Blog Entry

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:32 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

SYRACUSE WON. With an aggressive pass rush and methodical ball control, Syracuse bullied No. 11 West Virginia for four quarters on the way to a 49-23 victory at home on Friday night. Quarterback Ryan Nassib led a efficient, mistake-free Orange offense to 441 total yards of offense one of the Big East's best defensive units. The Orange also won the time of possession, finishing with 35:26 compared to West Virginia's 23:04. Mountaineers' head coach Dana Holgorsen is used to his team starting slow, and not owning the clock; but in most of the cases before Friday it resulted in victories.

HOW SYRACUSE WON: By keeping West Virginia's offense off the field, the Mountaineers were never able to develop a rhythm of establish any kind of continuity. The Orange converted on 12 of 16 third downs, and put up 11+ plays on three different touchdown drives. Inside runs, play action roll outs, and lots of tight end completions kept the Orange chipping away each drive. It wore down West Virginia's defense and combined with Syracuse's pass rush led to the victory for Doug Marrone's squad.

WHEN SYRACUSE WON: On the final play of the third quarter, Geno Smith dropped back and was picked off by Philip Thomas for his second interception of the game. The play came just after Ryan Nassib had completed his third touchdown pass to a wide open tight end (four touchdowns were accounted for by tight ends) to make it 35-16. All of the momentum was swinging Syracuse's way, and the Mountaineers needed a spark to get back into the game. Instead Smith's second interception set the Carrier Dome into a frenzy at the break, and Syracuse ran with the momentum to a victory.

WHAT SYRACUSE WON: A signature win for the Doug Marrone era. Last season's bowl appearance was a huge success for the former Orange offensive lineman, but much was credited to the play of the seniors. In what was considered to be a rebuilding year, Syracuse has jumped out a 5-2 start with a win over arguably the league's most talented team. There were 45,000+ in the Carrier Dome to witness the victory, one of the largest crowds since Marrone took over as head coach.

WHAT WEST VIRGINIA LOST: Their frontrunner status in the Big East, and likely 10+ spots in the polls. In the round-robin conference format with no title game, the only way for West Virginia to control their BCS destiny was to finish undefeated in Big East play. Two games in, that position of power has already been stripped. Only Cincinnati sits undefeated in the Big East standings, and after watching the Mountaineers and Rutgers on Friday night, the Bearcats better be ready to bring their best on Saturday.

THAT WAS CRAZY: As pointed out below, West Virginia has been a slow starting team all season. At the end of the first quarter, there was this observation. But unlike most of the previous games on the schedule, the Mountaineers were not able to climb back from this deficit. In fact, they let it get out of hand rather quickly.

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Since: Dec 8, 2009
Posted on: October 22, 2011 1:39 pm

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

Congrats to the Cuse.  The men brought it last night.  Best team won.  I might add, very well coached.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: October 22, 2011 11:47 am

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

Just like the lack of fan support your head coach complained about recently.

“All I heard about was about how much this meant to everybody across the state of West Virginia and this was the NFL team here in town and we’re going to be there to support you,” Holgorsen said. “Having 40,000 people at a game isn’t doing that. The only thing we can do about it is fix it.” 

“You only have seven opportunities a year. What’s so hard about it? Was it too cold? It wasn’t too cold for our players. Wasn’t too cold for our coaches, managers or trainers. They were out there. So why did we have 20,000 less people out there this week than last week?”

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: October 22, 2011 10:28 am

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

SYRACUSE Fans will pack the DOME when they we in the elite ACC all-sports and academics conference. I can't wait to get back with Miami, Virginia Tech, BC, and all the other great ACC Schools(FSU,Clemson,Maryland,Ga.Tech, UNC,NCST.Duke,Virginia,andWake). Pittsburgh will be with us too.  But right now, we need to play as hard as we can in the Big EasT.

Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: October 22, 2011 10:27 am

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

Can't trust you Mountaineers!  This hurts our strength of schedule.  How could you?  Signed, LSU fan.

Since: Apr 21, 2007
Posted on: October 22, 2011 10:15 am

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

Lack of fan support?  The place only holds ~50,000 people.  I guess they could have sold it out, but after 11 years of pretty much winning nothing the fan support was really good.  Also Syracuse lost all of there Big East home games last year which turned off some of the fanbase.  I think 45k almost 46 is a good showing for the area.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: October 22, 2011 10:10 am

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

KUDOS to Syracuse, great, great win.  Proves that every week is a new battle.  What's going to happen with the BIG EAST membership in TOP 25 Football Poll ?  WVU was already #24 in the computer standings in the BCS pole last week before this loss. GENO said it best,
Notre Dame has hurt the BE more than helping it, by not playing in the BE football division.  I hate this for the BIG EAST FOOTBALL Conference.

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 9:29 am

QUICK HITS: Syracuse 49, No. 11 West Virginia 23

We were outplayed and out coached. 

Much was said last week about WVU coaches would take time off from coaching to hit the recruiting trail.  Hope WVU got some great commits. 

Looked like the Syracuse coaches stayed home and coached.

For how bad Syracuse has looked so far this year, last night Syracuse played their best game of the year.  While a big crowd for Syracuse in recent yeras, it still shows a lack of fan support for the Orange.  

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or