The quarterback battle throughout the fall was intense. Many expected Drew Allen to take the job rather easily. But after being named the starter in the spring, redshirt sophomore Terrel Hunt wasn't going to go down without a fight.
In a battle that lasted until nearly the final week before the season opener, Drew Allen came out on top. But after struggling mightily in Syracuse's first two games, then failing to move the ball early against Wagner, Terrel Hunt was given his chance. It was the only one he would need.
Since then, all Hunt has done is gone 31-39 for 440-yards and seven touchdowns. All of that without a single turnover. But beyond Hunt's numbers are the poise, confidence and skills he has shown that make him the answer for a floundering Syracuse offense during the first two weeks of the season.
Hunt knows this offense. He gets in rhythm early, goes through his progressions, and takes what the defense gives him. On the first drive, Hunt threw two passes while under pressure, absorbing a hit to deliver the ball on the money. That includes the first play from scrimmage when he found Jerome Smith in the flat with a defender in his face.
Hunt also extends his success to third down, leading the Orange to conversions on four of their first five third down situations to set the tone for the game. Frequently Hunt goes through his reads to find his first or second target on the play.
On one play, Hunt took the snap and immediately looked at West who was covered. He came back over the middle and found Chris Clark open on a drag route across the middle, hitting him in perfect stride for a first down.
On Hunt's touchdown pass to Clark in the first quarter, he immediately noticed the lack of safety help over the top. He hit Clark on a post for an easy pitch and catch.
The thing that sets Hunt apart is his playmaking ability when he extends a play with his feet. In the second quarter, with the Orange up just 21-10, Syracuse faced a third and 11 at the Tulane 16. After going through his progressions and finding no one open, Hunt knew he had to make a play. He scrambled up the middle, ran by a defender, and plunged into the endzone to put the Orange up 28-10. That was the closest Tulane would be for the remainder of the game.
The team responds to the young signal caller, as is evident by the large increase in production in the two wins. The Orange offense put up over 50-points in back to back weeks for the first time since 1997 under Hunt's guidance. Early in the season, the offense seemed lost. Now, Syracuse has their quarterback for not only this year, but for the years to come.