Villanova. Rhode Island. Central Michigan (twice). Wake Forest (twice). That’s two Football Championship Subdivision teams, a middle-of-the-pack Mid-American Conference team, and a bottom-of-the-barrel Atlantic Coast Conference team.
Those were the only teams that the Syracuse University football team defeated in the past two seasons. And that’s why this weekend’s game against Boston College at the Carrier Dome will be the last one for Coach Scott Shafer. His swan song begins Saturday, Nov. 28, at 12:30 p.m.
After beating Rhode Island, Central Michigan and Wake Forest for its first 3-0 start since 1991, the Orange has lost eight consecutive games in one season for the first time since 2005 — the first year of the ill-fated Greg Robinson era.
“I want to thank Scott, his wife Missy, and their family for their seven years of dedication and service to SU Athletics and Syracuse University,” athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement released Monday, Nov. 23. “Scott has worked tirelessly to educate our students on and off the field and to build our program. However, I feel a change in leadership is needed at this time.”
After guiding the Orange to a 7-6 record and a Texas Bowl win in his first season as Doug Marrone’s successor, Shafer is 6-17 in the last two seasons and 4-15 against Football Bowl Subdivision teams. SU’s rollercoaster 2015 season has included gutty performances against No. 1 Clemson and then-No. 2 LSU, heartbreaking defeats to Virginia in overtime and Pittsburgh, and blowout losses to Florida State, Louisville and North Carolina. Throw in some questionable in-game coaching calls and disappointing Dome crowds, and Coyle had enough information to make his decision before the end of the season.
Shafer, who arrived at SU in 2009 as Marrone’s defensive coordinator, had one year left on his contract. Coyle said in his statement that a “national search will begin immediately” for Shafer’s successor.