There’s a lot of blame to go around the Syracuse offense right now, and Tommy DeVito is facing a lot of backlash two games in. Some Syracuse fans are even calling for Rex Culpepper to take his job. However, the redshirt junior quarterback might not be completely at fault.
The running backs have been a liability. Jawhar Jordan is tasked with carrying the unit at just 2.4 yards per attempt (28th in the ACC). The offensive line is depleted to the point where fullback Chris Elmore is the starting right guard, so the question Syracuse fans should be asking is could any quarterback succeed in this offense.
The answer is no. To be frank, no position group in the offense is doing its job. But the blame DeVito is getting is warranted. Through two games, he has been sacked 14 times. The only other signal caller who has taken double digit sacks in the country is Wake Forests’ Sam Hartman (10).
Despite the shorthanded offensive line, this has always been a problem for DeVito. In 2018, while playing sparingly under Eric Dungey, DeVito was sacked, on average, once every eight throws. As a full time starter, the numbers looked very similar in 2019. This year, he’s up to three sacks for every 10 throws. The first two seasons were about double the national average. This season, DeVito is at 4.5x the national average.
On a micro level, DeVito took seven sacks last week in Pittsburgh. Despite splitting time pretty evenly, Culpepper was never sacked against the Panthers. It only took Culpepper two plays to connect with Taj Harris for a 69-yard touchdown. DeVito is still scoreless through two starts.
To make a long story short, DeVito was dealt a bad hand, and it is unknown whether a better quarterback could succeed in this offense with the way the supporting cast has performed and the plays have been called. But the former four-star is only making matters worse.