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Tommy DeVito’s 2019 season compared to previous Syracuse quarterbacks

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When you look at the numbers there’s room for optimism.

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NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As Syracuse Orange football fans prepare for the start of spring practice (soon!) there are a lot of questions about the quarterback position. Many fans are looking for Dino Babers to add a transfer to the position as some for insurance for Tommy DeVito, while others want a replacement for the returning starter.

Let’s start by putting this out there: DeVito’s 2019 season didn’t live up to expectations and while he didn’t commit a lot of turnovers, the ones he did often came at critical junctures, and there were numerous examples of questionable decisions when it came to extending plays. The quarterback is ultimately judged on the number of games the team wins, and he certainly shoulders some responsibility for the Orange falling short of bowl eligibility last year.

However when you look at the passing numbers of the Syracuse starting quarterbacks going back to Donovan McNabb, maybe you’ll look at DeVito’s season a little differently. A couple of things that jumped out at me when compiling this table were that McNabb’s production especially put in perspective of his passing attempts was ridiculous and Ryan Nassib’s senior year was underrated.

Syracuse QB’s since 1995

Quarterback Completions Attempts Completion % Yards TD INT Rating
Quarterback Completions Attempts Completion % Yards TD INT Rating
McNabb-1995 128 207 61.8 1991 16 6 162.3
McNabb-1996 118 215 54.9 1776 19 9 145.1
McNabb-1997 145 265 54.7 2488 20 6 154
McNabb-1998 157 251 62.5 2134 22 5 158.9
Nunes-1999 96 161 59 114 11 5 134.9
Nunes-2000 94 154 61 1366 8 14 134.5
Anderson-2000 42 91 46.2 512 2 5 89.7
Nunes-2001 58 105 55.2 734 5 6 118.2
Anderson-2001 72 144 50 1123 5 2 124.1
Nunes-2002 115 198 58.1 1337 8 7 121.1
Anderson-2002 58 134 43.3 899 4 8 97.5
Anderson-2003 186 310 60 2164 10 8 124.1
Patterson-2004 168 289 58.1 1851 7 10 113
Patterson-2005 130 273 47.6 1504 6 11 93.1
Patterson-2006 158 300 52.7 1865 12 4 115.4
Robinson-2007 154 292 52.7 2192 13 7 125.7
Dantley-2008 121 251 48.2 1298 11 5 102.1
Paulus-2009 193 285 67.7 2024 13 14 132.6
Nassib-2010 202 358 56.4 2334 19 8 124.2
Nassib-2011 259 415 62.4 2685 22 9 129.9
Nassib-2012 294 471 62.4 3749 26 10 143.3
Hunt-2013 167 273 61.2 1632 10 8 117.6
Hunt-2014 83 145 57.2 983 1 4 110.9
Dungey-2015 105 176 59.7 1298 11 5 136.6
Dungey-2016 230 355 64.8 2679 15 7 138.2
Dungey-2017 225 377 59.7 2495 14 9 122.8
Dungey-2018 226 371 60.9 2868 18 9 137
DeVito-2019 213 337 63.2 2360 19 5 137.7

The last decade has brought about a different era for sure, but looking at the numbers here’s how DeVito’s 2019 stats rank:

Completions: 6th

Attempts: 7th

Completion %: 3rd

Yards: 7th

Touchdown Passes: tied for 5th

Interceptions: tied for 3rd-lowest total

QB Rating: 7th

I think this season-ending evaluation from PFF College is a fair way to describe DeVito’s season.

102. TOMMY DEVITO – SYRACUSE

Preseason Rank: 70; Week 6 Rank: 105; Week 12 Rank: 110

Throwing for 19 touchdowns against five interceptions is one way to look at the season for Devito, but anyone who watched the whole picture should be unsurprised by his 11 big-time throws to 11 turnover-worthy pass split in 2019. He had some bad luck with receivers dropping balls at times, but he also had some good luck with defensive backs dropping interceptions just the same.

His best throw of the season came on a dropped touchdown against Clemson that could have changed the game. One of his worst throws of the season came on a dropped interception that would have certainly changed the (Western Michigan) game.

Next year, Syracuse will need DeVito to make more big-time throws. This might lead to more interceptions but when the Orange are in need of explosive game-changing plays, he’s going to need to deliver. The addition of OC/QB coach Sterlin Gilbert will hopefully push DeVito to take advantage of his arm strength and improve his decision making. Our hope is that Syracuse is more effective running the ball and providing a better use of the whole field when it comes to passing plays.

No matter what the 2019 season shows us that there should be some confidence in the Orange quarterback. With two seasons of eligibility left, DeVito has an opportunity to leave his mark on the Syracuse record book and we’ll see if he takes advantage and follows through on this promise.