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Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen in mix to be Syracuse's QB


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.

Hunt battled senior Charley Loeb, who backed up Ryan Nassib (now with the New York Giants) last season, in the spring, and Hunt went into fall camp as the No. 1 guy. Loeb now is No. 3.

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 mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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