Syracuse was up 17-0 on Georgia Tech in the second quarter when Tommy DeVito gave the ball away, so the stat sheet would suggest. It was a 50-50 ball thrown into one-on-one coverage deep downfield. Taj Harris and Zamari Walton both rose up for the football, and the Yellowjackets defensive back came down with it. A wide receiver should never allow an interception on a jump ball. After the game, Dino Babers shared the same assessment.
It was an interception, nonetheless, a sin that DeVito threw a program record 206 passes without committing. Early in the 2019 season, the first-year starter threw four interceptions. Two of them were egregiously reckless, balls that should have been thrown away along the sideline. For the rest of the year, DeVito was no longer reckless, he was safe.
It was, at best, an over adjustment. DeVito became more likely to take a sack than give his receiver a chance downfield. The offensive playcalling was more likely to be a bubble screen on third and long than a five-step drop and a pass downfield. So the interceptions stopped. Was that really a good thing?
Back to last week’s Georgia Tech game: DeVito’s pick, his second of the season, lead to GT’s first touchdown of the game. On the next Syracuse drive, just one offensive snap removed from the interception, DeVito saw Harris streaking down the right sideline again. This time, Harris had a step on the corner, Myles Simms. DeVito could have easily looked it off, remembering what had happened just two snaps ago when he looked to connect with Harris on the go-route.
He had no fear. He took the shot.
It was the most impressive throw I’ve seen from DeVito all season, given the circumstances. In the third quarter, he connected on the home-run ball to Nykeim Johnson.
Isn’t that the best thing DeVito has going for him? He has great arm talent, both strength and accuracy. It’s the reads that he’s struggled with. The remedy is letting loose. Playing scared isn’t going to work with this quarterback. I’d rather DeVito play reckless.
The interceptionless streak was bogus. Let’s see a TD pass over 20-yards streak.