Terrel Hunt Must Improve Passing Ability to Keep Bowl Game Chances Alive

There are several ways Hunt and the offense can improve the aerial attack as the season continues.

Photo by Ron Pradetto

Syracuse rolls into practice this week with high spirits after their first ACC win against N.C. State. The rushing attack and offensive line meshed very well to gain a whopping 362 yards on the ground, while the defense played great in their first game without starting CB Keon Lyn. However, the major glare in the box score comes in the passing department, where Terrel Hunt only completed ten passes for 74 yards.

It is not unusual to see quarterback’s statistics drop in games when the rushing attack dominates an opponent’s defense. Unfortunately for Hunt, this is the second week in a row he has not been able to hit his receivers. The Orange got lucky the Wolfpack’s defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable did not pack the line to completely stop the run. Upcoming opponents are not going to be as giving when they study the film this week.

Follow The Fizz on Twitter for the latest SU football news.

A major way for Hunt to start the aerial attack is to complement the offensive areas that are already working. Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley lead the Syracuse ground game to 685 yards in the past two games. The more attention defenses pay to rushing threats, the better chance Hunt can catch them sleeping in coverage. The power of the rushing attack also sets up manageable third downs. Converting on third-and-short rather than a longer third down can help Hunt mature faster and keep the ball moving downfield. We know Hunt has the skill set to hit receivers in stride after the Wagner and Tulane games. Although the talent level of SU’s opponents in those games are not comparable to ACC schools, the early experience should give Hunt something to look back on when trying to jump-start the passing game.

Another aspect of Hunt’s game that has saved him thus far is his running ability. Hunt ran for 92 yards and a score against N.C. State. A week earlier against Clemson, Hunt was able to muster up 57 yards on the ground. The dual-threat keeps defenses on their feet. This will be easier for Hunt to exploit as he plays more games against ACC defenses. Keeping players guessing will allow targets to get open as games progress.

When Ryan Nassib struggled at times in his Syracuse career, he would utilize his tight ends to get the passing game going. Beckett Wales has a similar build to a Nassib-favorite, Nick Provo. Wales has proven during his time at SU that he can make catches and be a receiving threat. However, Wales only has three catches on the year for 23 yards. Hunt would benefit from finding Wales to keep the chains moving and opening up the field for deep threats like Jarrod West and Christopher Clark.

The quarterback position has been heavily scrutinized since the preseason. Now Hunt will be under a bright spotlight to see if he can produce as the Orange chases a bowl game.

Posted by: Zephan Mayell

13 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    Yes a passing game of 175 yds/game could make CUSE a nightmare to defend. Hunt can take off and run–much needed/wanted in McD’s offense. Wales and Kobena, I feel, will compete for the ball, run routes/get separation. For whatever reason WEST DOES NOT!!

    It’s time to take the Funderburk out of the garage and take it for a drive. We need to find out if he can help.

    QB coach just needs to help Hunt trust himself and receivers, get the ball out quicker. It’s a steep learning curve but it must be climbed. Our bowl hopes (almost) depend on it.

  2. Its time to get Estime Qunitam Cornelius and Clark involved more in the O… When Hunt fkaes a hand off he had tons of Daylight to run and he did so several times during the NCS game..

    Hunt needs to have more confidence since he does have the ability to pass and the receivers need to run their routes and not break them off.

    GT will have their hands full this wekend.

    GO SU

  3. Charles Davis

    have about putting in Drew Allen and at least having a quarterback that can throw the ball. Part of Allen problems came from the running backs not putting in an effort, as they now are, and the first year coaches finally getting plays in and running the team as they should. Now if we could just get a the receivers to get open and catch a ball.

  4. Mountain Man44

    How about more recruiting news instead of trying to solve the teams mistakes. I for one look forward to reading about potential SU recruits and have enjoyed your past stories on them. I think we are lacking info this year. Please give us more updates on the future. I am sure I am not alone here. Thanks guys!

  5. I’m in total agreement with “orangeinva” and “Mountain Man44’s” post.

    Great responses gentlemen.

  6. The following are the Bowl Game projections after week 7 for 2013.

    Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: Clemson
    Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2: Florida State
    Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Miami
    Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28: Virginia Tech
    Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31: Maryland
    Belk Bowl, Dec. 28: NC State
    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30: Pitt
    Advocare V100 Bowl, Dec. 31: Georgia Tech
    Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman, Dec. 27: Duke

    I hope Syracuse plays well enough through the last 6 games of the season and makes it to one of the Bowl Games.

  7. Dr. bill

    The Passing Game: I would love to see more passes to the tight end to move the chains. With the threat of the run that we have now, play action is wide open. With teams stacking the box….we have to be able to pass. Why are we not trying Funderburk? Considering our starting wideouts are not producing, are you telling me Funderburk is that much worse? Really?….or is it his practice mentality? Time to let the players play..as Allen Iverson said so well: “Practice…….practice…..you talking about practice!!!!!!!”

  8. I think as fans of the orange. We all see the importance of getting the passing game going. As the running game continues to get more established. Teams will only continues to stake the line and dare us to beat them with the pass. As I have said in another post. I feel that the TE would be a great weapon to use. As I have said before. We don’t use the TE enough and should be throwing to the TE at least 15-20 times a game.

    I also agree with you Dr. Bill. I don’t understand the situation with Funderburk. He has the size and speed. I feel he should be put into the rotation and see what he can do.

    I also have to say.Mr. Davis what are you thinking man. You truely can’t be serious about Drew Allen. Why would you want to risk the chemistry that the team has built since Hunt has taken over. Allen has proven that he has a hard time running this team and offense. None the less had a hard time moving the ball against Wagner. Has thrown more INTS that TDS. And yes Hunt has thrwn some INTS but still has more TDS that INTS. Also Hunt still moves this team and produces. I will agree that the 2 games against ACC teams he has not looked great. But I will stick with Hunt. I feel he will get better with time and game experience.

  9. I think the biggest problem with the passing game seems to be that the starting Wr’s arent getting separation from their defenders. The only one that seems to create separation is Broyld so I think that it’s time to give other Wr’s a chance they can’t be an worse. I mean really dont the WR’s only have combined for like 3 catches and 50 yds in the 2 Acc games. So y not use the younger Wr’s does the coaching staff think that they Owe Jr’s Sr’s playing time?

  10. DUH Cuse folks remember Hunts game against Clemson. He was complelely lost. I’m talking passing here!! And against NCS he was the same except for “ONE” pass. Come right now and in the future HUNT just does not look the part of a decent passer. Against poor teams yes against average to great teams he looks high school now!! NCS for SU’s beneifit did not stack the line and force Hunt to pass!! From now on we’ll see that brick wall be build in front of HUNT until he can prove he can spin the ball properly to his WR/TE/RB’s. Heaven help us CUSE-nics if he can’t!!

  11. I’m getting more impressed with Terry’s FB knowledge by the week!We can beat GT but have to establish some semblence of passing attack for our running game to work so we can get to a bowl!Every ACC win will build up our confidence as a team and I can’t wait till we find a QB whose even above average!Also were gonna have to recruit some young CBs.

  12. Ron,I can’t believe the diss that 9 ACC teams bowl but not us??I’m confused by those projections….no respect I tell ya we get no respect!

  13. @Russell Dangerfield;

    It’s all speculation Russell. One has to remember now that there is an awful lot of football left to play and things are going to change dramatically. After looking at the remaining schedule again I think your prediction of 7-5 or 8-4 is most likely to happen.

    It’s way to early trying to predict what team goes to what bowl. Way to early.

Comments have been disabled.