Syracuse’s Tommy DeVito makes up-and-down debut

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 1, 2018 at 1:27 am Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Comments KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It’s been nearly two years since Tommy DeVito last saw game action. And that was in high school.“It’s been a while since I’ve been out there,” Devito said.On Friday, Syracuse (1-0) debuted the heralded redshirt-freshman late in the first half against Western Michigan (0-1), leading 34-7. But when DeVito exited the game with 5:19 left in the third quarter, SU’s lead was six. Finishing 4-for-9 for 42 yards, DeVito produced three first downs, rushed eight times for 14 yards and was sacked twice. “I just try to stay calm, do my job,” DeVito said. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe situation DeVito entered was about as perfect as imagined. On Aug. 21, head coach Dino Babers said he decided the starter, but both quarterbacks — Eric Dungey and DeVito would play — depending on the score. Leading by 27 while holding the Broncos to, at that point, one first down, was as good a time as ever. On his first drive, facing 3rd-and-9, DeVito took a page out of Dungey’s book and scampered for 11 yards and the conversion.Consistently, DeVito made more plays with his legs than his arm, avoiding the rush and taking keepers up the middle.“Tommy is probably faster than Dungey,” Babers said.DeVito’s best pass of the night, a 48-yard bomb to Jamal Custis, was wiped out by a penalty. DeVito still linked up with Dontae Strickland on a wheel route up the middle for 22 yards but otherwise was pedestrian in his passing. At times he was inaccurate, too. On a deep out to the right sideline, DeVito missed low and away to Custis. He lobbed a couple overthrows. Trying to convert a 3rd-and-9 on the first series after Western Michigan made it 34-14, DeVito looked left and whipped a pass nowhere in the vicinity of Devin Butler.“I get some reps with the ones,” DeVito said, “but sometimes you get in there and you don’t have the same chemistry as those guys running with the ones.”But the pressing matter during DeVito’s five drives was the rapidly closing margin. While WMU torched the Orange’s defense, SU’s offense stalled out. DeVito stayed in the game, Babers said, because he wanted to see if the quarterback could battle back himself.All the while, Dungey sat on the sidelines and watched. Series after series went by with the margin closing and still, DeVito stayed in.“So I understood what coach was doing,” Dungey said. “I don’t have any harsh feelings about it. I mean, we were winning. As long as we were winning I don’t really care. But once things started getting close, I was in coach’s ear trying to get back in there.”And after DeVito took a sack on third down, leading by just six, Dungey was put back in the next series, and DeVito’s day was done.last_img read more