MINNEAPOLIS - Ryan Nassib and the Syracuse offense are focused on getting off to a better start.

Minnesota quarterback Max Shortell is just excited to be starting at all.

Shortell will take the reins Saturday against the Orange after starter MarQueis Gray suffered a high ankle sprain last week against Western Michigan. Shortell played well in relief of Gray and he says he feels much more comfortable as a starter this time around.

Shortell threw for just 104 yards in his first career start, a 58-0 loss at Michigan last year.

The Orange (1-2) fell behind 21-3 early against USC and trailed Northwestern 35-13 midway through the third quarter in a 42-41 loss.

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