How will Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey do against Wake Forest?

Dungeyline

How will true freshman Eric Dungey do in his first start?

Syracuse released its depth chart for Week 2 on Monday, and if things hold true, then true freshman Eric Dungey will be making the first start of his young career. Dungey was more than solid in a 47-0 win over Rhode Island, completing 10-of-17 passes for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Then again, Syracuse was playing against an inferior FCS opponent. The competition will become better immediately, as SU hosts conference foe Wake Forest on Saturday.

How will Dungey do in his first start? I looked back at the last five quarterbacks in their first starts to make an educated guess. The results were mixed.

Player Date Opponent Comp/Att Yards TDs INTs Result
Austin Wilson 11/8/14 Duke 11/19 167 0 2 L, 27-10
AJ Long 10/11/14 FSU 16/27 68 2 2 L, 38-20
Terrel Hunt 9/21/13 Tulane 16/21 181 4 0 W, 52-17
Drew Allen 8/31/13 Penn State 16/37 189 0 2 L, 23-17
Ryan Nassib 9/4/10 Akron 17/27 229 2 1 W, 29-3

If you were to average out all five of those players, this is what it would come out to for Dungey:

Player Date Opponent Comp/Att Yards TDs INTs Result
Eric Dungey 9/12/15 Wake Forest 15.2/26.2 166.8 1.6 1.4 ?

Would most Syracuse fans take a 15/25, 170 yard day with two touchdowns and an interception (I’m rounding up here)? I’d say yes.

» Related: A youth movement for Syracuse football only one game into the season

But that is probably the glass half-full approach to the predictor. Nassib and Hunt both had their first starts against non-Power 5 opponents. Even though Syracuse enters as a 5.5 point favorite against the Deacons, Wake Forest is still an ACC team.

So if you eliminate Hunt and Nassib and just average out Allen, Long and Wilson you get…

Player Date Opponent Comp/Att Yards TDs INTs Result
Eric Dungey 9/12/15 Wake Forest 14.3/27.6 141.3 0.6 2 ?

The main difference in facing a Power 5 team is obviously one less touchdown and a little more than half an interception a game. One factor to consider in favor of Dungey is that this won’t be the first game he’s appeared in, like Hunt, who enjoyed the best debut of the five.

Another factor working in favor of Dungey is that aside from Wilson, no one had a particularly bad debut.

Would most Syracuse fans take a 14/28, 140 yard day with zero touchdowns and two interceptions? It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but seeing as Wake Forest is a critical game for Syracuse’s bowl hopes, I’m sure most of us are wishing for more.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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