NEW YORK – A quick take on Syracuse’s 38-14 second-half run-away versus West Virginia in the third annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl at snowy Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse continued its standout post-season play in the Doug Marrone era by winning its second Pinstripe Bowl in three seasons and an eight-win season with a dominating second-half performance against WVU. With snow showers falling the entire game, the Orange ground game took over in the second half keyed by junior Prince-Tyson Gulley and fellow junior Jerome Smith. The two combined for 360 yards on the ground.
ANALYSIS: SU didn’t let up after winning five of its last six regular season games, winning the battle of the line of scrimmage, stopping the’Neers all 12 times they had third and fourth down opportunities to try and keep the chains moving, and putting on a dazzling display of running under the guidance of record-breaking QB Ryan Nassib in his final game in orange and blue.
HERO: Orange running back Gulley had a sensational second half with a 67-yard TD run and 9-yard TD catch from Nassib, and he threw in a 33-yard run for a score in the second quarter for good measure. Gulley also reeled in 10 catches for 50 yards in addition to nearly out gaining the entire West Virginia team.
ZERO: The Mountaineers defense. Entering the game 117th in total points allowed in Div 1, WVU had no answer for the Orange running game and the mastering of the Orange offense by Nassib. WVU gave up 38.1 points per game, right on the number for SU.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange played their final game as a representative in the Big East conference. The next game will be as an ACC member when Syracuse takes on Penn State at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2013.Brad Bierman