The Syracuse University football team officially opened camp on Monday, August 5th, under 1st-year head coach Scott Shafer. Shafer takes over for the Orange entering the program's first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). SU is coming off a very successful 2012 season in which it won the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for the second time in three years.
Sunday was the first of many opportunities for the media to talk to both Shafer and Syracuse players.
"I'm looking forward to getting out there, everyone is going to be excited on day one," Shafer said. "Coaches, players, managers, everyone included, is going to be ready to go but we're going to set the tone, focus in on our initial objectives which are to work extremely hard and prove daily and start to gel as a team."
The biggest question coming into camp in 2013 for the Orange is the spot left by Ryan Nassib at quaterback. Nassib was taken in this year's NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Returners Terrel Hunt and Charley Loeb are battling for the position, along with University of Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen.
"We're going to try to be real diligent and take a look at what reps we get on tape of the kids that are new, Drew included," Shafer said. "Then take a good look at what we know about our players that we've had for a few years."
A swarm of media members surrounded Allen, who formally was introduced as a member of the Orange for the first time this week, decked out in an Orange polo. Questions ranged from how he likes the area, to what he can bring to the position held by Nassib for the past three years.
"I learned from two great quarterbacks [at Oklahoma], NFL quarterbacks, Sam Bradford and Landry Jones" Allen said. "With the way they prepared and the way that they approached every day, every practice, every workout, everything was with a high intensity with a high regard to excellence and precision. That is the way I'm going to approach everyday. If I feel like I do that, then I'll come along the way I need to."
Syracuse kicks off its season with New York's College Classic on Saturday, August 31st against Penn State at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The game will be televised on ABC or ESPN2 starting at 3:30 PM. You can catch an hour pre-game show, "Countdown to Kick-off" live on WAER, 88.3 FM, starting at 2:30 PM prior to kick-off. The game follows at 3:30 on the Original Home of the Orange
As always, WAER will have full coverage and live play-by-play of every Syracuse football game, as it enters its first year in the ACC.