Syracuse hosts Maryland aiming to go 3-0
The Orange will take the former any day. So, too, will Hunt, who last week guided Syracuse to a 40-3 road victory over Central Michigan after starting the season by getting ejected in what turned into a nail-biting, one-point win in double overtime against Villanova.
''CMU was really an important game for me,'' said Hunt, who scored the game's last three touchdowns and completed 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards and a TD. ''I was more focused on just getting the win rather than anything else. I felt I let my team down. I just wanted to go out there and make sure we did what we had to do, and that everything was perfect.''
''He played well and he needs to do that,'' coach Scott Shafer said.
Hunt gets his next chance on Saturday when Syracuse (2-0) welcomes Maryland (2-1) to the Carrier Dome seeking to start a season with three straight victories for the first time this century.
The last time the Orange accomplished that was way back in 1991, the first year of the Paul Pasqualoni era.
Terps coach Randy Edsall more than likely remembers that. A former quarterback for the Orange, he was an assistant at his alma mater under Dick MacPherson before leaving to coach at Boston College the year before Coach P took over.
''We are playing a 2-0 football team that is coming off of a big win over Central Michigan,'' Edsall said. ''We are going up to a place where it is tough to play, and, hopefully, we can put together the consistency that we need in all three phases.
''I don't think we've had a game where we've hit on all three cylinders and all three phases. I know it's going to come.''
Some things to know when Maryland tries to hit those three phases at Syracuse:
LIVING DANGEROUSLY: Maryland also could easily have a perfect slate, but the Terps have been living on the edge. They committed six turnovers in a 24-17 win over South Florida, then allowed West Virginia a whopping 694 yards in offense before losing 40-37 last week on a 47-yard field goal as time expired.
RUN BY COMMITTEE: The Syracuse ground game generated 242 yards in a 20-3 victory over Maryland last year at Byrd Stadium. Look for more of the same. Against Central Michigan, six Syracuse players had at least four carries, led by Adonis Ameen-Moore's 106 yards on nine rushes. ''I feel bad for some of our running backs because they might only get a few carries a game,'' offensive tackle Sean Hickey said.
WILL HE OR WON'T HE: Wes Brown, Maryland's leading rusher in its first two games with 142 yards on 26 carries, did not play last week against West Virginia. After the game, Edsall called it a coach's decision on Brown, who was suspended all of last season.
DEFENSIVE WOES: Maryland's defense sure could use a boost - West Virginia had 511 passing yards last week and Maryland allowed 302 yards in a 52-7 win over James Madison to open the season - and linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil might be ready to offer one. Cudjoe-Virgil missed the first three games of the season with a foot injury but was back at practice this week and Edsall said he looked good.
BY THE NUMBERS: Syracuse linebacker Cameron Lynch leads the ACC with 11.5 tackles per game and the Orange are one of only four teams that have not allowed a sack. Baylor, Texas Tech and New Mexico State are the others.