West Virginia Mountaineers center Joe Madsen has been declared academically ineligible for the New Era Pinstripe bowl this Saturday.
Madsen, at 6’4, 310 pounds is a redshirt senior who has been ineligible for bowl games in the past, as he missed the Champ Sports Bowl in 2010 for academics as well.
Madsen has been a critical part of the Mountaineers’ offensive line this season. Without him on the field, WVU will have to turn to its backup center.
The Mountaineers already have a fairly weak offensive line and this will make it even weaker. Hopefully the other linemen can step up and fill the gap that Madsen will leave.
The Mountaineers shouldn’t have a problem with the Syracuse Orange, however this season has shown that quarterback Geno Smith is not as effective when the offensive line doesn’t give him time to throw the ball.
Also noteworthy here is that WVU has been able to find success when it can use the run to set up its air raid offense. Without Madsen, it may be harder for Shawne Alston and Andrew Buie to find running lanes as well, but again, against Syracuse, Alston is still capable of having a big day.
In other Pinstripe Bowl eligibility news, Syracuse has announced that fullback Adonis Ameen-Moore will not play in the bowl. Ameen-Moore was used in short yardage situations, especially near the goal line. He was a crucial part of what is known as Syracuse’s “tank package”.
I don’t think this will have too big of an impact, but WVU’s defense seems to only know how to defend the run. Syracuse may have already had its work cut out to use a rushing attack against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Now, without its short yardage fullback, it may turn to the passing game more, which could spell trouble for WVU.