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By The Numbers: Syracuse’s Quarterback Carousel

The carousel was always one of my least favorite rides at the carnival. Why would I pay money to sit on the back of an extremely uncomfortable horse and spin around in circles for a few minutes? The same goes for Syracuse’s quarterback situation over the past two years. Why would I pay money sit on an extremely uncomfortable metal bleacher in the Carrier Dome and watch Scott Shafer’s head spin around for a few hours? Recent times have not been kind to the Orange fan, and the numbers show just how bad things have been under center.

9: Players Who Have Attempted a Pass For the Syracuse Orange Since 2014

Terrel Hunt, AJ Long, Austin Wilson, Mitch Kimble, Riley Dixon, Jarrod West, Eric Dungey, Zack Mahoney and Sean Avant. Since the beginning of last season, all of these players have made at least one pass attempt for the Syracuse Orange. The number could have been an even 10, but Prince Tyson-Gulley had his pass called back by a flag last season. Six of them are quarterbacks, which is far more than anyone wants in less than a season and a half of football. I’ve always preached consistency under center. A team needs to be able to get into the groove of an offense and learn to play with its quarterback, but with the quarterback changing so often it’s impossible. The multiple quarterback system just doesn’t work (see Ohio State’s performance against Northern Illinois last weekend and Louisville’s performance throughout the season). A lot of things have kept this offense from getting off the ground the last two years, but none has been more impactful than the inconsistency at the quarterback position.

2: Pass attempts for Terrel Hunt in 2015

It wouldn’t seem right to talk about Syracuse’s quarterback woes without devoting an entire section to Hunt. When he went down against Rhode Island just minutes into the game, the stadium was in disbelief. There had been so many pieces of the team with question marks around it going into the 2015 season — with most of the defense graduating and an offense which looked miserable in 2014 – that it was at the very least comforting for Orange fans to know the man under center. But yet again, the Orange had the rug pulled out from under it. I’m sure there will plenty more talk of what Terrel Hunt’s legacy as a Syracuse quarterback will be, but we’ll never know what it could have been if the standout freshman had been able to stay healthy.

12: Passing touchdowns since 2014

This isn’t the number of passing touchdowns for a single player since 2014, nor is it the number of passing touchdowns for Terrel Hunt’s backups since 2014. No, this is the total number of passing touchdowns produced by the Syracuse Orange over the past 15 games. Eric Dungey leads the team with five touchdowns in only three appearances. This is what happens when you’ve struggled as much as the Orange has to keep a quarterback healthy. To add salt to the wound, Syracuse has thrown 19 interceptions over the same span.

Posted: Nathan Dickinson

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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