-Undoubtedly we have our answer about the long-term decision at quarterback for Syracuse. Terrel Hunt proved his feats against Wagner were no fluke. In the 52-17 drubbing, Hunt helped lead two 75-yards drives out of the gate that led to 14 SU points. It was the type of opening statement good teams make against bad ones, the type that sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Hunt looks poised, comfortable, and under control. Comparing that to how herky-jerky Drew Allen played in the first two games is like night and day. Hunt finished with four touchdowns through the air, but it was how he guided the team early that helped put away an inferior opponent and locked up the starting job for good.
-With how well Hunt has played it seems crazy that Scott Shafer has continued to keep the quarterback competition “open.” The ACC broadcast crew was hinting that no matter how well Hunt performs Shafer wants to keep the pressure on him in practices, and that George McDonald’s glare during the week is pushing Hunt. It only makes sense if the staff wants to make sure a young quarterback doesn’t take anything for granted and continues to demand more of himself. There should be no question who the starter is for ACC play. Allen is in over his head. He is not equipped to lead this team against the likes of Clemson, FSU and other solid squads. The offense runs smoothly with Hunt. One has to imagine the staff knows Allen will never take another meaningful snap for the Orange, but wants to get as much out of Hunt during the week.
-Good for the Orange in dispatching two lesser opponents with ease. Syracuse should not have any problem with Wagner or Tulane at home, and blew out both squads. A close win would’ve brought some grumbling before the Clemson game and the ACC slate. Taking care of business, and stomping out any hopes of an upset by the road team is the sign of stability and expectations by SU. We knew the Orange was the better team the last two weeks. Luckily, it played like it too.
-That first half was as good a thirty minutes as you’ll see from an offense. The Orange put up 42 points before intermission, and punched it in from the goal line just before the half. It won’t always run that smoothly, but the fact SU was able to take advantage of all situations (good field position, poor field position, 2:00 drill before the half) showed an offense that can jump on you early. Far too many times last season the attack was slow to build and took into the second half to really get going. The Orange is unlikely to have another half like that again, but it was nice to see nonetheless.
-I liked the blue-blue-blue color scheme. I saw plenty of outrage over the blue helmets on Twitter from traditional-minded SU fans. I thought the matte finish blue lids were pretty cool. But the helmet color fade from orange to blue was overthinking it. Just make it 100% blue. And why is SU unveiling those against Tulane? Wouldn’t it have been more effective next week? Retire Donovan McNabb’s number and trot out the new uniforms? Questionable timing by the athletic department fasionistas.
-The fun and games are over. SU moved itself to .500 with these two blowout wins. Now it’s time for the real competition. No more of the JV stuff. Clemson is one of the best teams in the nation and can put up 400 yards and 30 points without blinking. Is the Orange ready for that next level? It better be, because if not it’ll get ugly at the Dome.