SYRACUSE Terrel Hunts first career start for the Syracuse University football team Saturday afternoon will be the first of many judging by another eye-opening performance in the Carrier Dome.
The sophomore quarterback led the SU offense on five straight touchdown drives to start the game, and the Orange rolled over Tulane, 52-17, in front of 36,128 fans in the Dome.
Im just proud as hell of the way he played, first-year SU head coach Scott Shafer said. I like his tempo, I like his rhythm, I like the way he moved the chains with his feet, both by design and by ad-libbing, so, a lot of good things.
SU improved to 2-2 overall and is idle this week before hosting No.3 Clemson on Oct. 5 in its first Atlantic Coast Conference game.
The win is No. 700 in SU football history and, following last weeks 54-0 drubbing of FCS foe Wagner, SU has posted back-to-back 50-point performances for the first time since 1997.
I think they had a little bit of a chip on their shoulders, Shafer said. A lot of people said, Yeah you won last week but it was Wagner. Wagner is a good football team as is Tulane. The kids were excited to get back in here and try to make it look the way we want it to look, and I was very proud.
Hunt was helped by three blocked kicks from his special teams unit – two punts and a field goal – and a defense that never allowed Tulane quarterback Nick Montana to get comfortable.
Montana, son of NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, was hurried all day and sacked three times. He was knocked out of the game after being drilled on his blind side by defensive back Eric Anthony on a third-and-goal play in the first half. He returned in the next series and continued to scurry away from SU blitzes.
We couldnt block them, Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said. Montana did a great job hanging in there and hes a tough kid. He hung in there and I dont know if I could have done it any better. He played it very, very well, but they were just big, fast, and physical.
Hunt completed 16 of 21 passes for 175 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 39 yards and another score.
He compiled a streak of 14 straight scoring drives to start his SU career. That streak, spanning three games and seven quarters, includes 13 touchdowns and a field goal. The streak ended with just less than four minutes to play in the first half Saturday, at which point SU led 35-10.
The Orange has scored on 16 of Hunts 19 possessions under center.
At the moment you feel unstoppable, youre on top of the world, Hunt said.
SU quarterback Drew Allen, who started the first three games, played one late series with the game already in hand. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 25 yards and led the Orange on a field goal drive.
In two-plus games, Hunt has completed 76 percent of his passes for 462 yards. He has thrown seven touchdowns, ran for two more and has yet to turn the ball over.
I love both of those kids, Shafer said. Theyre both great kids. Its a difficult situation for Drew, its a long season and we have to be prepared to play anybody and everybody, Charley (Loeb) included. But real proud, again, of the way Terrel played.
Prince-Tyson Gulley led SUs rushing attack with 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Jerome Smith ran in a touchdown and caught another, while fullback Clay Cleveland caught a pair of touchdown passes.
Chris Clark led SU in receiving with 60 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
Montana completed 22 of 38 passes for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Tulane (2-2).