At 6 foot 4 and 249 pounds, Syracuse tight end Nick Provo is a hard person to miss. Yet for West Virginia’s defense, that is what happened over, and over and over again.
Provo had a career day in Syracuse’s 49-23 upset of No. 11 West Virginia on Friday. The senior had six receptions for 61 yards and three touchdowns.
“We thought that there were some things formationally that we could do, and have (senior tight end Nick) Provo have a big game in the red zone,” Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said.
Provo was involved in the game early, and often. He caught a three yard pass on a perfect play action from quarterback Ryan Nassib to put the Orange up 7-0 with 4:15 in the first quarter.
Nassib would find Provo two more times in the endzone, the last coming with 11:29 in the game to give SU a commanding 42-16 lead.
“At first I thought they were going to kind of adjust to (us throwing to the tight ends),” Provo said. “They didn’t and it worked out in our favor.”
As a unit, the SU tight ends burned the West Virginia secondary, as David Stevens and Beckett Wales also recorded receptions. Stevens added a touchdown with 7:21 left in the third quarter.
“They were able to get the ball to their tight ends and Ryan Nassib is a really good quarterback,” West Virginia linebacker Najee Goode said. “I’m not going to take anything from Syracuse because they were able to execute and able to keep us off our toes as far as playing aggressive.”
Provo, a Mackey Award candidate, has been a favorite target of Nassib all season. He now has 28 receptions for 326 yards and five touchdowns, and has caught a pass in 20 straight games.
Friday’s game could only strengthen his bid.
“Coach said I need to become a bigger part, so when they call my name I just have to make plays,” Provo said. “It is just a great win for the program.”
Corey Mallonee contributed to this story with reporting from Syracuse.