Syracuse: Countdown to Kickoff 2013



The Scott Shafer head coaching era officially kicks off when the Orange faces Penn State in New York's College Classic at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 31 … However Shafer's presence in the program has been felt since 2009, when he was named defensive coordinator for former head coach Doug Marrone … Shafer was promoted to lead the program in January 2013 after Marrone departed to lead the NFL's Buffalo Bills … RB Jerome Smith's 1,171 rushing yards last year were the most of any returning player that will take the field for an ACC team this season … Syracuse has had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the past five seasons … Leading the blocking for Smith this season will again be the anchor of the offensive line – senior C Macky MacPherson … MacPherson, the grandson of legendary SU coach Dick MacPherson, is a candidate for Rimington Award, presented annually to the nation's best center … MacPherson has played in all 37 games of his collegiate career, including the last 25 as a starter.

Numbers & Notes

4th - Ross Krautman, senior placekicker for the Orange, has made 48 of 61 career field goal attempts and ranks 4th among all active career leaders in the NCAA’s FBS in field goals made.

5 - Syracuse senior center Macky MacPherson is one of five ACC pivotmen named to the prestigious spring Rimington watch list. The Rimington is presented annually to the nation’s top center. MacPherson is making a repeat appearance on the Rimington watch list  as he was also named on the 2012 list. MacPherson is the grandson of the former standout Syracuse head coach.

7 - Syracuse is one of seven schools in the nation to have at least 17 of its former players or coaches in the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame and 7 of its former players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

213 - The number of rushing yards for Syracuse RB Prince-Tyson Gulley, in the Orange’s 38-14 win over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Tyson-Gulley is one of two current ACC backs who have topped 200-yards in a single game.

1,171 - The number of rushing yards for the leading returning rusher in the Atlantic Coast Conference, who didn’t play in the ACC last year. Syracuse RB Jerome Smith, who ran for 1,171 yards in 2012 for the Orange, becomes the leading returning rusher in his new conference this fall. Smith averaged 5.16 yards a carry and topped the 100-yard mark five times.

2012 In Review
In Doug Marrone’s final of four years as head coach at his alma mater, the Orange won six of its final nine games behind the play of QB Ryan Nassib, WR Alec Lemon and RB Jerome Smith and a defense tutored by coordinator Scott Shafer that finished the year ranked 6th nationally in tackles for loss to post an overall 8-5 record and a 5-2 mark in the Big East, claiming a share of the Big East football title...Syracuse did not lose a game by more than 13 points, and that was to then-No. 1 ranked Southern California...After a decisive 38-14 triumph over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York, Marrone left Syracuse to become head coach of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills...Shortly thereafter, Syracuse named Shafer, a highly respected defensive coach, as his successor...Nassib finished his career in fine fashion, ranking 18th nationally in total offense and completing 62 percent of his passes for 3,749 yards and 26 touchdowns...Lemon led the Big East in pass receptions (6.00) with 72 catches for 1,070 yards and 7 TDs...Smith finished 3rd in the Big East in rushing with 1,171 yards...Lemon earned unanimous first-team all-Big East honors and was joined on the all-Big East first team by T Justin Pugh and SS Shamarko Thomas... Nassib was a second-team all-Big East selection as was DE Brandon Sharpe, who had 7.0 sacks and 15.0 TFLs.

Who’s Gone
Syracuse will be without 11 starters; six on offense and five on defense...Offensively, the Orange lose QB Nassib, who started every game the past three seasons, big play WRs Lemon and Marcus Sales, TE David Stevens, LG Zack Chibane and LT Justin Pugh... Defensively, the Orange will be without three of the starting front four in DEs Markus Pierce-Brewster and Brandon Sharpe and DT Deon Goggins. and the top two tacklers in LB Siriki Diabete and SS Shamarko Thomas.

2013 Preview
Shafer welcomes back 40 returning lettermen and 13 starters, including five on offense, six on defense, PK Ross Krautman (15 of 23 FGs) and P Jonathan Fisher (39.2 avg.)... Senior Charley Loeb, junior John Kinder and sophomore Terrel Hunt will compete to replace Nassib under center... Senior C Macky MacPherson, the grandson of the famed former Syracuse head coach, is a Rimington Award candidate and a leader of the offensive line... He is joined by 2012 starters G Rob Trudo and T Sean Hickey... Sophomore Nick Robinson, redshirt freshman Omari Palmer and JUCO transfer John Miller look to compete for the vacant guard position with sophomore Ivan Foy, redshirt freshman Kyle Knapp and incoming freshman Jon Burton in the mix for the tackle post... Junior WR Jarrod West (43 catches) will lead a bevy of WR candidates including seniors Chris Clark and Adrian Flemming, junior Jeremiah Kobena, redshirt freshman Ben Lewis and Alvin Cornelius and Arkansas transfer Quinta Funderburk... The TE position is well stocked with senior Beckett Wales (35 catches) backed up by Josh Parris... Sophomore Ashton Broyld will man the H-Back slot… Running back is also deep with both Jerome Smith (1,171 yds) and Prince-Tyson Gulley (617 yds, 4.7) returning but being pushed for playing time by redshirt freshmen George Morris II and Devante McFarlane... Defensively, NT Jay Bromley returns and could play either inside position with junior Eric Crume, senior Zian Jones and sophomores Ryan Sloan and John Raymon, and redshirt freshmen Marcus Coleman and Josh Manley competing for playing time... At defensive end, juniors Micah Robinson and Rob Welsh are slated as starters with redshirt freshman Ron Thompson backing up both spots... WLB Dyshawn Davis (14.0 TFLs) and MLB/SLB Marquis Spruill (9.0 TFLs) lead a linebacker corps that also includes senior Lewellyn Coker, sophomores Cameron Lynch and Oliver Vigille, JUCO transfers Luke Arciniega and Josh Kirkland, and redshirt freshman James Washington... Three starters return to the secondary, including CBs Keon Lyn (10 PBUs) and Ri’Shard Anderson and FS Jeremi Wilkes... Sophomore Durell Eskridge, junior Ritchy Desir and sophomore Wayne Morgan will compete for time at safety, while junior Brandon Reddish, sophomores Julian Whigham and Jaston George are battling for playing time at cornerback.