A basketball game between Syracuse and Villanova would theoretically turn more heads than a football game, but Friday night’s showdown created a stir nonetheless. Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com tells us Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt was ejected after punching an opponent:
The ACC.com captured the play:
Before the ejection, Hunt was 10-of-17 for 94 passing yards and added 25 yards on the ground. The defender whom he punched came in from behind as the Orange’s quarterback was going down and made contact with his facemask, but the punch was clearly an overreaction.
Simply put, the Orange needed a win in this contest if we look at the rest of their schedule.
This is Syracuse’s second season in the ACC, and there are plenty of difficult games on the horizon. In fact, the Orange have to play defending champion Florida State, Notre Dame, Maryland and Clemson, among others, so picking up a victory over Villanova could prove critical in terms of becoming bowl eligible.
Winning would have been much easier with Hunt in the lineup, although he probably wasn’t thinking about that in the heat of the moment. He was the Texas Bowl MVP against Minnesota in December and entered the 2014 campaign with plenty of momentum.
Hunt commented on the improvements he hoped to make this year before the game, via Stephen Bailey of Syracuse.com:
I think I played mediocre last year. Some people may say it was successful, some may not. But I think I played mediocre. It wasn't to where I set my goals.
Being able to come in with your head held high, rather than not knowing who the starter is going to be, that's going to make a big difference.
It will be intriguing to see if this punch results in a suspension going forward.
Syracuse plays at Central Michigan and then faces former ACC foe Maryland in the next two games. Hunt could use that time to improve his craft before conference play starts, although it remains to be seen whether he will be on the field.