Syracuse was surprisingly good on offense last season, averaging 30 points per game and finishing 17th in the nation in total offense at 476.0 yards per game.
A lot has changed, though. There's a new coach, a new offensive coordinator, a new go-to receiver, a new left tackle and a new quarterback to go along with a new league.
The identities of the new coach (Scott Shafer, promoted from defensive coordinator), new coordinator (George McDonald, who had been wide receiver coach at Miami), new go-to receiver (Jarrod West, the No. 3 receiver last season with 43 receptions), new left tackle (Sean Hickey, replacing first-round pick Justin Pugh) and new league (ACC, from the Big East) are known. It may be a while before we know the new quarterback, though.
Sophomore Terrel Hunt (6-feet-3, 219 pounds) is vying with Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen (6-5, 226) for the starting job. Neither has much experience. Hunt played in one game last season, appearing on special teams in a loss to USC. Allen played in just 12 games in three seasons for Oklahoma, completing 18 of his 30 passes for 160 yards and rushing for 17 yards and a TD. He graduated from OU and transferred to Syracuse over the summer for his final season of eligibility.
After a scrimmage Saturday, quarterback coach Tim Lester said Hunt and Allen were tied at the top of the depth chart.
"You don't have to name a starter in practice, so we've split the reps between the both of them," Lester told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "They get the exact same amount with the 'ones' [starters], the exact same amount with the 'twos.' "
Hunt is the more athletic of the two, while Allen has the stronger arm and owns prototypical size for a dropback passer.
There isn't much time for the new starter to get acclimated: Syracuse opens with Penn State at Giants Stadium, then travels to Northwestern for Game 2. The Orange open ACC play with a visit from Clemson on Oct. 5, but after that, four of its next five league games are on the road.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.