Syracuse just can’t catch a break. Two days after 247Sports reported that Tommy DeVito is likely out for the rest of the season, it was reported that Andre Cisco is out for the year after an ACL injury.
With SU’s two key players likely done for the season, the rest of the year should be focused on development. That means that head coach Dino Babers should play Dillon Markiewicz over Rex Culpepper. SU fans have seen what Culpepper can do – and besides a long touchdown to Taj Harris earlier this season – it’s not much. Excluding that 69 yard touchdown, Culpepper has thrown for 44 yards on 18 pass attempts.
Culpepper may be the best option for the Orange for the rest of the season. But as of now, SU is 1-3 without much hope for a resurgence. The injury list is piling up. Now 10 key contributors from preseason are not playing. Syracuse isn’t suddenly going to get hot and go on a long winning streak.
Instead, Babers should build for the future and play Markiewicz. Sure DeVito can stick around for a couple more years if he wants to. But more competition behind center sure doesn’t hurt Syracuse’s long-term prospects. And playing Markiewicz now also helps the Orange if they face another quarterback injury next season.
Granted, throwing a freshman into the fire doesn’t send a great message to the team. But when Vegas expects Syracuse to lose to Liberty on Saturday, there are bigger problems at stake.
Markiewicz is a big Texas quarterback at 6-foot-4.5 and 215 pounds. Outside of SU, Markiewicz had offers from Boise State, Texas State and Stephen F. Austin. While the offer list is small, the arm is big. Against high-powered 5A Texas football, Markiewicz had a strong senior season after blooming late.
Now, Markiewicz may not be great, but Syracuse doesn’t have a good quarterback on the roster. It’s time for Babers to empty the cupboard and see what he can work with. Starting Markiewicz is a chance to look towards the future, and potentially find a quarterback that gives SU a better chance to win.