Former conference foes face off in New York in Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl.
Syracuse finished its regular season with a record of 7-5 after winning its final three games, including an upset of No. 9 Louisville and a road win at SEC foe Missouri. The Orange offense moves on the arm of senior quarterback Ryan Nassib, whose 63% completion rate led to 3,619 passing yards with 24 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.
It's been a mediocre season for the Syracuse defense, a unit that faces a tough challenge in West Virginia's top-ten offense. Syracuse blogger Sean Keeley indicated to West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket that the Orange's strength is its front-seven, who will likely be blitzing often.
Despite his offensive prowess, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has yet to claim a victory over Syracuse. The prolific passer has lost twice in as many tries to the Orange as the two schools once squared off as Big East opponents.
Smith's senior season was remarkable despite leading the Mountaineers to a record of 7-5. Smith threw for 4,004 yards and 40 touchdowns while throwing only six interceptions and completing 71% of his passes. That line puts the West Virginia passing offense at sixth nationally at 341 yards per game.
Syracuse leads the all-time series between the two schools, 32-27.
Game date and time
Sat., December 29, 3:15 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
West Virginia is favored by 4 points
ESPN Radio affiliates
Last year’s game
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 27
Iowa State Cyclones 13
Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.