clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse Football: Orange Used One Cadence On Offense All Last Year... Oh. My. God.

Hope you enjoyed your Saturday so far. This may ruin it.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Since he was officially named the Syracuse Orange offensive coordinator for 2015, Tim Lester's been a bit of a sharer. We're fine with that since it's nice to actually get updates from the football staff, especially with the honesty and candor he seems to deliver it all.

Sometimes it's a point of debate.

Sometimes it's just a description of the Orange offense, compared to last year.

And others, it's a something that will send you into fits of rage, directly aimed at George McDonald, first and foremost:

SU football used one offensive cadence throughout 2014.



As Lester describes to's Stephen Bailey,

"You can't just use one (cadence). which is what we did. We had other ones, but we used one. We have to use them; you're trained to do that."

Apparently they couldn't vary the snap count because the offensive linemen couldn't stay onsides. This is the part where you start screaming...


Bailey adds some additional, troubling details:

While he didn't think opposing teams could pick this up off film heading into games, Lester said defensive linemen would notice this during games and take advantage. However, he believes SU couldn't vary its snap count during games last season because the offensive linemen wouldn't have been to stay onsides.

... So these are DI players in a power conference, who can't stay onsides unless it's on the same cadence, AND despite teams picking up on it mid-game, we continued to do it anyway? Believe me, I'm as confused as you are. And now I have some follow-up Qs:

  • Why couldn't they stay onsides for any other cadence? Isn't that basic stuff for O-linemen? We ran different cadence when I was in middle school...
  • If he knew it was a problem, why'd Lester let the practice continue after he took over?
  • Why were there no in-game adjustments if opposing defenses caught on? Really, I NEED to know this answer.
  • Can we directly attribute last year's rash of injuries to this? (yes)
  • Can we blame the majority of last year's offensive futility on McDonald's over-complicated, bubble-screen offense that only used one cadence? Yes, yes you can.


While both Scott Shafer and Lester were parties to this nonsense, I'm choosing to put blame on McDonald here (and you should too) and faith that the remaining coaches can eliminate stupidity like this. In fact, I'd bet that if even HALF of the stupidity from last year's offense is eliminated, the 2015 team should be right around bowl eligibility. What all of these details from McDonald's rein continue to tell us is that he really was in over his head, and directly inhibited what can be a talented group. Personally, I'm looking forward to Lester moving the Syracuse past all of this and into a period of at least marginal competence.

Sorry to ruin your Saturday. Pace yourselves while drinking.