LocalSYR

Pinstripe Bowl: Syracuse defeats West Virginia 38-14

Battling snowy conditions, the Orange came away with their second Pinstripe Bowl victory in 3 years.
The marching band takes the field at halftime at the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday. (Dennis Harmon, NewsChannel9 WSYR)
The marching band takes the field at halftime at the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday. (Dennis Harmon, NewsChannel9 WSYR)
Syracuse University cheerleaders try to pump up the crowd before the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday. (Dennis Harmon, NewsChannel9 WSYR)
Syracuse University cheerleaders try to pump up the crowd before the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday. (Dennis Harmon, NewsChannel9 WSYR)
NEW YORK (AP) - Prince-Tyson Gulley ran for a career-best 208 yards and had three touchdowns, Syracuse scored twice on safeties and the Orange bid a snow-covered farewell to the Big East with a 38-14 victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday.

Syracuse (8-5) will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference on a roll after finishing this season with six wins in its last seven games, capped by its second postseason victory at Yankee Stadium in the last three years.

In a bowl game played in a baseball stadium with weather better suited for a playoff game in Green Bay, the team that plays in a dome ended up being better equipped to handle the elements.

The Orange leaned on their running game to plow through former Big East rival West Virginia (7-6) and the snow. Jerome Smith added 157 yards rushing, and Syracuse finished with a season-high 369 yards.

Geno Smith connected with Stedman Bailey for two touchdown passes, but the Mountaineers' quarterback also was sacked in the end zone in the first half and called for intentional grounding in the end zone in the second half as he tried to avoid another sack.

Smith, who was an early Heisman Trophy front-runner as the Mountaineers got off to a 5-0 start this season, was 16 for 26 for 197 yards in the final game of his record-breaking career.
GAME PREVIEW


West Virginia (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5), 3:15 p.m. EST (ESPN)

At Yankee Stadium, New York.
Line: West Virginia 3 1-2.
Series Record: Syracuse 32-27.

WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Mountaineers are trying to wrap up a season that started great (5-0), went sour (five-game losing streak), then ended on the upswing (two straight victories) with their first bowl victory as a member of the Big 12.

It will come, oddly, against a member of their old conference.

At least for now. The Orange began their last season in the Big East 1-3 before closing strong and sharing the conference title. It's off to the Atlantic Coast Conference for Syracuse next year.

KEY MATCHUP
QB Geno Smith and WRs Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin and against Syracuse's pass defense and veteran secondary.

The Orange rank 63rd in the nation in sacks and 65th in yards passing allowed.

Not terrible, but this will be as tough a test as All-Big East S Shamarko Thomas and the Orange defensive backs have faced this season.

Snow is expected in the New York area on Saturday, so maybe that will slow down the prolific Mountaineers. On the other side of the ball, West Virginia's defense ranks 123rd in the nation against the pass so clearly it could use any help it can get.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: Austin is one of the most dynamic and versatile players in the country. An All-American all-purpose player, Austin does most of his damage as a receiver.

He had 1,259 yards through the air, 598 rushing and a little more than 900 on returns.

Syracuse: QB Ryan Nassib. Like his West Virginia counterpart, Smith, Nassib is NFL-quality. The senior passed for 3,619 yards and 24 touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES
Syracuse is making its second trip to the Pinstripe Bowl.

The Orange won the first one two seasons ago, beating Kansas State 36-34.

Syracuse will be without two suspended players for the full game, and another for at least part of it.

RB Adonis Ameen-Moore and TE Max Beaulieu were suspended earlier this week for violating team rules.

Ameen-Moore played in six games for the Orange, rushing 30 times for 108 yards and five touchdowns.

Beaulieu played in one game.

Last week, coach Doug Marrone announced starting linebacker Marquis Spruill would miss a significant portion of the Pinstripe Bowl after the senior was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for getting into a scuffle with Syracuse police. 

West Virginia will be without C Joe Madsen, suspended for academic reasons.

Six times this season the loser of a West Virginia game has scored at least 34 points.
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