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Ebb & Flow: A Look Back at 2013’s Positives & Negatives for Syracuse Football

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via Syracuse Media

When a college football team enters a new season with a new head coach and quarterback and in a new conference, one might think the team is headed for solely disappointments.

The season began with more disappointments than pleasant surprises, but for frustrating change came a nice positive.
Penn State and Northwestern disappointments: Syracuse lost these two games, which were the first two of the regular season. After these, it was a wonder if Syracuse would even be able to win six games and become bowl eligible. Drew Allen started the season as the quarterback but the interceptions and the inability to help Syracuse get points on the board resulted in him taking a seat on the bench and allowing Hunt to come in and see what he could do.
Drew Allen didn’t work out: Syracuse, especially the offensive coaching staff, had such high hopes for Allen. The fifth-year quarterback came from a strong program at Oklahoma and was probably a good bet to replace Ryan Nassib. Hunt was talented and had potential for possibly after Allen’s fifth year. It was ugly from the start, and it prompted the quick hook.
Terrel Hunt did: Allen had difficulty completing passes. He didn’t have much of a running game. Then Hunt exploded against Wagner and Tulane with both. After he got the Orange back to .500 with 50-plus offensive points against two lesser opponents, he was instantly the favorite to take over for the rest of the season.
Jerome Smith helped carry the team: Smith had by far his best season in a Syracuse uniform. Although he rushed for fewer than 1,000 yards, he found the end zone often. He had 11 touchdowns, and scored at least once in the team’s first six games. He essentially flip-flopped his 2012 and 2013 seasons. Last season, he only had three touchdowns but had more than 1,000 yards on the ground. Given the quarterback situation, Smith’s rushing TDs were invaluable.
No team put up 100-plus rushing yards: Although the defense looked horrific in games against Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida State, it never allowed a running back to rush for more than 100 yards in a game. This was especially surprising against Boston College’s Andre Williams, who competed with FSU’s Jameis Winston for the Heisman. This says a lot about the defense.
This was a transition year for the program. It wasn’t a free pass for failure, but struggle would have been understandable because of all the changes in the program. The regular season was successful, given so many changes, and next year should have more pleasant surprises than disappointments. 
Posted by: Austin Pollack 
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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