Oct 5, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Scott Shafer looks on during the fourth quarter against the Clemson Tigers at the Carrier Dome. Clemson defeated Syracuse 49-14. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer explains defensive switch against Georgia Tech


A rough first year in the ACC for the Syracuse Orange got a lot rougher this past weekend when they were blown off the field by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and their vaunted triple-option attack, 56-0.  The Jackets rushed for 394 yards on 67 total attempts, averaging 5.9 yards per rush.

Throughout the game, the Syracuse defended looked outmatched and just overall dumbfounded.

What makes the blowout much more disheartening for the Orange, and particularly their coaching staff, was the fact that head coach Scott Shafer made a switch to a 3-4 defense specifically for this game.

Shafer explained his decision to make the switch, while at the same time referencing that it was a lesson learned:

“A little more speed on the field,” Shafer said. “Trying to research it and how we matched up athletically, we thought that was the way to go. As a coach you fight the 20-20 hindsight but you also learn from it. It’s a difficult lesson because we didn’t do a good job. At the end of the day, from a scheme point of view, the scheme had soundness in it but we didn’t play it as well as we needed to. We weren’t as disciplined as we needed to be.”

The first-year head coach then cast the blame on himself, by saying that he got out-coached:

“No,” Shafer said, when asked if the scheme created confusion among the Syracuse players. “They blocked us better than we got off blocks. Twenty-twenty hindsight maybe I would have had a little more ammunition in the package. But that’s what it is, 20-20 hindsight. I got out-coached. That’s going to happen from time to time. I look forward to going up against them again whenever that day comes.”

Tags: College Football Scott Shafer Syracuse Orange