Yes, Syracuse lost to Liberty. It was awful. However, if Orange nation looks hard enough, they might be able to find a couple of bright spots. Here are some players whose stock rose during SU’s disappointment.
DISCLAIMER: Just assume everyone else’s stock went down.
Anthony Queeley: The redshirt sophomore had been quiet through his first four games, as elder statesmen Taj Harris and Nykiem Johnson saw most of the targets from former starting QB Tommy DeVito. But now-starter Rex Culpepper seems to have established a connection with Queeley. Queeley caught five balls for 77 yards and his first career touchdown, the longest reception of his career at 32 yards. It was unclear who the number three option was going to be at receiver this year for SU. Queeley’s now secured that spot. He’ll also have a bigger role if Harris is reprimanded for his late-game bird last Saturday.
Sean Tucker (again): It was great to see Tucker run consistently after a so-so performance against Duke where he sustained a couple “owies” (if you weren’t aware, that is head coach Dino Babers’ new word for injury). The freshman ran for 111 yards on 21 carries at a clip of over 5 yards per touch. Tucker’s running style impresses against average talent. Now let’s see if he can do it against one of the best defensive lines in the country this weekend.
Dillon Markiewicz and JaCobian Morgan: While Culpepper had his moments against Liberty, including the aforementioned TD pass to Queeley, he also had a fair share of cringe-worthy plays. It doesn’t help that the play-calling is boring and devoid of creativity, but most of Culpeppers’ mistakes were wobbly, badly- placed throws. The fifth-year senior had a couple miscommunications with receivers as well. Last weeks’ game proved that Culpepper won’t be the starter by the end of the year. While he “knows the offense,” he doesn’t provide the arm talent of Markiewicz or the dual-threat abilities of Morgan. The Syracuse faithful have been calling for either freshman to get a chance in a real game, and Babers should listen to his fan base. However, neither freshman QB should be subject to trial by fire in Death Valley (that is until the Tigers’ walk-on wideouts are playing corner).