Hunt Shines in Victory

The quarterback battle at Syracuse has been well documented throughout training camp and into the season. That battle may have turned a corner as Terrel Hunt put on a show in the Orange's home opener against Wagner

The argument could be made that the quarterback battle was decided when Drew Allen led three straight 3-and-outs against FCS Wagner. But what cemented that feeling was Terrel Hunt's play on the next seven possessions.

On his first drive, Hunt led a 12 play, 68-yard drive that resulted in a Jerome Smith touchdown. While the Orange did utilize a strong running game to move the ball, it was one play that showed the difference between the two quarterbacks.

On third and 3 from the Wagner 13, Terrel Hunt rolled to his right. Jarrod West was his primary read, but was covered well down the sideline. He looked back at his tight end, then into the flat. Neither target was open. Continuing to go through his progressions, he looked back at West who had now gained separation. He zipped the ball into the chest of West who caught the ball at the Wagner three yard line for a first down.

Going through multiple progressions, solid decision making, strong footwork and efficient play was part for the course for the redshirt sophomore quarterback. Hunt was poised and certainly looked the part throughout Syracuse's big win.

Overall, he finished 15-18 passing for 265-yards and three scoring tosses. He also ran for 22-yards on three carries. In Hunt's seven drives as the signal caller for the Orange, Syracuse scored six touchdowns and added one field goal.

As impressive was when Hunt would scramble out of trouble in the pocket. Showing poise of a veteran, Hunt kept his eyes downfield which resulted in positive plays time and again.

He silenced critics of his arm strength with some big throws down the field. He hit Jarrod West on a 65-yard play in the third quarter, throwing the ball on a rope and in perfect placement for his big target. 

In the second quarter, Hunt was patient in the pocket and found a wide open Chris Clark streaking down the middle of the field. He again threw a dart, hitting Clark in perfect stride for the score. 

Head coach Scott Shafer eluded to the strangle hold Hunt seems to have on the job in his post game press conference. He said it would be hard to envision him not starting Hunt against Tulane, but wanted to review the film before making a concrete decision. 

The offense just had a different look, a different flow with Hunt.  It was the type of performance he always knew he had in him. When asked if he was surprised by leading Syracuse on six straight touchdown drives to start his career, he answered with confidence.

"Not at all," Hunt said. "I've been preparing for this moment my whole life."

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