Throughout this week, Orange Fizz has been previewing the 2020 Syracuse Football season with record predictions and the most important players. Today, we round out the list with the most important player on the field for the Orange– Mr. Tommy DeVito.
Come on, who else would it be? Of course it’s going to be Tommy. The “golden child” has a lot of weight on his shoulders this year, more than a normal season. After a disappointing first season as the starting quarterback, DeVito has to step up and command an offense that doesn’t have too many weapons.
Why Syracuse Needs Him
The simple answer is because DeVito is all Syracuse has at the quarterback position. Clayton Welch, who wasn’t anything special but was a solid backup is gone now, so Rex Culpepper is now QB2. If DeVito goes down due to injury or has a bad game, Culpepper is leading the Orange. That’s not a great situation.
Beyond that, however, DeVito makes this offense run. You’re probably saying to yourself right now, “well yeah, duh, he’s the quarterback.” You’re correct, but this year more than any other DeVito needs to make the offense run. There is no more Moe Neal, Abdul Adams or Jarveon Howard in the backfield to help. There is no more Trishton Jackson on the outside to turn a two-yard bubble screen into a 20-yard pick up. This season is all on DeVito. He needs to elevate his game and bring the best out of the players around him.
Best Case Scenario
The best case scenario for DeVito is if he makes up for the loss of his top two running backs. The best case scenario for the Orange is if he doesn’t hit the ground 20 times per game. If the offensive line can protect their QB, he should be aiming for a 3,000-yard season. Last year DeVito threw for 2,360 yards, which averaged out to be just under 200 yards per game. Best case scenario this year is he averages between 250 and 300 yards per contest and has a total that eclipses the 3,000 yard mark. To go along with that 25 touchdowns through the air and 5 on the ground would be lovely.
Is this actually going to happen? Are these numbers attainable? Probably not. Especially when you take into account DeVito is going up against some of the best defenses in the ACC in Clemson, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh. But hey, those stats are the best case scenario.
Worst Case Scenario
Worst case scenario is the offensive line improves and keeps DeVito upright, but he takes a step back. If he isn’t sacked as many times as last year, but throws more than five interceptions, which was his total in 2019, that is a bad sign. If his yardage drops or his touchdown numbers aren’t up to par, that is a bad sign. Sure, you may be able to blame the lack of talent in the receiver corps and the absence of the top two running backs, but a good QB should be able to make up for that. DeVito needs to improve this year. If he dips or stays at the same level as last season, that will be the worst case scenario.
Monday, September 7 – #5 Josh Black
Tuesday, September 8 – #4 Taj Harris
Wednesday, September 9 – #3 Airon Servais
Thursday, September 10 – #2 Andre Cisco
Friday, September 11 – #1 Tommy DeVito