Syracuse Orange offensive coordinator George McDonald has been stripped of his play-calling duties and his job title, Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey is reporting. Current quarterbacks coach Tim Lester will be in charge of the offense, including calling the plays, for this Saturday when No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles come into town (Noon on ESPN).
"I've made the decision to change roles to use our staff's talents together more effectively. Coach Tim Lester will call the plays and coordinate the offense moving forward. He, George and the offensive staff will continue to work alongside one another striving to improve our offense together. Tim will take charge of the play calling and the development of our young quarterbacks. George will continue to coach our receiver unit."
Lester, who hired as quarterbacks coach when Shafer was promoted head coach in the winter of 2013, takes over a SU offense that has gained yards but hasn't been able to find success in the red zone. Currently, the Orange rank 107th in the country in points scored per game and hit rock bottom this past Friday, in a 28-6 loss to the visiting Louisville Cardinals, when it managed four three-and-outs, two safeties against and kicked a pair of field goals in its two chances in the red zone.
The move by Shafer is his second-biggest decision during his tenure as head coach. Last season, Shafer elected to bench season-opening starting quarterback, Drew Allen, for Hunt, who helped lead the team to a 7-6 overall record and a Texas Bowl victory.
Though the offense managed to find success at the tail end of last season, it has been very inconsistent this season. With big games against Florida State, the N.C. State Wolfpack and the Clemson Tigers looming, Shafer has decided a change of direction on offense is needed.
We will see how this works out.