Orange dominate Blue in SU's annual Spring Game

The combination of Terrel Hunt and Jarrod West proved to be a potent combination, leading to a 27-10 victory for the Orange team.

If the comparison of inter-squad spring football games were a valuable piece of information, this year's Syracuse Orange team is either a team more offensive, or much worse defensively than last year's team. With the offensive firepower of Terrel Hunt and Jarrod West, the Orange team dominated the Blue team, 27-10 during Saturday’s game.

Photo: Luke Rafferty
Senior quarterback Josh Kinder is one of the player being considered for the starting quarterback position.

Of course, the Spring Game is far from a good indicator of success, or even team identity. For the Orange, who lost their starting quarterback, top-two wide receivers, as well as their head coach and a good portion of his coaching staff, the Spring Game was more about what the word “spring” means. Rebirth, change, and rebuilding are the themes here, with a clear personality yet to develop.

“Everyone's getting a fresh start,” senior wide receiver Jarrod West said.

Former defensive coordinator and current head coach Scott Shafer was relatively unconcerned with how the Spring Game impacted the positions currently being fought over, most obviously the quarterback job.

“This game doesn't do a lot [for the quarterback competition], to be honest with you,” Shafer said. “We get more snaps under duress in situations outside of the Spring Game. The practices ahead of the Spring Game were probably as important as the Spring Game.”

The Orange team – the presumed starters – were led by junior quarterback Terrel Hunt, who was 19-for-29 with 209 yards and two touchdowns.

“I'm still learning how to be a starting quarterback,” the humble Hunt said. “I was learning how to fight for it, and now I'm learning how to become a starting quarterback, and the responsibility that it takes.”

Of course, Hunt has not been handed the starting job, in spite of his stellar performance in Saturday's scrimmage. He is still in direct competition with last year's backups, Charley Loeb and John Kinder, along with Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen, who won't begin playing with the Orange until this summer.

“As soon as I found out he [Allen] was coming, I went to go work out,” Hunt said. “I don't ever want to be starting in the spring and then lose the spot when another guy comes.”

Loeb, who many expected to be the front-runner following the graduation of Ryan Nassib, struggled in the game, and knew it.

“I don't think I was overly efficient,” Loeb said, “I needed to complete a couple more passes than I did, needed to move the chains more than I did, and I need to operate, overall, better than I did.”

Loeb went on to put the game in perspective, seeming to convince himself that the competition wasn't over.

“Every day is a fight. It's not one day a week, it's not one practice, it's a cumulative body of work,” Loeb said. “You hope you can point a portrait of progress.”

Nobody will benefit more from a quarterback competition than new number one wide out Jarrod West. West caught both of Hunt's touchdowns and an finished with 82 yards receiving on the day.

“I got a lot of reps with every quarterback,” West said. “Me and T-Hunt were pretty good throughout the spring. But I made a lot of plays with other quarterbacks too. They're all good quarterbacks.”

West, who sat behind Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales, will be given the chance to be the go-to guy this season.

“He's got a lot of potential, and has made a lot of plays for us already. He had some real good players in front of him the last couple years, now it's time for him to increase his load, and he's ready for the challenge,” Shafer said. “He's definitely representative of what we want from this program: high character, works hard in the classroom, he's a diligent football player. I'm looking forward to him having a great senior year.”

West doesn't seem to mind who throws him the ball, as long as they're throwing it.

“I'm out there to win. As long as it's in the area, I'll go out there and catch it,” West said. “I'm trying to step up and bring everybody with me.”

With Allen's arrival next month, the quarterback competition will heat up even more. The Spring Game is just the beginning.

“It's going to be a fun summer,” West said.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.