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Syracuse Football Must Move Forward, Not Backward; Upward, Not Forward; And Always Twirling...

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Scott Shafer hates looking backward. Like, really, really hates it.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Scott Shafer held his final press conference of the week before the Florida State Seminoles come to town to take on the Syracuse Orange...

So what did we learn?

  • Scott Shafer is done talking about the George McDonald demotion and just wants to focus on the game and season ahead.
"Every decision I've made is my decision. Everything that is on video tape, from Day 1 since I've been here up until this day, is my responsibility. If the defense isn't playing well, that's on me. If the offense isn't playing as well as we need them to, that's on Coach Shafer. Kicking game. Everything. And I own that."

"Then it's my responsibility to try to find the best way in my opinion to try to move forward and get better. So every decision I've made is, you know, in the direction that points toward the best interests in developing our players and becoming a better football team."

"I'm not going to go backwards and rehash all these things. I don't believe in living life that way. I don't believe in it. You move forward ... It's our responsibility to model the way, and when we haven't modeled it the way we want it to, then we fix it and we do a better job. We own it. We're honest with ourselves and you move forward as a team, as a family, and that's what we've done."

  • George McDonald's role as a recruiter will not change. "He's one of the best in the country."
  • Injuries: "We still have about a dozen kids out." Fun! The full list will be out later today but we're likely looking at guys like Terrel Hunt, Wayne Morgan, Keenan Hale, Ashton Broyld, Brisly Estime, Ivan Foy, Kendall Moore, Devante McFarlane and Rodney Williams.
  • Shafer understands the situation with No. 1 FSU coming to town, but, he's not willing to give up on the miracle.

"It's what you dream about as a young man, a chance to get on the field and play against the best team in the country. A team that a lot of people would argue is the best team in the last 10 years with the talent level and the win streak, so for those kids I'm excited for them. It is a very exciting time for those guys. You can see it in their energy and you can feel it just with their presence walking into the room. They understand that it's their time to play and there's a sense of energy that just doesn't come when you're a third string player."

"They don't think that far back, but what I did was I took the last three weeks in college football and showed them the teams that won games with spreads of 20 or 21 points down to 12 or 13 points. I just showed it to them and said 'look, every opportunity you have is a chance to win a game, the ball is oblong and doesn't always bounce the same way every weekend.' If we can control the things we can then why not us?"

  • Scott Shafer hates looking backward. Like, really, really hates it.