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Syracuse football notes: Hunt confident he can bounce back

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SYRACUSE — Terrel Hunt has taken coach Scott Shafer’s advice and “flushed down,” the team’s 56-0 loss to Georgia Tech nearly two weeks ago.

And the sophomore starter insists that he isn’t concerned about the potential for a revamped quarterback controversy as he prepares to lead the Syracuse University football team into a crucial Atlantic Coast Conference game against Wake Forest at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Carrier Dome.

“I let it go,” said Hunt, who has completed less than 37 percent of his passes for an average of less than 70 yards to go with six interceptions and no passing touchdowns in the last three games.

“It’s always going to be in the back of my mind and I’m always going to think about it. But if I dwell on it, I’m not going to be the player I want to be. Like the greats, they all say you forget about it and move on. A loss is a loss.”

Hunt — who was replaced by senior and former starter Drew Allen at halftime — put the Georgia Tech shellacking on his shoulders and acknowledged that his poor play has factored into the Orange losing two of its last three and dropping to 3-4 overall, 1-2 in the ACC.

“I know for my sake, I was embarrassed because I don’t think I’ve lost like that in my life,” Hunt said. “But at the end of the day, I take full responsibility because I didn’t lead my team to victory.”

He added: “Not being selfish or trying to be cocky, but they gave me the keys to drive the car and I crashed. So, it’s just really how you bounce back. It’s not thinking about last week or two weeks ago, it’s really just, you got Wake Forest this week and how do you bounce back?”

Hunt said that he has been guaranteed a chance to bounce back after Shafer re-assured him of his status as the starter. Hunt has started every week since taking over for Allen in the team’s third game of the season.

But Shafer did admit that both Hunt and Allen practiced with the first unit this week and during last week’s bye, and added that while Hunt will get the start, Allen will be ready to play if needed.

“Of course I was unhappy,” Hunt said of his benching. “But at the same time, Drew got the ball moving for a little bit. I’ll take full blame. I wasn’t playing up to my ability, so I don’t blame them. I’m a young quarterback and you want to stay in there and get your flow going, but they needed a change and that’s what they did. So I’m not upset about it.”

Moving forward, Hunt said the possibility of another benching is not on his mind.

“I don’t think it’s anything to worry about or go in there thinking that if I mess up, (Allen’s) going in or nothing like that. I’m just going to go play my game. (Shafer) trusts me, I trust him, and we’re going to ride.”

SU needs to win three of its last five games — one of which is against No. 3 Florida State — to be eligible for a bowl game.

NORTON SUSPENDED

SU kicker Ryan Norton has been suspended for Saturday’s game after being arrested and charged with resisting arrest and underage possession of alcohol in Syracuse last Friday morning.

Punters Riley Dixon and Jonathan Fisher will share the kicking duties, Shafer said.

The first-year coach added that Norton will return for the team’s next game, Nov. 9 at Maryland.

DAVIS SET FOR RETURN

SU starting outside linebacker Dyshawn Davis will return to the lineup on Saturday, according to Shafer.

Davis, who has 21 tackles and 2 tackles for loss, suffered a high ankle sprain in a victory over North Carolina State on Oct. 12 and missed the Georgia Tech game a week later.

ALUMS TO BE HONORED

In addition to a halftime ceremony to retire former quarterback Donovan McNabb’s No. 5 jersey Saturday, SU will honor Art Monk and Craig Bingham.

Both Monk and Bingham were named LetterWinners of Distinction by SU.

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