Syracuse entered the bowl season 21st in the nation in passing, averaging just more than 300 yards per game. The Orange surpassed that total on the ground late in third quarter, finishing the game with 378 yards rushing in a 38-14 defeat over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Prince-Tyson Gulley notched 215 yards, with 33- and 67-yard touchdown bursts.
After a dominant first half led to only 12 points, Syracuse led by just five at the half. But West Virginia could not tighten up its defensive front, allowing two consecutive drives to end in touchdowns. Late in the third quarter, Geno Smith took his second safety of the game, giving the Orange a 35-14 lead.
Adding to the ground attack was Jerome Smith, who rushed for 158 yards on 29 carries. Senior quarterback Ryan Nassib led a brilliant hurry-up attack, with the lack of huddles able to wear down the Mountaineer defense. Nassib, who will surely be looked at by NFL teams in the upcoming draft, was 12 of 24 for 127 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.
Early Heisman favorite Geno Smith didn't fare well in his last college football game, throwing two touchdowns but failing to overcome inclement weather to muster a comeback. Smith did hook up with his favorite target, Stedman Bailey, for 120 yards and two scores. Bailey finishes the season with 25 touchdowns on the season.