Don’t look now, but we’re getting scarily close to the start of football season. We’ve talked a little bit already about how the team will do as a whole. How about we start talking about how some of the individual players will do in 2016?
Like everything else when it comes to football, we obviously have to start at quarterback. Like it or not, it’s the most high profile position, and for better or worse, the QB is generally the face of the team. The face of this year’s offense is – while he’s not “officially” QB1 just yet – Eric Dungey.
Last season, Dungey burst onto the scene as a true freshman, throwing for 1,298 yards in eight games and showing a hell of a lot on the ground thanks to his terrific athleticism. Now, in the Dino Babers offense, the question becomes: will Eric Dungey be breaking any Syracuse passing records this year?
Only one player has ever thrown for more than 3,000 yards in a season at Syracuse, and that was Ryan Nassib. As a senior, he threw for 3,749, setting the new SU record by a very wide margin. By the way, number two on the list for single season passing yards: Ryan Nassib, again. The previous record had been 2,685 yards, which was Nassib’s mark his junior season.
In other words, it’s not just that there’s only been one season with more than 3,000 yards from one QB. There’s only been one season.
If you take Dungey’s yards from last year and stretch it to 12 games, he would have thrown for about 1,947 yards. Not bad for Syracuse, in that offense, in terms of historical context. After all, Donovan McNabb’s senior year, he threw for 2,134 yards. McNabb’s single best season was as a junior, when he threw for 2,488.
Marvin Graves owned the single season passing record before Nassib, with 2,547 as a senior. Don McPherson’s senior season saw him throw for 2,341 yards. In other words, it won’t take much for Dungey to find himself moving up the record book, in terms of single season passing yards. Especially in Dino’s offense.
Speaking of that Dino Babers offense: in his four years as a head coach, Babers has never had a player throw for fewer than 3,000 yards. The smallest amount of passing yardage was in 2014, when Bowling Green’s James Knapke threw for 3,173 yards. The other three seasons under Dino Babers at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green?
2012: Jimmy Garoppolo (EIU) – 3,823 yards
2013: Jimmy Garoppolo (EIU) – 5,050 yards
2015: Matt Johnson (BGSU) – 4,946 yards
In case you’re curious, that’s a hell of a lot of passing yardage. So the question now becomes: given Dino’s history of putting up massive yardage through the air, just how many yards can Eric Dungey pile up this season?
With the difficulty of Syracuse’s schedule this year, making a bowl game in year one under Dino might be a stretch. So for now, let’s just base this on a 12 game schedule. Even Ryan Nassib had 13 games to get to his record setting senior total. For Dungey to break that single season record, he’d need to average about 313 yards per game.
Johnson averaged about 353 passing yards per game last year, mind you, as Bowling Green played 14 games. Knapke, meanwhile, averaged about 227 passing yards per game. That was, obviously, Dino’s first year at Bowling Green, and they played 14 games that season.
It’s probably a lot more realistic to think that year one under Dino at Syracuse is going to look more like 2014 than 2015 at Bowling Green. Babers has said repeatedly that it takes awhile for players to fully “get” his offense, so we shouldn’t expect a lot of miracles in year one. Year two is where the offense really takes off.
That said, it’s certainly realistic to think Dungey can become just the second quarterback in Syracuse history to surpass 3,000 yards in a season this year. That’d take 250 passing yards per game, something the true sophomore is certainly capable of if he’s able to stay healthy.
So with that in mind, let’s head to Twitter for a 24 hour poll and let you have your say.
Ryan Nassib is the only Cuse QB to throw for more than 3000 yards in a season. Will Eric Dungey be #2 this year?
— OttosGrove.com (@OttosGrove) July 27, 2016