Quarterback Tommy DeVito hasn’t had the best season so far. Dino Babers’s golden child has been waiting for his shot at the starting role for a few years and now that he has it, he isn’t living up to expectations. The offensive line in front of him isn’t helping, either. They have allowed 35 sacks, that’s the most of any FBS team. DeVito has been able to deal with the bumps and bruises throughout the season, but last week Pittsburgh’s defense was too much. QB1 left the game with an upper body injury, which sent QB2, Clayton Welch, in. The redshirt senior threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns and surprised some SU fans. The Orange faithful never expected to have a quarterback controversy this year, but here we are. DeVito’s poor play and Welch’s surprising showing begs the question which one should vs. FSU? Here are the arguments for both sides.
This is DeVito’s team. Babers has been very clear throughout the season that DeVito is the guy for Syracuse through the ups and the downs. Plus, he’s putting up good stats. DeVito is averaging 234 yards and almost two touchdowns per game. The redshirt sophomore has a cannon of an arm and surprisingly quick feet. He has developed a rapport with the receivers, especially Trishton Jackson, that Welch just doesn’t have. The only reason DeVito’s not being praised for his performance is because he’s on the ground every other play thanks to the offensive line. His injuries have created his quarterback controversy, but if he’s healthy by the time the Orange face the Seminoles, DeVito should start.
Welch can play just as good as DeVito has this year. Welch showed what he can do against Pittsburgh last week. They may not have been the flashiest drives and he may have made a few mistakes, but Welch scored touchdowns and that’s the ultimate goal in football. He has been in the system for three years, so he knows it like the back of his hand. Plus, Welch showed he can run, which fits Babers’s offense. Florida State is a perfect game to give him the opportunity to start because the Seminoles aren’t very good this year. They are just 3-4 and don’t pressure the quarterback too much, averaging just 2 sacks per game. Let DeVito rest and see how starting Welch turns out.
Give the backup a shot. What does Syracuse have to lose? The Orange are 3-4, on a downwards trajectory and what they’re currently doing isn’t resulting in wins. A lot has to change and the quarterback position could be the start. DeVito is too banged up right now and could use a week off to rest and get his body back. Welch looked good against Pitt, driving his team down the field to score twice. So start Welch and see what happens. It could rejuvenate the offense and even be a wake up call for DeVito to get better. If starting Welch doesn’t work, then go back to DeVito, but change it up and see if Welch could be the savior of this team.