Shafer, Orange aiming for improvement

Syracuse head football coach sets season goal of eight victories during ESPN visit Monday.

Syracuse clawed its way to a bowl game last season, the school's first in the ACC, but head coach Scott Shafer is expecting even more in 2014.

Shafer joined Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Louisville's Bobby Petrino and four other ACC coaches as part of ESPN's mid-summer "car wash" on Monday. The annual event invites coaches from around the country to appear across multiple platforms at the network's Bristol, Conn., headquarters.

According to a press release by Syracuse Athletics, Shafer's schedule included appearances on ESPN and ESPNU, along with an chat.

Shafer talked to ESPN's Todd Grisham during an afternoon "SportsCenter" broadcast, and he spoke about his excitement for the upcoming season.

"We know we can make good improvements coming off of a good victory over Minnesota (in the Texas Bowl)," Shafer told Grisham. "Now let's take this to the next level, and let's take this thing to new heights."

The second-year head coach added that his primary goal is to reach eight victories, one more than the Orange's 2013 total.

But with Clemson, Notre Dame and defending national champion Florida State ready to oppose SU, Shafer knows it won't be easy.

"You want to get a little bit better each season, so for us a little bit better is No. 8," he said. "It'll be a hell of a task with our schedule... but that's what we signed up for."

The Orange opens the 2014 season in the Carrier Dome against Villanova on August 29 at 7:30 p.m.

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