Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt had surgery on his injured Achilles tendon on Tuesday, and coach Scott Shafer said the school would petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for the senior captain.
''We've already started the process,'' Shafer said Tuesday. ''It'll just be a wait and see with the NCAA, so the ball will be in their court, really. I'm not sure how quickly they'll act on it.''
Hunt, who missed the last seven games of 2014 with a broken calf bone in his left leg, suffered a tear in his right Achilles last Friday night in the Orange's 47-0 victory over Rhode Island in the opener. He played one series before leaving the game midway through the first quarter after rolling to his left and stepping awkwardly as he began to dive forward. He got up on his right foot but then dropped to the turf and walked to the locker room on crutches.
''Terrel is a very strong young man. He's overcome a lot in his life,'' Shafer said. ''It's just a horrible situation for such a great young man. I think he's a strong enough individual that he'll find his way through it.
''More than anything, I'm going to miss his presence, his spirit. But that'll be back in good time. I expect him to come back and help us out as a leader and a captain.''
With Hunt out for the season, freshman Eric Dungey is now the No. 1 quarterback after completing 10 of 14 passes for 114 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions against Rhode Island.
Shafer said Dungey is taking four of every six snaps in practice instead of the usual two as the backup. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound Dungey, who came from Oregon to upstate New York, was a second-team all-state and All-USA Oregon selection at Lakeridge High School. He's been a quick study at Syracuse, impressing in preseason camp and quickly moving up the depth chart.
''We feel confident that he can do all the things that we're asking him to do,'' Shafer said. ''We don't feel like we have to truly scale things down a whole lot because his learning curve has been extremely small.
''He did a nice job over the last 10 days prior to Rhode Island of being locked into practice,'' Shafer said. ''It's one thing to see it and understand it. lt's another thing to do it and then execute it.''
Shafer said injured defensive tackle John Raymon and defensive end Ron Thompson, the keys to the defensive front, are healthy and participating fully in practice as the team prepares for Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference opener at home against Wake Forest.
Shafer declined to answer questions about an injury to receiver Ervin Philips, who caught both of Dungey's TD passes. His status for the game in the Carrier Dome will be released on Thursday.