WVU vs. Syracuse Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU vs. Syracuse Game Recap

Nick Arthur, Morgantown -

Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib threw four touchdown passes and ran for one while leading the Orange to a 49-23 upset victory over No. 15 West Virginia Friday night.

The loss was West Virginia's first in Big East Conference play this season.

"They completed dominated us, and it was on all three sides of the ball," West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "There won't be any finger pointing, this was a team loss. I give Syracuse credit for having more energy and being more physical."

Syracuse was able to strike first midway through the first quarter. Quarterback Ryan Nassib found a wide open tight end Nick Provo for a 3-yard touchdown pass, Syracuse led 7-0. The touchdown capped a 14 play 85-yard scoring drive.

West Virginia showed success on its second drive of the game. But, the Mountaineers were unable to convert a third-and-goal and were forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Tyler Bitancurt. The Orange led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.

The next Syracuse possession ended with another Orange touchdown. Ryan Nassib ran for a 1-yard touchdown run to give Syracuse a 14-3 lead. The touchdown came two plays after a personal foul penalty on third down against West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin. It was the second consecutive 14-play drive for the home team.

Following the Syracuse score, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith got the Mountaineers their first touchdown. Smith found a streaking Stedman Bailey for a 64-yard touchdown pass, but Bitancurt missed the extra point. West Virginia trailed 14-9.

On the ensuing kickoff, Syracuse's Dorian Graham returned it 98 yards for a Syracuse touchdown, extending the Orange lead to 21-9.

West Virginia had a promising drive just before halftime, but Geno Smith was intercepted by Syracuse safety Jeremi Wilkes at the goal line. The interception was Smith's fourth of the season. Syracuse was able to take a 21-9 lead into the locker room.

The Mountaineers got the ball first in the second half. West Virginia was able to drive 57 yards in just over four minutes. Running back Shawne Alston ended the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, Syracuse led 21-16.

But, much like they did all night, Ryan Nassib and the Orange offense responded quickly. Nassib found David Stevens for a 29-yard touchdown reception less than three minutes after Alston's score. The Orange lead was extended to 28-16.

After a West Virginia three-and-out, Syracuse scored again. Nassib found Nick Provo for his second touchdown reception of the game. The 35-16 Syracuse lead was its largest of the game.

"We just didn't play well," West Virginia safety Terence Garvin said. "We didn't get to the ball. We didn't make plays."

The Orange weren't finished. Ryan Nassib found Nick Provo for a third time with a 5-yard touchdown pass, and the Orange found themselves leading 42-16.

The Mountaineers and Orange each added a touchdown late, reaching the final score of 49-23

"Syracuse outplayed us and outcoached us, it's as simple as that," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen

Ryan Nassib had a career day, completing 24-32 passes with four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

Geno Smith and the offense were unable to find consistency. Syracuse used many blitz packages and was able to get pressure on Geno Smith throughout the game. Smith finished 24-41 for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns. Smith also threw two interceptions.

"It's disappointing because we work so hard," Smith said. "It's disappointing because we didn't come out and put our best foot forward."

West Virginia's defense had its worst outing of the season. Syracuse was 12-17 on third downs and compiled 436 yards of total offense.

"We're better than what we showed today, I believe that," Smith said. "We're going to fight back from this."

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