During an Aug. 20 practice, the defense jumped offsides during a live-game simulation of a field goal. Shafer lost it. He threw his trademark white, wide-brimmed visor on the ground in disgust. Those nuances and "controlling the controllables," as Shafer puts it, are what he believes will determine the team’s success.
"I really can’t help what comes over me when I’m going to play football," Franklin said. "I love people and I love to talk, but it’s just a natural disposition. When I get on the field, I hate everyone I’m going against."
"I actually didn’t want to play quarterback, but my coach told me they get all the shine, they get all the girls," Hunt said, "and I was like, ‘All right, I’m in.’"
"I have one year," Allen said, "so I’ve got to do everything in my power to get up here as early as possible, leave here late, so I’m prepared for every single day."
"What I did in college does get overshadowed, so something like this is great," Monk said. "You get to step back out into the forefront and say, 'Hey, I wasn't just a great professional athlete, but I also did some things in college that were worth being recognized."
"I was focused on ― if I had to sit out (last year) ― working on getting on the field this year," Funderburk said in a slow, syrupy southern drawl. "I'm still working hard to get on the field, so that's my expectation."
There are virtually no national experts predicting that Syracuse will make a bowl this season.
Shafer said there's seven core special teams players who will contribute on the kick coverage, kick return, punt coverage and punt return units.
Carter-Williams will do a live Syracuse Legends radio show starting at 6 p.m.
"I think the ideal answer and the realistic answer may be two different things," Shafer said. "Once we get into the flow of the game both kids will be ready to play. But I want the starter to feel like he's got the luxury of understanding that he is the starter and we're going to let him go."
Marrone's biggest claim to fame is riding Sean Payton and Drew Brees' coattails for a few seasons, which totally makes him a MASTERMIND. In reality, he was an average head coach with an average record at a below-average football school in a sport that is rigged to essentially GIVE you three to four cupcake wins per season. That's what you're getting, Buffalo. So he was an offensive genius at Syracuse? You may as well say he was an offensive genius at fucking badminton.
"It’ll probably tend to be very Penn State heavy at the game. I heard that its student section is coming with a contingency of over 1,000 people," he said. "Even when we’re outnumbered, we still have a blast."
Overall, this group is very inexperienced outside of West. That may mean relying heavily on Beckett Wales, who returns at TE and grabbed 35 balls for nearly 400 yards last season. Whether the quarterback is Allen or Hunt, the offense will need to focus on the running game, a unit that really has a lot of depth.
Penn State kicks off its season against Syracuse this Saturday at the Meadowlands. We went to the folks over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for an inside look at the Orange.