With spring practices off and running, plenty of college football preview materials have started to appear. Some of those materials include Athlon Sports’ quarterback rankings, which were published last week.
For the exercise, they ranked all 130 starting QBs in the FBS. Syracuse Orange starter Eric Dungey came in at No. 33 overall and third in the ACC.
According to the article:
“For the second consecutive year, Dungey’s season was cut short due to injury. However, before missing the last three games of 2016, Dungey showed why many picked him as a breakout quarterback. Under the guidance of head coach Dino Babers, Dungey threw for 2,679 yards and 15 scores and added six rushing touchdowns. Additionally, he ranked second among ACC quarterbacks by averaging 297.7 passing yards per game.”
The only ACC passers ahead of Dungey are Florida State sophomore Deondre Francois (No. 13) and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (No. 1).
Looking at the 2017 Syracuse schedule, here’s where SU’s opposing quarterbacks all rank, according to Athlon:
1. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
13. Deondre Francois, Florida State
17. Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
38. Ryan Finley, NC State
54. Max Browne, Pittsburgh
55. Kelly Bryant, Clemson
63. Danny Etling, LSU
82. Malik Rosier, Miami
89. Kendall Hinton, Wake Forest
102. Shane Morris, Central Michigan
105. Darius Wade, Boston College
That sort of list has a few names on the lower end, but overall, is pretty daunting for the Orange defense, which struggled against the pass in 2017. Jackson, Francois, Stockstill and Finley are all pretty proven commodities at their current schools, while Max Browne’s a USC transfer at Pitt (so he’s obviously got some talent). Etling, Hinton and Wade are also known entities. It’ll be a test every week, if you didn’t figure that already.
While, as Athlon points out, Dungey’s been injured at the end of the last two seasons, he’s also shown himself capable of putting up gaudy numbers when he’s healthy. Despite missing nearly all of the last four games, Dungey still finished 53rd in the country in passing yardage. He was tied for 42nd in completions (230) and his 64.8 completion percentage was second-best (!!!) in the country of any QB with over 2,600 yards passing.
SU faces three teams (Pitt, MTSU, NC State) in the country’s bottom-50 in passing defense. Last year, Zack Mahoney suited up for Syracuse against both the Panthers and Wolfpack. He was 59-for-77 in those two games, throwing for a total of 636 yards and seven touchdowns. Obviously quite a bit of the production there was in the 76-61 shootout vs. Pitt, however.