Dome Diaries: Two Steps Forward premium subscriber jtmoney842 gives his thoughts on Syracuse/Florida State and the team going forward. This is a new weekly feature exclusively to, where jtmoney842 provides the pulse of the Orange fan base. Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely that of jtmoney842 and do not necessarily reflect that of the staff.

I want to start out by saying that it is great to be a member here at Scout and I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you guys in the Dome Diary every week. Some may know me from the past so you should know what to expect. I encourage you to share feedback with me via twitter, @jtmoney842, or in the boards. Here we go…

I expected, well, not much from Syracuse Football on Saturday. An 18 point loss to the #1 team in FSU is not going to make me lose sleep at night. I was, to the contrary, extremely encouraged by the team’s performance, especially considering we lost our “best player” in Hunt. I thought we held our own against FSU and had the opportunities to make the game closer than it was. The FSU experience should give us some confidence to trounce Wake on Saturday.

First off, the program took two steps forward on Saturday with A.J. Long and Steve Ishmael. Long is the real deal. The kid had zero snaps under his belt and in my eyes out performed expectations in his first start. AJ is clearly the future of this program and he needs to start for the rest of the season. Also, to see him connect with Steve Ishmael, giving Ish his best game as an Orangemen, really has me excited. Both AJ and Steve need to be on the field for 100% of the snaps moving forward. The future of the program depends on it.

As for Hunt, he has been performing a par level so far this year. He wows you when playing mediocre competition, but is always a shade disappointing vs the big boys. I think the stretch run from 2013 is not the accurate picture of Hunt. What we saw in 2014 is. He will never be the guy to lead us to an ACC title. He may get us to bowl games and chew up teams we should beat. It’s time to let AJ Long show us what he can do Can anyone say QB competition in 2015???

I also think the guys handled the George McDonald situation well. He brought a lot of these guys into the program and it must be tough in the locker room for them to see how things played out. They played their hearts out for Lester and I commend them for that.

The real question is what is Schafer thinking? How can you bring in a guy as your offensive coordinator and give him an 18 game leash? I didn’t see a huge difference in the offense on Saturday other than a new QB who is clearly a better passer then our last QB. Schafer shoots from the hip, and I’m not sure you want that in your head coach. McDonald is a well-respected guy in college coaching and I don’t see how a reputable OC will want to come in and work with Schafer after this. This move smells of a guy coaching for his life.

Finally I want to introduce the Syracuse Football Stock Index to you. What I have done is assign a weighted grade between 0 and 4 to each offensive player in the box score. I also have assigned a score between 0-30 to the defense, 0-10 for the O-Line and 0-10 for the special teams play. All scores are simply based on my opinion of performance.

Just so happens, the Index will open up trading at 44. Outliers this week were the special teams receiving a perfect 10/10 and Steve Ishmael getting a perfect 4/4. I will provide a graph moving forward so we can track the team’s performance. Tweet me people @jtmoney842.

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