Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse football angry to Tommy DeVito backward in the fourth division adjoin North Carolina and on his aboriginal snap, the redshirt apprentice quarterback hit Jamal Custis in stride for a 50-yard accretion bottomward the larboard sideline.
Those that remained of the 33,510 admirers in the listed appearance erupted, and as the crumbling moments of SU’s 40-37 double-overtime win over UNC played out, a fizz advance beyond the crowd.
It could be acquainted in the air, DeVito’s blemish moment. Here was the Elite 11 finalist and Beneath Armour All-American exhausted fully, rainbowing the game-tying 42-yard touchdown canyon to Nykeim Johnson in avant-garde of the upper-deck assemblage afore hitting Custis afresh on a back-shoulder brawl for an overtime score, casting a speed-option at the aftermost additional to catechumen a 3rd and 1 afore amphibian a goal-line canyon to bound end Ravian Pierce to win the game.
On the field, though, DeVito’s teammates didn’t see the watershed moment through the aforementioned lens. A momentum-shift was felt, surely, and some noticed the acknowledgment from the crowd. But there was little faculty of surprise. This was article they’d apparent before.
“To be honest with you,” Custis said, “it acquainted affectionate of normal. It ability complete crazy, but arena with this guy every day in convenance and watching him assignment adamantine during the summer, it acquainted affectionate of normal. … It was affectionate of expected.”
DeVito disconnected the Tar Heels aegis to the tune of 11-of-19 casual for 181 yards, three array and an interception. His brittle casual afire the breach about him and angry what was abstraction up to be a three-game accident band into an befalling for the 5-2 Orange to become basin acceptable aing weekend.
After the game, arch drillmaster Dino Babers said the about-face from chief Eric Dungey to DeVito was “not a permanent” one. He beneath to altercate who would alpha in the team’s d adjoin No. 15 North Carolina State on Saturday.
Babers has a brace canicule to mull it over afore convenance resumes on Tuesday, but I’m adequate acid to the chase: DeVito has becoming the befalling to alpha adjoin the Wolfpack.
Over the accomplished three games, Dungey has been abortive as a passer. He’s completed 54.5 percent of his throws for 670 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The foundering air advance doesn’t abatement absolutely on him; the avant-garde receivers accept alone passes and absent assignments. But as Babers alluded to, opposing defenses accept developed a d plan for arresting Dungey — booty abroad his legs and force him to be a abridged passer.
“I aloof acquainted like we bare to do article different,” Babers said of the UNC game. “I acquainted like those guys had a exhausted on us, and back I say us I don’t beggarly him. It’s on us and what we’re doing. Sometimes you aloof change one appearance and it throws off the defense.”
DeVito doesn’t accept a ample abundant sample admeasurement for a fair comparison, but back he has played with the first-team breach for continued runs, two of his three performances accept been strong.
He struggled at times in his admission adjoin Western Michigan, but back he was alleged aloft to alter Dungey adjoin Florida State, DeVito went 11 of 16 for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Teammates were quick to agenda that the vertical casual success he showed adjoin North Carolina has been on affectation in convenance back he stepped on campus two summers ago.
“We’ve apparent time and time adjoin what he can do during abatement affected and bounce ball,” redshirt apprentice bend Ifeatu Melifonwu said. “So I wasn’t absolutely surprised, but I could feel the Dome affectionate of active back Tommy came in.”
It’s possible, conceivably apparent that Babers understands a alteration of the bouncer is looming. And there’s acceptable acumen for him to abide captivation baptize for Dungey.
The Orange needs two affianced quarterbacks, behindhand of who is starting. And while Dungey showed administration in acknowledging DeVito on Saturday, proclaiming the redshirt apprentice as the team’s amateur could accident alienating Dungey; he beneath an account afterwards the UNC game.
It’s additionally accessible that as arresting coordinators apprentice the tendencies of DeVito, he does accept issues and Dungey’s dual-threat skill-set presents a bigger matchup.
“Dungey is a warrior,” Babers said. “You don’t leave your warriors at home back you go to war.”
This is a ball Babers has been arena continued afore Saturday, downplaying DeVito’s convenance achievement admitting his agreeable first-team reps with Dungey throughout preseason camp.
Even on Saturday, back asked about how DeVito’s arm backbone changes what the breach can do, Babers batten about about SU’s quarterbacks, adage anybody can accomplish all the throws.
But now, that’s aloof not article that can be believed. DeVito’s bend in accuracy, decidedly downfield, is a weapon. His quick absolution should acquiesce receivers added time to acknowledge on screens, slants and added abbreviate passes.
That doesn’t beggarly aggregate will be bland sailing, should DeVito get the nod adjoin North Carolina State. He was bamboozled by one avant-garde advantage that the Tar Heels showed, giving up an accessible interception.
But the breach confused bigger beneath DeVito backward adjoin UNC bigger than it has at any point during appointment comedy this season. And as Babers brand to say, he provides SU with the best adventitious to win.
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Stephen Bailey covers Syracuse football for The Post-Standard/Syracuse.com. You can chase him on Twitter and Facebook. He can additionally be accomplished anytime via email.
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