After all the excitement in Central New York with an athletic, shiny, SEC quarterback transferring to Syracuse, many fans might have walked away from the 29-9 win over Ohio unsatisfied. Garrett Shrader only had one pass for eight yards and one carry for eight yards, while Tommy DeVito managed a run-heavy offense.
Head Coach Dino Babers promised a two-QB system out of camp. He was hoping one of the signal callers would separate themselves so he wouldn’t have to resort to the tandem style. But after the win over the Bobcats, Babers explained why DeVito was the lone quarterback.
“He’s very calm,” Babers said. “It’s not an issue of lack of knowledge. When he’s executing at a level like this, it’s hard to take him out.”
But the question is what level was DeVito really executing at yesterday. The redshirt junior completed 11 of his 17 throws for 92 yards. He didn’t throw any touchdowns or interceptions and only took one sack. Meanwhile, he netted 49 yards on 7 attempts on the ground. The Orange never trailed, and DeVito was never asked to make a big play.
So with the majority of DeVito’s plus-production coming on the ground, it does seem like a head-scratcher to sit Shrader considering the run game is his strength. It seems hard to believe that DeVito did anything that Shrader can’t. Yet, DeVito has Babers’ support.
The sixth year head coach insisted that Shrader will play next week. But he is known for keeping his cards close, especially in game weeks. There is very little reason to believe this is a true two-QB system until DeVito loses the job.
What DeVito has to do to lose that job remains to be seen. Maybe it all lies in his sacks numbers. Maybe it’s the turnover margin. Maybe it doesn’t matter what he does as long as the Orange keep winning. But whatever it is, Syracuse fans are hoping DeVito has a short leash.