Syracuse Elevates Shafer

Syracuse University chooses to keep familiarity as the face of the program, as opposed to going outside for the new leader of the football program.

Scott Shafer joined the Syracuse Orange football program with Doug Marrone in 2009, as one of Marrone's original hires.

As the head of the defense, Shafer has been a piece of the puzzle that Marrone had been assembling to create a picture of a better, more competitive team than had been seen at the tail end of Paul Pasqualoni's tenure and throughout all of Greg Robinson's time at Syracuse.

With Marrone moving onto the NFL's Buffalo Bills to fill their vacancy at head coach, Syracuse University made the decision to stay with someone of whom they know, and more importantly, knows the program.

The news of Shafer's elevation to head coach coming according to a report from the Associated Press

Current players are familiar with his teachings and recruits have bought into what he can offer, providing a better transition than having a stranger enter in of whom the players, both current and incoming, do not have a relationship with.

Shafer has already shown that he can be successful at the collegiate level, aiding the Orange to a brighter future.

Under Shafer, Syracuse's defense improved on third down (from 117th to 28th in the nation) and in first downs they gave up (104th to 27th).

The Orange also drastically elevated their sack amount (100th to 6th) and total defensive play (114th to 37th) from 2008 t0 2009.

Syracuse's defense, under the leadership of Shafer, performed even better in preventing first downs, rising from 27th in the country to 12th.

Their overall defensive output placed them at seventh in the nation from 37th in 2009.

The Orange also became more of a threat against opponents' passing attacks, going from 85th in the nation to 10th.

Overall, Shafer's defense ended the 2010 season ranked seventh among all NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs.

During the 2011 season, Shafer had the adversity of injuries to overcome. Despite a 5-7 campaign, the situation helped to bring talented athletes, such as free safety Jeremi Wilkes, to light, providing positive signs for the defensive players brought into Syracuse that had not had many opportunities to show their worth.

In 2012, Syracuse's defense under Shafer helped to stunt the run and finally have a positive response to running quarterbacks.

In the past three seasons, Shafer's defense has done something others cannot boast of in defeating Geno Smith and West Virginia three-straight times, shortening the successes of a typically high-powered offense.

Shafer has also aided the Orange to emerge on the right side of the win-loss column against a top-25 ranked opponent in all of the last three seasons.

He has helped to guide Syracuse to and experienced the postseason, coaching on the staff in both the 2010 and 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowls, each a win for Syracuse.

Another win for the Orange came from the hard work of the defensive unit as a whole, rising to sixth in the nation under Shafer, and first overall in their final season in the Big East Conference in tackles for a loss.

Cuse Nation Top Stories