09/12/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Drew Allen has looked more like a guy unsure of himself than a transfer from Oklahoma able to lead the Orange into a successful ACC season. If things don't improve this week against a Wagner team that shouldn't give him problems, the calls for backup Terrel Hunt will grow louder. - The Sports Xchange
09/07/2013 - Drew Allen tried to take responsibility for this one. His coach was having none of it. Allen threw four interceptions and the defense got plowed through and passed over, leading to one ugly 48-27 loss to No. 19 Northwestern for Syracuse on Saturday. ''Everyone is going to point at the quarterback position,'' coach Scott Shafer said. ''But (darn it), it was both sides of the ball. That (darn) defense, we didn't play well enough. ''We put those offensive kids in a tough position.''
Trevor Siemian threw for 259 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, and Kain Colter passed for a touchdown and ran for one to lead Northwestern. Tony Jones added a personal-best 185 yards receiving and a 47-yard TD, and the Wildcats (2-0) racked up 581 yards in all. Syracuse (0-2), coming off a tight loss to Penn State, never had a chance in this one.
The Orange remained winless under Shafer and received another shaky outing from Allen. The Oklahoma transfer was 27 of 41 with 279 yards, and the Orange will now try to pick themselves up against Wagner and Tulane before beginning Atlantic Coast Conference play against Clemson. ''There were some big dudes out there on the d-line,'' Allen said. ''They did a great job of reading me and knowing when it's going to be a quick pass and getting their hands up and batting the balls down.'' Allen took ''full responsibility'' for this one, but the Orange's defense was every bit as brutal. - AP Sports
09/06/2013 - Another guessing game for opposing QB...If you want to look at the positives, Allen did well enough to cause Northwestern to worry a bit. He finished a pedestrian 16-for-37 for 189 yards, but showed the arm strength that was a critical factor in allowing him to beat out Terrel Hunt in the first place, including a 55-yard strike to Jeremiah Kobena that set up a Jerome Smith touchdown run.
That pass was the lone big strike from the offense, however, and stretching the defense only works if they have to worry about the ball being delivered on target. With the running game mostly missing in action in the opener, the offense has something to prove this weekend against the Wildcats. "We know we have a lot of things we have to work on, like the stuff we need to clear up with the coaches and the players as well," senior running back Prince-Tyson Gulley said. "We are on to the next game and trying to put this one behind us." - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2013 - Scouting the Syracuse passing game: The key is going to be for Drew Allen to be more accurate. Ryan Nassib may have frustrated Syracuse fans at times by being conservative, but seeing someone new under center makes the Orange fans appreciate the importance of having a quarterback who can hit open receivers with regularity. On the other hand, Allen did show a big arm in the opener, and if he can connect on a couple of deep balls early it should open up the offense, and particularly give the running game the space it needs. - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Drew Allen showed a big arm against Penn State, but also an awful lot of rush. If he can hit the deep ball more often, it should open up room for the running attack and give Syracuse a diverse offense. He only hit one of those in the opener, however, and showed a propensity to overthrow receivers on short passes that could keep Syracuse sputtering if it continues. - The Sports Xchange
09/06/2013 - Another guessing game for opposing QB...Before the season opener, both Syracuse and Penn State played coy with their lineups, refusing to name a starting quarterback until just prior to kickoff. Given the struggles both teams had on offense, that didn't seem to have any effect on the opposing defenses to make the stops. Syracuse faces another week against a Big Ten opponent with an uncertain starter under center, but for a different reason. Northwestern's Kain Colter suffered a concussion in the Wildcats' opener against California, and his status for the weekend is uncertain. If he plays, Northwestern will show a lot of option on offense. If not, expect more of a traditional offensive set.
Regardless, Syracuse has enough to worry about regarding its own quarterback situation without spending much time trying to guess what its opponent will do there. Coach Scott Shafer revealed just before the opener that Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen would get the start. Allen might come from the glamour school, but he didn't play much there and the rust was evident. "Drew is a competitor," Shafer said after the loss to Penn State. "I liked his moxie, I liked his energy and I liked his fight. I liked the way he listened to details on the sideline, things you don't always see. He made a couple of good throws, took some shots. I thought that showed some tough, hard-nosed football from a kid that hasn't played much football in the past few years." - The Sports Xchange
08/31/2013 - Drew Allen is starting at quarterback for Syracuse against Penn State. Allen and Terrell Hunt competed for the starting job through preseason practice and new coach Scott Shafer decided to keep his starter a secret until the Orange offense took the field in the opener. Allen is a graduate transfer from Oklahoma and a former blue chip high school prospect.
The senior was 18 for 30 for 160 yards in two seasons as a backup for the Sooners. He didn't join the team until preseason practice. Hunt is a sophomore who has never thrown a college pass, but his experience in Syracuse's system gave him a head start on Allen in the race to replace Ryan Nassib, who was drafted by the Giants. - AP Sports
08/27/2013 - One thing sticks out on the Syracuse offensive depth chart for the season-opener against Penn State: the word OR in bold face right at the top of the listing for quarterback. As he wends his way through the final week of preparation for his first game as a college head coach, that's what Syracuse's Scott Shafer is faced with - no clear-cut starter. It's either sophomore Terrel Hunt OR Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen leading the offense. A quarterback in his playing days, Shafer isn't concerned just yet. ''Both of our kids have done a good job,'' Shafer said Tuesday. ''Drew has grown every day he's been here. His confidence level is up. I think he feels comfortable with the offense we want to promote. He's confident, and his teammates are confident. ''I think we've got two guys the kids can rally behind. I feel good about the way we're heading into this week. Both guys are preparing well and ready to play.''
Syracuse is one of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision teams entering 2013 without a quarterback that has started a game. That's the bad news. The good news that one of the other 10 is Penn State. With the departures of Matt McGloin and Steven Bench, the Nittany Lions don't even have a quarterback on the roster that threw a pass for them last year, and O'Brien's depth chart also has that OR between Christian Hackenberg and Tyler Ferguson at the starting spot. Syracuse is preparing to face both. ''Both kids are very talented,'' Shafer said. ''Both have similar skill sets, so I don't think it changes our approach as we go into it. You never know. They may have a wildcat package. They may have different things that they do with each kid. That'll be something we'll have to feel out as we move our way into the second quarter.'' - AP Sports
08/27/2013 - AREAS OF CONCERN: The big question mark for the Orange is under center, where Ryan Nassib's reliability will be sorely missed. Terrel Hunt and Drew Allen were splitting time in August, with neither able to separate from the other. The defensive line and secondary both lack depth, and freshmen and sophomores must be ready to play quickly. The secondary in particular is going to be challenged in an ACC that likes to throw the football.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's command. It's control. It's the ability to run the offense with a sense of urgency and a sense of command. I think that's as important as anything." -- Coach Scott Shafer told the Syracuse Post-Standard, on what he's looking for in a starting quarterback. - The Sports Xchange
08/13/2013 - 6 QB TRANSFERS WHO COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE: 1) DREW ALLEN, Syracuse from Oklahoma...The departure of Ryan Nassib left a huge hole. Allen has Orange fans believing they have another NFL quarterback to replace the one who just left. He's not being handed the job, sophomore Terrell Hunt is putting up a serious fight, but it'll be surprising if the new coaching staff doesn't go with Allen's upside over Hunt's familiarity with the offense. - Ralph D. Russo, AP Sports
08/11/2013 - OTHER SYRACUSE PROSPECTS WORTH WATCHING: QB Drew Allen (6-5, 228, 4.76)...An incoming Oklahoma transfer, Allen has next-level talent on paper and will compete for the starting job once he arrives on campus this summer. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com