The Syracuse Orange's 48-27 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats might be a turning point for the young 2013 season. Now 0-2, the Orange may be forced to make some tough choices and tough changes. And a lot of 2nd-teamers and young players seem to be making their case for more playing time.
First and foremost, Terrel Hunt debuted as a Syracuse QB. While it was against Northwestern's mop-up squad, Hunt looked good. He led a 10-play, 77-yard touchdown drive and finished with 22 passing yards, 30 rushing yards and a score. I honestly don't know what's going to happen from here with the quarterback situation but I have to believe Terrel has earned the right to see the field again (though Drew Allen's play probably has more to do with that than anything Hunt's done).
The big injury of the night was Lord Beckett Wales, who left the game with an ankle sprain (Note to Coach Shafer, we call them LBIs). In his absence, freshman Kendall Moore introduced himself to Cuse Nation with three catches and the first touchdown of his career. Not bad for a converted tackle.
The wide receiver position needed someone to step up after the news that Adrian Flemming's season was over. Enter Christopher Clark, the once-listed-starter who played like one on Saturday with a team-high 66 yards.
We heard a lot last week about how the coaches wanted to get freshman Brisly Estime more involved in the offense. Estime finally got to show off that speed in the second half, finishing with four catches for 51 yards. Shafer says Estime is "going to help us win a lot of games the net few years." So, much more to come from him.
Defensively, kudos to Josh Kirkland and Ron Thompson, both of whom recorded their first sacks.
The Wagner game is expected to be an opportunity for the Orange to find success on the field for the first time in 2013. It might also be an opportunity for these and other second-teamers to get in the box score even more.