Most of the focus this offseason has been on the improving recruiting efforts being done by the Syracuse University football staff, but starting this weekend Scott Shafer and his staff will be back on the field putting a new offense and a multitude of talented young players to work. Fall camp opens this weekend with Media Day on Saturday before kicking off practice on Sunday.’s Stephen Bailey tweeted out the full schedule, which again includes the team’s now annual trip to Fort Drum:

There are plenty of question marks surrounding the team heading into the season, but there’s also some reason for optimism. Gone is George McDonald and his suspect offensive playcalling ability, and new offensive coordinator Tim Lester has been able to begin fully installing his own offense, which will feature zero bubble screens and a lot more north/south running. Of course that brings into question if Syracuse has the pieces in place to run Lester’s offense, but all indications are that the personnel will be much better suited to this system than McDonald’s.

With the season quickly approaching, and kickoff less than a month away, it’s perfectly okay to start getting a little cautiously optimistic. I’ll be breaking down my thoughts on the schedule and projected records as we get a little deeper into the preseason, but if this team stays healthy, the Orange could certainly work their way back to a bowl appearance in 2015. Obviously they’ll have to overcome hurdles like inexperience and lack of depth at certain positions, but much of the best talent on the team appears to be that young talent that’s ready, willing, and able to make an early and immediate impact and get Syracuse back to its winning ways.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish