Nov 10, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Jerome Smith (45) runs with the ball during the second half of a game against the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 45-26. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
4.) Like Syracuse is familiar with WVU’s offensive stars, Mountaineer fans too are overly familiar with Nassib, Tyson-Gulley, and Lemon. It seems as though this trio has been at Syracuse since the McNabb days. What one offensive player should Mountaineer fans keep their eye on for this game that they may not be as familiar with?
Aside from the names you just mentioned, there are a few players that can make plays for this team. Jerome Smith splits the carries with Prince-Tyson Gulley, and the two complement each other beautifully. Gulley is the speed guy, while Smith is the power back. On the receiving end, senior Marcus Sales has had a great season after being suspended all of last year. The 2010 Pinstripe Bowl against Kansas State was his breakout game, and he was all over the field scoring three touchdowns. Those two will definitely be in the thick of things throughout this game. Another sleeper I would say to look out for is Jarrod West in the passing game. He has some issues catching at times, but he finds himself open a lot and is definitely capable of putting up a good game.
5.) Syracuse is billed as “New York’s College Team.” Is there really a big Orange following in New York City or is this simply a marketing ploy? If so, do you expect there to be some sort of “homefield” advantage?
The thing with Syracuse is because it is a private school, they really have a following at major cities throughout the country. However, New York is definitely a big alumni base which is the source of the major marketing in that area. That along with ease for fans to get to Yankee Stadium from Syracuse, and the Orange should have a great fan following in this one. I’m heading down for the day on a bus package, which included transportation and a ticket for just over $100. The Syracuse allotment for tickets is almost sold out, so definitely expect a lot of Orange in this one. Syracuse fans love to party in New York City, be it Madison Square Garden or MetLife Stadium/Yankee Stadium.
In terms of a homefield advantage, I am split on what could potentially happen. I have also heard that West Virginia is having little trouble selling their allotment of tickets as well, so there should definitely be a lot of West Virginia fans there as well. They’ve always traveled pretty well to the Carrier Dome in the past, so a shorter trip to Yankee Stadium would lead me to believe it won’t be as lopsided as some people think. I think there will be a pro Syracuse crowd, but I’d put it at 70-30 or 60-40 by kickoff.
6.) Bottom line, what do you think will be the final score in this one?
I think this game will be lower scoring than what people are saying, simply because that is always what seems to happen in games like these. I’m not calling for a 10-7 game, but with the over/under at 73.5 I’ll crazily enough take the under. Syracuse has proven this season that they can hang with just about anyone in the country, and I think they will show it yet again in this game. I believe Syracuse has a little bit of swagger with their recent success against West Virginia, and will continue to mix up their defense to attempt to confuse Geno Smith and will have just enough to beat the Mountaineers. I’ll take Syracuse 38-31. Pretty ridiculous that a 38-31 game would be LESS offense than what Vegas predicted!
Got to appreciate Mr. Weinheimer’s Syracuse passion, but I do not think that the Orange get the best of this team, especially when Holgorsen will have 4 weeks to prepare the team for Syracuse. We all saw what happens when Holgorsen has plenty of time to game plan for an opponent last season with the Orange Bowl victory over Clemson.
I like the Mountaineers to take this one by a final score of 63-41.