Zack Mahoney shows signs of improvement in place of Eric Dungey in loss to North Carolina State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 12, 2016 at 7:54 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Zack Mahoney snagged a snap that was low and to his left, faked a handoff to Moe Neal and then stood tall in the pocket from his own 19-yard line. As the pocket collapsed, he unleashed a high-arcing bomb.Forty-six yards later the ball fell right into Amba Etta-Tawo’s hands as he ran it in the rest of the way for a touchdown that cut the Orange deficit to within one score.“Zack did a fabulous job handling the blitz, he threw some beautiful deep balls,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said.Syracuse (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) had its work cut out for it with star quarterback Eric Dungey ruled out an hour before the game started. Even though he had some up-and-downs, Mahoney played relatively well in his first full game of the season in a 35-20 loss to North Carolina State (5-5, 2-4) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. He threw for a career-high 190 yards and a score.Babers said Dungey is “probably doubtful” for the Orange’s game with Florida State next week. Mahoney will likely start again.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s not Zack’s job to play like Eric, although if he wants to, I’m all for it,” Babers said.After Dungey left last week’s game against Clemson in the first quarter with an injury, it was Austin Wilson who stepped in and played the rest of the way. To that point in the season, Mahoney was the only other quarterback to appear in the game.Last week, Babers called the situation right for Wilson to play, and all week leading up to this game he remained tight-lipped as to which quarterback would get reps, and playing time, if Dungey were to miss the game. Mahoney found out Friday night that he’d start Saturday.“Getting the reps in the spring and the summer … I felt a lot more comfortable,” Mahoney said. “The reps I’ve gotten with this offensive staff have been the most reps I’ve gotten with one team and one offensive coordinator since high school.”Mahoney had some struggles. On the second drive of the game he threw an interception deep down the right sideline. He got sacked three times on some plays where might have been able to throw the ball away sooner (although he did have to deal with a young offensive line that went to its third-string center at one point). And while he had some successful rushes, there were times when he ran right into a tackle.But there were some definite sign of improvement. In addition to the pass to Etta-Tawo, Mahoney tossed a deep pass down the sideline to Alvin Cornelius for 46 yards in the second quarter. In the fourth, a 34-yarder to Cornelius was called back due to a chop block penalty, but the ball was on the money.“What we expect is for the other 21 guys to elevate their game so that Zack can play under control and we still have an opportunity to win,” Babers said. “I thought that in the first half especially, Zack did that for us.” Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *