pts in just 7 possession i think that it’s obvious the team responds to Hunt better than Allen and Hunt seems to be able to run a faster tempo than Allen. So from here on out it looks like Hunts job to lose.

  6. @Russell Stugots;

    We’ve discussed in the past Mac Brown and the Texas Longhorns having troubles over the last 3-5 years. Well after the beating Mississippi State gave them on Saturday(at home)kind of looks like to me that Mac Browns coaching career at Texas is over with at the end of the season.

    I guess Syracuse isn’t the only one having problems with attendance for the games.

  7. Shafer thinks he can win with both QB’s…Really? I respect the fact that he doesn’t want to throw Allen under the bus…..butthere should be no doubt that HUNT is the starter. NO Question Allen played against the tougher opponents…but look at his stats…He was bad!!!!!! Against our future opponents, I can’t imagine Hunt playing as bad as Drew. When you lock in on a receiver and are unable to go through your progessions, that is QB error and has nothing to do with the opponent. Drew should be the back up and let’s hope we don’t need him!

  8. Ok everyone……..Yes Hunt looked but he beat WAGNER! Are you kidding me? Wagner. Drew Allen would have shredded Wagner as well. Sorry, measuring stick a poor one. Let’s wait and see.

  9. @theocuse Really Allen would’ve shredded Wagner do you know Allen had the 1st 3 possession and only led the team to 3 points and was 3-6 for -1 yds? So you tell us what you saw that would lead you to that conclusion.

  10. AJ beat me to it but obviously TheoCuse isnt watching the games.

    Allen did jack sh!t against the same Wagner team. Hunt wins.

  11. believe me i thought allen was having a very difficult time with wagner, i mean 3 and outs come on man. this offense just feels better right now with hunt.

  12. Hey I don’t care who we beat. Allen has had 3 games now to prove himself. He has not. He has done nothing in my eye to deserve the starting roll anymore. Maybe Hunt is like Marcus Sales. He doesn’t show up for practices but knows how to play at game time. The only thing that matters is this. If this team can play this weekend like they did last weekend. Then this team has found the right rythum to move forward for the season. I get that Wagner was a lesser team. I think that game is what this team needed. To be able to go out and play and get to know where they need to be. Feel comfortable in decision making. Hey all is good to me. So like I said. If we can play against Tulane that way this weekend and shut them down. I think that we would be in a good position going into the Clemson game. I feel that the Tulane game would give them a little better test. I think it was 2-3 yrs ago that we played Tulane down in NO, and that game was pretty close. Anyone remember it. Well bottom line is this. If Hunt does start this week. Then I feel that the coaching staff has made their decision. LET’S GO CUSE

  13. Hunt deserves the start!! Tulane is not a push over. They are very similar to SU. With nothing to lose!! Hunt looked the part against a team that almost got beat by a DIV II team. But there is still is no quality QB on the roster of SU or even in the coming class(2014 some rate Long a 2 star Ath. not QB). HCSS has to play Hunt because really there is nothing left in the cupboard!! Tulane will give Hunt all he can handle. Lets not forget about the teams that come after Tulane too-GEZ!!!! Heaven help us!! We’ll see!!

  14. Now is a really bad time for hiutnn’Its summer, animals have diseases and their fur isnt very full .look at it like this Would you rather have a rusty, worn out .22 and a fur mitten oor a Brand new , high tech, .22 with all kinds of added featurs, and a nice fur coat.Run like a Deer.* ..Fly like an Eagle.*~~

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