The Syracuse University football program used a perfect defensive game plan and a career day from seniors, quarterback Ryan Nassib and tight end Nick Provo, Friday night to upset West Virginia University, 49-23, in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. Nassib, who finished the game with 230-passing yards, tossed three of his four touchdowns to Provo, who helped Syracuse (5-2, 1-1 Big East) compile its highest point total of the season in front of 45,265 fans.
"We made plays," said Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone after the game, "The kids executed, they played extremely hard. They always have. We made plays at the right time. We kept them off balance. They are a very good football team. The story lies within those players."
The Orange are now just one win away from becoming bowl eligible, while the Mountaineers (5-2, 1-1), who entered the contest ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll, No. 14 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 15 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, suffered its worse loss to SU since 1960 when they lost 45-0.
The biggest play of the game came midway through the second quarter when SU's senior wide receiver Dorian Graham ran back a kick return 98 yards for a TD. The score, which gave SU a 21-9 advantage, answered a quick-TD drive by WVU that marched 69 yards in just three plays to trim an early Orange lead to 14-9.
From there, Syracuse scored 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters, and executed in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams -- to pull away from the highly touted Mountaineers.
SB Nation New York blogged live from the Carrier Dome. Check back for postgame coverage of Syracuse's shocking victory over West Virginia. Also, follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or Jared_E_Smith.