Syracuse Orange quarterback Terrel Hunt is injured, out 4-6 weeks with a fractured fibula. You knew that already. But what we don't know is what happens next at QB, and that's the most frightening part for SU fans. Right now, you'd have to assume that Austin Wilson will get the ball in Hunt's stead. But for our own edification, who are all of the Orange's options under center in this worst-case scenario?
1. Austin Wilson, (Redshirt) Freshman
Of the remaining options on the roster, Wilson is the only one we truly know anything about, having seen him take over for Hunt in the Villanova game for an extended stretch (we all know why...). He was 11-for-17 then, for just 89 yards, and while he certainly started off strong in that contest, things went off the rails quickly as defenses adjusted to his lack of mobility and handle on the offense. Given the fact that the team has less than a week to get any QB going with the first-team offense, you'd think he would be the guy (especially since they've probably been preparing for this since after Friday's game). But just because you're the most seasoned option, doesn't necessarily mean you're always the BEST one, either.
2. A.J. Long, Freshman
Here's the player a lot of Syracuse fans probably want to see under center when the Orange take the field on Saturday against Florida State. While it was originally thought Long would simply use a redshirt this season to add some size (he was only around 180 pounds to start) and learn the offense, those plans could be tossed out the window should this team want to go for broke and just invite the future in right now. Long's dynamic, can throw on the run and is a dangerous dual-threat player -- one who has more speed than Hunt, and perhaps more accuracy with his throwing too. It's a wildcard, but one that could pay off handsomely for the coaching staff if they're willing to gamble a bit for the sake of the season ending succesfully.
3. Mitch Kimble, (Redshirt) Freshman
Kimble likely ends up being the odd man out for this competition. He's shown himself capable in spring game action and practice, but overall, there's probably a larger learning curve for him versus the other two QB options. Kimble throws a nice mid-range ball, which could be of use, but overall, if we're sticking with the current general offensive system (no guarantees there, by the way), Kimble's basically Wilson with less experience.
So what are fans rooting for? I'm thinking it's Long, right (it certainly is on this end)? Of course Wilson's experience helps, but experience isn't always the most important thing when one player may give you the clearer chance to win.
Listen, we're not beating Florida State on Saturday. But if there was any glimmer of hope to keep this one close and surprise some people, I'd think it's the dynamic, dual-threat guy who no one has game tape on, no? I mean, WHAT DO WE HAVE TO LOSE?! Nothing. Except our season. Which is already hanging in the balance anyway, so may as well induce some chaos and go down in flames... or perhaps surprise everybody, and prove the doubters (myself included) wrong. Why wait on the future of this program, when we may be able to embrace it right now?
Anxious to see what happens next, as I know you all are, too.