We’ve heard it all on the Hill the last few days. A win’s a win. It wasn’t pretty but they got it done. But this was Syracuse against FCS opponent Villanova. The Orange barely snuck out with a 27-26 win at the Dome. A missed field goal and failed execution by the Wildcats in OT helped SU pull this one out.
Scott Shafer doesn’t need to panic, and sometimes there are multiple moving parts, along with fresh playbook details in the mix. But luckily Syracuse has a bye week to work with. Here’s The Fizz Five to break down areas of concern for SU and how it can hopefully fix its issues.
- Tighten the screws on Terrel Hunt’s head
Dillon Lucas was a pain all night long to a handful of SU offensive players. The ‘Nova linebacker managed to get deep enough into Hunt’s head he eventually got punched. Hunt knows better. You’re finally handed the keys to lead the offense. Hunt even mentioned last week how he feels old in his leadership role. Hunt can learn he can’t make any more mistakes like this going forward. SU cannot afford its leader sitting on the bench for a non-football related purpose.
- Austin Wilson should work with the starters
Wilson should continue to push and motivate Hunt. The gunslinger went 11-17 in his back up role. There are indications Wilson has a better arm and deep ball. Credit is due to Wilson for his gutsy relief stint. Coming in cold because of an ejection on opening night is no easy task. The kid should receive some opportunities with the first team offense. Shafer was right to support Hunt after the game, but he ought to push these two quarterbacks to the limit to bring the best out of them.
- Continue to cement Ashton Broyld’s role
Broyld was listed as the starting halfback before last weekend. But the versatile receiver bounced all over the place. As the game progressed, Broyld continuously lined up on the outside. Ashton has the ability to get up and snag high throws. He’s still a WR weapon in George McDonald’s book. Syracuse has toyed with his role since he’s been on campus. He’s undoubtedly a wide out. Keep him there because it can work.
- Trick plays should appear weekly
Riley Dixon’s connection with Kendall Moore to win the ball game was stellar. SU executed trick plays last year when Jarrod West hit Brisly Estime with a 25-yard touchdown pass to cap a third-quarter rally against Wake Forest. Syracuse has shown it can execute these gadget plays and throw teams off.
- Don’t sleep on Central Michigan
The Chippewas scored 20 unanswered points after trailing 16-0 to beat Chattanooga over the weekend. Central Michigan had just one turnover and rushed close to 150 yards. QB Cooper Rush connected with six different receivers in the win. Syracuse’s defense struggled against Johnny Robertson of ‘Nova. Syracuse needs to Stay hungry.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen