Week 2 best & worst

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

When the Syracuse University football team opens its 2021 season Saturday night against Ohio, the most intriguing component to watch will be the QB play of starter Tommy DeVito.

The redshirt junior is currently the incumbent over Mississippi State transfer Garrett Schrader. Sixth-year head coach Dino Babers has said both men will get the chance to play, but the question remains, who will emerge as the ultimate starter?

We know in football that when a team has a two-QB system or an alternating setup between signal-callers it sends a message that no one has clearly seized the position based on a variety of factors.

DeVito, who’s 6-foot-2 and weighs 215 pounds, has played parts of three campaigns with the Orange, and it only seems fair that he gets the opening nod.

DeVito, who really hasn’t emerged as a front-line starter because of constant battle with injuries, must be more than efficient if he wants to hold off the sophomore Schrader, listed at 6-4 and 230.

DeVito, who ranks amongst the top-10 in program history in career passing rating and touchdown passes with 27, made four starts before suffering a season-ending leg injury in 2020.

DeVito has to take advantage of SU’s early-season nonconference slate against Ohio, an improving Rutgers and FCS member University at Albany before the rugged ACC schedule kicks in.

Whoever permanently wins the SU starting job under center will have the benefit of four returning starters on the offensive line.

While DeVito has the overall edge in terms of familiarity in the Orange’s offensive system, I expect that Schrader will ultimately become the team’s starter probably around the midpoint of the season.

Schrader produced a 1,000-yard passing, 500-yard rushing season during 2019, and his dual-threat ability plus a less frequent injury rate than DeVito gives him the edge later in the season when SU plays the meat of the ACC schedule.

n From Gene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) quoting former Jags head coach and now Alabama OL coach Doug Marrone on ex-Jags QB Gardner Minshew — “His teammates, fans, media, coaches, they all liked him. There’s nothing negative you can say about the way he presented himself or worked. There’s great appreciation for what he did.”

n Richie Rich’s Top 10 rankings in MLB: 1. Giants; 2. Rays; 3. Dodgers; 4. Brewers; 5. Yankees; 6. Astros; 7. White Sox; 8. Red Sox; 9. A’s; 10. Braves.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

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