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Syracuse Football film room: What are the differences between Dungey and DeVito?

Trying something new; Let’s look at how ‘Cuse is running similar RPO plays with Eric Dungey and Tommy DeVito.

Syracuse v Western Michigan Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Let’s start with the obvious: Eric Dungey is the heart and engine of the Syracuse Orange offense, and based off Friday’s results, the entire team, somehow. Tommy DeVito is the future of this program and got his first, albeit rocky, snaps with the Orange offense. After Dino Babers’s comments both before the season and after Friday’s game, the comparisons will likely continue.

I wanted to look at a base RPO (Run Pass Option) play in the ‘Cuse offense that both Dungey and DeVito got to run. Granted, situations were different, but at the end of the day, this play gives the QB a chance to make a decision he feels is best. Dungey and DeVito are two very different quarterbacks, and I wanted to try and get more finite examples of this. So here we go.

Dungey at the Helm (14 Yard Run, 12:52 1st)

Common theme of ‘Cuse play: graphics teams are not ready for #OITNF. We get a three-wide with Sean Riley coming in motion. (That happened a lot, I don’t hate it.)

Basics of the play: Line sets up inside with a tackle going outside to set the edge. QB can then either hand off to the sweep, pitch it out or run it up the middle. Dungey fakes the hand-off.

Dungey doesn’t even look to pitch, even though the edge is set relatively well. He commits full body inside aiming for the lane breaking out right.

Dungey hits the lane and outruns a linebacker to make it to the second level. The safety was expecting the play to go wide, and has to cut back. Dungey gets 14 yards.

DeVito’s Time (13 Yard Run, 11:25 3rd)

Again, play in motion by the time the camera comes back. Joy. This time, we’ve got another designed run, almost the same, but the sweep moves through before the snap.

Play moves and DeVito is looking at a spy linebacker right in front of him, the sweeper grabs a block and his pitch option is waiting. Unlike Dungey, DeVito waits a moment before making his decision.

DeVito hits the middle, fast. He literally had a dude waiting for him and he runs past him. A big ol’ tackle is waiting at the second level to open up a lane.

And with that lane set, DeVito gets running room and snags 13.


All in all, the plays are relatively similar. Both resulted in good runs and both were option plays where the QB’s decided to keep it. However, I picked them because you can see the very slight difference in the decision-making process.

Why highlight this? We keep saying that the team looks different with Dungey over DeVito. I don’t think the talent gap is all that large between the two. I do think the attitude and confidence they bring to the game is right now, especially given Dungey’s experience in this offense over the past few seasons.