Terrel Hunt is the man right now.
The future is bright for the Syracuse quarterback, who led the Orange to a Texas Bowl victory in his first season under center. It was not an easy start for him. Drew Allen won the quarterback battle at the beginning of the season, but Hunt took over and was 6-4 as the starter.
At times he struggled with consistency. He is a mobile quarterback, but did not always pass the ball with accuracy. This is a new season for him, and the expectations are higher. The spring game on Saturday was the chance to see how he improved since the Texas Bowl, and it’s a sign of what he needs to work on before SU opens the 2014 season on August 29 at the Dome against Villanova.
Here’s the good news: Hunt was 12-for-15 passing and threw for 95 yards in one half of play in the spring game. The passing is the most important number there. Although he was solid at times, he struggled to be consistent. That is his key moving forward into next season. Part of his struggles last season was the group of young receivers. They were inexperienced, but showed the potential to be the next big names on offense. They took over for two of SU’s big-name receivers – Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales. Now, the receivers are more experienced and that helps Hunt be better.
Ashton Broyld and Brisly Estime were Hunt’s main men. He always connects well with the two of them. One of Hunt’s big flaws last year was the lack of a go-to receiver. SU fans can expect Hunt to work with all of the receivers before the season starts to make sure he is on the same page, but having one or two go-to receivers always has a benefit in certain game situations.
It is especially more important for Hunt to work on finding that go-to receiver because the running back situation is very unknown. Syracuse has Prince-Tyson Gulley and George Morris II as its top two guys, as well as Devante McFarlane, who could have a very good season in certain situations. Gulley and Morris have little starting experience, so it could take time for those two to get used to working in the starting role – whoever it may be. This makes it especially important that Hunt finds good connections with his receivers, whether it be wide receivers or a tight end.
He comes into this season much more confident than any point last season. He knows he is the starting quarterback for the season and right now the face of the program. He experiences winning that very few first-year quarterbacks have the opportunity to be a part of. Syracuse became bowl eligible in the last six seconds of its game against Boston College – he completed the pass that put SU ahead. He also led the team to a victory against a Big Ten team in the Texas Bowl.
Confidence is high right now for the young quarterback, and the motivation and momentum he has moving forward is likely to bring good things to the program this season.
Posted by: Austin Pollack