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McDonald Stripped of Syracuse Play-Calling, Lester Takes Over

Update: Syracuse and Scott Shafer confirmed the news. On top of the change at Offensive Coordinator, the quarterback will be different too. Terrel Hunt is out for at least a month with a fracture in his leg, a Fizz suspicion that was confirmed Monday. It’s a bad time for the #1 team in the nation to be walking into the Dome. The move is surprising in some ways because McDonald is a top recruiter for Shafer, but is probably the best move for the X’s and O’s of the team. The offense has been brutal with GMcD at the helm.

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The much-maligned George McDonald has been stripped of his play-calling duties and Tim Lester will take over, according to a report Sunday night from 247Sports.

BREAKING: Per source, Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer has demoted offensive coordinator / associate head coach George McDonald. Moving forward, quarterbacks coach Tim Lester will call the plays.

This could be the first of significant changes on the Syracuse offense. There is major worry within the program that Terrel Hunt’s injury is significant.  He left after apparently hurting his leg Friday night. Shafer understands he’s at the precipice of this season spiraling down the drain. With a seemingly unwinnable game this weekend against #1 Florida State, the future is getting darker for this campaign.

The Fizz speculated this weekend McDonald could be stripped of his duties, simply because the attack is so toothless and Hunt has regressed. Hunt’s last three games have been particularly awful. But it seemed like SU would stay the course with McDonald so as not to publicly embarrass him since he’s one of the staff’s top recruiters.

In March McDonald said: “We’re going to open it up on offense and go full-bore fast. Like an Oregon, Texas A&M style of offense.” That feels like a punchline at this point.

It may be the 11th hour for this season, and Shafer knows there needs to be a dramatic change. Also, McDonald has never called plays at any level. He’s been exposed.

Lester served as the head coach at Elmhurst College for five seasons before joining Shafer’s staff. He also coached the quarterbacks at Western Michigan while Shafer was the Broncos defensive coordinator. If Lester is without Hunt for the next month, this makes the change even more interesting.

Posted: D.A.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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