George McDonald

Syracuse shakes up coaching staff and loses QB Hunt for 4-6 weeks

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Life is pretty good for Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer, or so he says, but Monday saw the head coach of the Syracuse Orange change some things up with his coaching staff. Tim Lester will now be assigned the role of offensive coordinator, which had belonged to George McDonald. Shafer also announced the loss of starting quarterback Terrel Hunt for four to six weeks. Hunt suffered a fibula fracture in Friday night’s game against Louisville.

“I’ve had to make a tough decision that has been less difficult to make because of the unselfishness of our teammate and coach George McDonald,” Shafer said in a statement released by Syracuse. “I’ve made the decision to change roles to use our staff’s talents together more effectively.”

McDonald remains a part of the coaching staff, and he will continue to work with the offense as Lester takes on more control of the play-calling on offense. McDonald will continue coaching the receivers for the Orange. Lester previously served as an offensive coordinator at Elmhurst College, a Division 3 program, from 2008 through 2012 before joining the Syracuse coaching staff. He also served as the offensive coordinator at Saint Joseph’s College, a Division 2 school, in 2004 following another two-year stint as Elmhurst College’s offensive coordinator.

“Tim will take charge of the play calling and the development of our young quarterbacks as we move forward without Terrel Hunt as he works to rehab his injury,” Shafer explained. “We are committed and unified to take the actions necessary to maximize the talent and drive of this football team.”

Syracuse ranks 13th in the ACC in scoring, 10th in passing offense and eighth in total offense. through five games, Syracuse ranks 9th in the ACC in red zone scoring percentage, but just 13th in red zone touchdown percentage. In 19 trips to the red zone, Syracuse has just nine touchdowns (but seven field goals). Only Wake Forest has a lower red zone touchdown percentage in the ACC. Every other ACC school besides Syracuse and Wake Forest has a red zone touchdown percentage of at least 52.0 percent (Syracuse is 47.37; Wake Forest is 38.89 percent), according to CFBStats.com.

All is not terrible for the Orange. Syracuse leads the ACC in sacks allowed with just 3.0 and the ORange have only lost a total of five turnovers, which is tied for second best in the conference with Duke. Only Georgia Tech and Clemson have had fewer turnovers.