Position Preview: Quarterback

A look at the quarterbacks for Syracuse football entering the 2015 season.

Returning Starters: Terrel Hunt*
*Austin Wilson and A.J. Long both started games last year due to injury

Projected Starters: Terrel Hunt will be the number one at the quarterback position, barring any injury setbacks or lackluster performance.

Top Reserves: Austin Wilson and Eric Dungey

Biggest Question Mark: The biggest question mark for the team this entire season could be the quarterback position and the play of Terrel Hunt. Hunt is a senior, with only one full-season under his belt, after sitting out the remaining six games of last season with a broken fibula. Hunt is on the clock when it comes to production. If he can bounce back from a season of learning and studying film in 2014, he has the experience to command the SU offense. His impressive play in the victory over Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl is something to build on in terms of leadership.

Most Important Player: The most important player at the position is obviously Hunt. In his first full season in 2013, he was 167 of 273 for a 61% completion rate in the pocket. He also threw for over 1,600 yards, and 10 touchdowns that season. But, Terrel Hunt has to improve his overall numbers and efficiency if the Orange has a chance to be consistent and flip the script for a winning season. If Hunt struggles, Coach Shafer knows that Austin Wilson has experience in five games last year, but no touchdowns to show for on his season line. Hunt must lead the way, but limited experience stands behind him at the position on the sidelines.

Outlook for 2015 Season at Quarterback: Last season, Syracuse was only able to score over 30 points twice, in games against Central Michigan (40-3, W) and Wake Forest (30-7, W). Scoring must improve, and that starts with the play caller and trickles down to the entire offense. With only one home victory coming in Week 1 against Villanova, it is imperative that SU quarterbacks and the offense at large takes advantage of familiar surroundings at the Dome. If Hunt can display some of his success seen in 2013, which had some scouts teasing his NFL talent, then the Orange should see increased production under center leading to greater offensive efficiency.

What will constitute a successful season for this position group: Completions and ball control will be the initial success out of training camp. Particularly Terrel Hunt, but any of the quarterbacks who may see snaps need to maintain an efficient offense for Syracuse. The defense has worked hard to remain solid over the last few years, but three and out drives will wear down their production. A solid balance of running and passing within a changed offense should allow for the quarterbacks to have more time in the pocket to get the job done. Statistically, five to six wins, 25 plus touchdowns (either passing or running), and limited turnovers will be a success for the SU play callers.

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