We already knew Syracuse football wasn’t heading anywhere but home for the holidays. But the Orange isn’t even being competitive down the stretch. In an ugly effort Saturday at Pittsburgh, the Panthers blow out SU 30-7. Pitt jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back.
The lone offensive highlight was the 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive which ended in SU’s only score, a 1-yard plunge by Ron Thompson. But the defense couldn’t keep it close, and the offense was once again putrid. SU compiled a mere 255 total yards – an incredibly pathetic 150 yards passing – and never sustained any success.
The mid-season change in offensive coordinators never paid the dividends Scott Shafer hoped it would, and now it’s fair to wonder if it was a mistake. George McDonald is almost assuredly going to leave the program following the season because of the demotion. One would imagine he’ll have the opportunity to be a receivers coach at a much bigger school for a decent pay raise. He may take recruits with him, and now he has a “told ya so” on his resume. Clearly the lack of playmakers on offense and spotty QB play wasn’t just because of McDonald’s play-calling. What did the dramatic move really accomplish?
Syracuse is far from a desirable job these days, and no one expects Daryl Gross to fire Shafer after just two seasons (one of which ended in a bowl win). But the program has sunk to pre-Doug Marrone depths. The Orange is 3-8, just 1-6 in a bad ACC. SU will go on the road next to take on a solid BC team, one that beat USC earlier this year and almost knocked off defending champion FSU today. A loss to the Eagles would mean a 3-9, 1-7 season – a campaign that could’ve officially been a Groobers-esque one if Villanova had pulled off the upset in the opener.
Most Syracuse fans have already checked out of football season. But getting hammered by a Pitt team that came in at 4-6? Looks like the football team has checked out too.