Once Eric Dungey had found his grove against Central Michigan and the option began to work, Syracuse’s offense was, for the first time in recent memory, enjoyable to watch. Of course, Dungey’s improvised pitch to Jordan Fredericks was the highlight, but there were several plays that gave Syracuse fans hope. Not least of which was Dungey’s last play of the game as he tossed a touchdown to Dontae Strickland before leaving the game with a head injury.
When he was replaced with Austin Wilson, it initially seemed like Offensive Coordinator Tim Lester was going to pick up right where Dungey left off. Wilson marched the Orange down the field and throw a strike into the end zone on his first possession. After that, to put it lightly, it was all downhill for the Syracuse offense.
Wilson made a couple of bad throws, including a big interception and he then saw his time cut down in the second half as Zack Mahoney got his chance under center. Neither Wilson nor Mahoney could do much of anything in the second half and the Orange offense looked eerily familiar to the one that Syracuse fans saw in 2014 once Terrel Hunt went down.
Monday, Head Coach Scott Shafer said that Dungey is “probably doubtful” for Saturday’s clash against #8 LSU. Some fans may say, “Who cares? Syracuse has no shot anyway.”
Yes, Syracuse has little to no chance at beating LSU even with Dungey. And yes, if he is not 100% ready to go, the Orange should sit him out. However, what may be overlooked is how big of an impact Dungey missing a game could have on the Syracuse offense.
Every good offense as continuity, particularly at quarterback and the Orange just have not had that. Throw in a new offensive system and having a consistent starter under center becomes all the more important. The Orange managed to, somehow, survive against Central Michigan without Eric Dungey, but Dungey missing an entire game could have a lasting impact even if he returns ready to go following the bye week.
Obviously, there is nothing anyone can do to change Eric Dungey’s injury situation. However, it is something that all Orange fans need to be aware of. Tim Lester, Scott Shafer and all of Orange Nation, need Eric Dungey.