The Syracuse Orange finished their time as a Big East football team with a bang. In fact they put an old fashion whooping on West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. In the end, Syracuse left Yankee Stadium with a 38-14 win.
The win was an excellent way for senior quarterback Ryan Nassib to finish his career with the Orange. However, it wasn’t the play of Nassib that won this game, but rather the defense and the running game. Syracuse racked up 511 yards on offense and 369 of those came on the ground.
Prince-Tyson Gulley was the star of the game. He carried the ball 25 times for 208 yards and two touchdowns (he caught another). However, Gulley was part of a two headed attack. The other part was Jerome Smith. Smith had 30 carries for 157 yards. The Orange rushing attack was probably the biggest reason for the win, considering that the poor weather conditions in the Bronx made it difficult to throw the football.
The other big reason for the win was the defense, which held Geno Smith and the Mountaineers offense in check. The defense also forced two West Virginia safeties in the game. The team from Morgantown was only able to amass a total of 285 yards on offense in the game. West Virginia didn’t help its case any with penalties. They were called for 10 penalties for a total of 106 yards.
It appears that the Orange have gotten the last laugh in this rivalry that has been played every season since 1955. Due to conference realignment, there is no telling when these two will meet on the gridiron again. Now that Syracuse’s Big East days are behind them they can now look forward to the ACC. If a team, like the Orange, decides to leave its conference then there is no better way to end your tenure there than with a big bowl win.