2012 Pinstripe Bowl picks and predictions: WVU popular choice over Syracuse

Chris McGrath

Most college football prognosticators are predicting a West Virginia victory over Syracuse. But what do some people think could give Syracuse a leg up in this matchup?

Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Syracuse Orange is a showdown of former Big East rivals. The Orange lead the series 32-27 and have won the last two matchups between the two teams, most recently a 49-23 victory in 2011.

As for the predictions, most folks thing that the Mountaineers will win this game over the Orange. Both Pat Forde and Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports predict a West Virginia Victory and Yahoo! users agree.

The Sporting News also predicts that the Mountaineers will win thinking that the time they have to prepare for this game will put them at a greater advantage:

Last year, when offensive genius Dana Holgorsen had weeks to prepare for the Orange Bowl, the Mountaineers poured 70 points on Clemson. Don't expect Syracuse to keep pace.

However, one person does think that the Orange will be able to keep up with the Mountaineers' offense. Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel thinks that the Mountaineers' defense will be their undoing as he predicts the Orange to win a shootout, 63-57:

Amazingly, the first team All-America quarterback in this game is not Mountaineers star Geno Smith, but Pro Football Weekly selection Ryan Nassib (3,619 yards, 24 touchdowns, nine interceptions). The Orange's touted draft prospect should have a field day against the nation's 119th-rated pass efficiency defense, as the Orange will outlast Smith, Tavon Austin and Co.

The Pinstripe Bowl is set for a 3:15 p.m. kickoff and the game will be broadcast on ESPN with the option to watch via the WatchESPN app.

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