NCAA Game Summary - Syracuse at West Virginia|
(Saturday, October 23rd)
Final Score: Syracuse 19, (20) West Virginia 14
Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) - Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass and Ross
Krautman kicked four field goals, as Syracuse pulled off a 19-14 upset of
20th-ranked West Virginia at Mountaineer Field.
The Orange (5-2, 2-1 Big East) kept West Virginia off the board after a wild
first quarter that featured a combined 24 points and halted an eight-game
losing streak in the series, beating the Mountaineers for the first time since
Syracuse has won both of its Big East road games, also beating South Florida
two weeks ago. The Orange were coming off an ugly 45-14 home loss to
Pittsburgh last Saturday.
West Virginia (5-2, 1-1) had been considered the class of the weak Big East
with its lone previous loss being a 20-14 setback at LSU on September 25.
Syracuse's defense came up with three interceptions, all leading to Krautman
field goals, and sacked West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith five times. Smith
had thrown just two interceptions entering the contest and finished Saturday's
game 20-of-37 for 178 yards with a touchdown.
After a scoreless third quarter, West Virginia took its first possession of
the fourth to midfield before a pair of penalties, a sack and a six-yard loss
on a screen pass pushed the Mountaineers back.
West Virginia got the ball back with 6 1/2 minutes remaining at its own 20 and
quickly reached the Syracuse 48 with a first down. Three plays then netted six
yards, but Smith escaped a rush on fourth down and scrambled for 11 yards to
keep the drive alive.
A holding penalty then wiped out a big play, but Smith found J.D. Woods for 17
yards on 3rd-and-16 soon after to again move the chains. Smith was dropped for
a 12-yard loss on second down, then threw incomplete on third with 49 seconds
to play before he was again flushed out of the pocket on fourth down and was
sacked to seal the outcome.
West Virginia managed just 284 total yards, led by Noel Devine's 122 on 24
carries. However, nine penalties for 64 yards also stymied the Mountaineers.
The Orange totaled just 246 offensive yards. Antwon Bailey ran for 94 yards on
19 carries, taking over the bulk of the rushing duties after Delone Carter
left the contest with a bruised hip. Carter had 75 yards on nine carries as
the Syracuse ground game accumulated 183 yards. Nassib was just 5-of-15 for 63
yards through the air, but was not picked off and was sacked only once.
West Virginia's first series ended quickly, as Doug Hogue picked off a Smith
pass on the third play of the game to give Syracuse a great chance from the
Mountaineer 26. After one first down, the Orange stalled and Krautman kicked a
28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Mountaineers then faced 3rd-and-10 right away on their second possession,
but Smith found Tavon Austin for 11 yards and the West Virginia offense kicked
into gear from there. Smith connected on 5-of-7 throws for 66 yards on the
nine-play, 71-yard drive and capped it with a six-yard strike to Austin in the
back of the end zone.
Syracuse wasted little time and answered with a 62-yard march in just under
two minutes, as Nassib hit a wide-open Van Chew with a 29-yard scoring toss,
but back came West Virginia with a 67-yard touchdown series. Smith converted
a 3rd-and-15 with a 17-yard pass to Woods to set up Ryan Clarke's one-yard
touchdown run on the ensuing play for a 14-10 lead with just under two minutes
remaining in an action-filled first quarter.
Max Suter then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and West Virginia took over at the
Syracuse 34, but Smith was picked off by Phillip Thomas in the end zone and
the Orange drove to the Mountaineer two before settling for a 19-yard Krautman
field goal early in the second period.
After a trade of punts, West Virginia's Keith Tandy picked off Nassib and
returned the ball inside the Syracuse 30. Tandy, though, was called for pass
interference and the Orange took advantage of the second chance to take a
16-14 lead on a 33-yard Krautman kick with 3:54 left in the half.
Hogue picked off another Smith pass with just over a minute remaining and his
49-yard return gave the Orange a first down at the West Virginia 12. Again the
West Virginia defense forced a field goal and Krautman connected from 22 yards
away to send Syracuse to the break with a 19-14 edge.
West Virginia had a 12-game home winning streak stopped...Hogue finished with
10 tackles, eight solo, and a half-sack...Syracuse hadn't won at West Virginia
since a 31-27 triumph on November 4, 2000 and now leads the all-time series,
10/23 16:29:01 ET