The Syracuse Orange football team found itself in a disconcerting situation during their 27-26 victory over the Villanova Wildcats.
When starting quarterback Terrel Hunt punched a Villanova tackler whom he felt had hit him a bit too hard, we feared The Punch Heard Round The Dome would have repercussions to come long after Hunt was ejected from the game.
Some fans thought the ejection merited an automatic suspension from the following game per NCAA rules. It doesn't.
Others though the ejection merited further suspensions by the ACC. It might (bylaws say they can consider it).
Some figured Scott Shafer would suspend Hunt for at least a game for the judgment error.
"He reacted. He's a competitive, tough kid," Shafer said. "I love Terrel Hunt. He'll bounce back and get going. It is what it is, man. There's penalties sometimes."
"It's an emotional game and if you've never played it, you don't know what it's like to get frickin' pummeled," Shafer said. "There are people on your back and people talking to you and you react. We've all done it."
Truth be told, I'm glad Shafer isn't bringing down the hammer. Austin Wilson played okay but not well enough to convince me he can lead SU to victory just yet. I'm worried enough about the Central Michigan game as it is. Taking Hunt out of the equation makes things horrifying.
I noticed a lot of Syracuse fans saying after the fact they had no problem with Hunt's haymaker. While I understand the sentiment, I have to disagree.
If we were talking about a linebacker or a wide receiver or an offensive lineman, I could take it as a way to channel anger into firing up the rest of the team. One piece sacrificed to save the whole.
But the quarterback isn't allowed to do it. Not fair? Doesn't matter.
"Football is an emotional game. We lose ourselves. It happens, and I understand it. But I don't understand it. Terrel is a guy who has to have control. He may not be the captain of the team, but he is the general. That's his football team. And he can't do that. As the quarterback and the leader, he can't do that. And he understands that now."
A quarterback with a lot of fire is good. I liked Ryan Nassib but the dude was robot out there. It's nice to find out Terrel is emotional. But he needs to learn how to channel that into something positive. What good is a talented quarterback if he's not available to lead us?
Ever play a sport where there's that one person who just wants to be an a**hole? They spend the whole game chirping. They're trying harder to rile you up than he is to score. And when you push them back and get called for a foul, they smile cause you did exactly what they wanted you to do. That's what Terrel Hunt did and that's why it was wrong.
If Terrel Hunt is the quarterback the entire game, Syracuse wins in regulation. I honestly believe that. Because he wasn't, we were a missed chip-shot away from losing to a FCS school.