Syracuse's Siriki Diabate (18) and Cameron Lynch (38) bring down WVU quarterback Geno Smith for a safety.
NEW YORK - Terence Garvin had an absolutely monster game against Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl Saturday at snowy Yankee Stadium.If only anyone else on West Virginia's defense had helped him out.Garvin, one of 20 Mountaineer seniors who played their final game, had 15 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, broke up a pass and both forced and recovered a fumble.Still, West Virginia managed to give up 511 yards, allowed Syracuse to run 90 plays and the Orange controlled the clock in the Mountaineers' 38-14 loss.
That team performance was something West Virginia's defense never expected to happen against the Orange, who ran for a staggering 369 yards."Honestly, I thought we'd be able to stop them from running the football,'' said new WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. "And I am really going to have to go back and look at the film to figure out how they did it.''Well, Patterson actually knows how they did it. He just doesn't understand how his defense had as many breakdowns as it did. Syracuse didn't do anything complicated or anything the Mountaineers didn't expect. They just did it better than WVU defended it."No one ran it on us all year. I thought these guys were good, but we had done a good job against the run and they didn't do anything we didn't expect. They just ran split zone,'' Patterson said. "We had some key breakdowns at times.'' nn
Just for the record, here are a handful of, well, records that West Virginia players set with their final-game performances. It's certainly not a complete list. Stedman Bailey broke a record that Ira Errett Rodgers set in 1919. His two touchdowns gave him 150 points for the season, three more than Rodgers' 93-year-old mark. Bailey's 122 yards was also his 14th 100-yard receiving day. That means he finished with one more than Tavon Austin. The two went back and forth all year
Geno Smith appears to have broken his own record for total offense in a season. His total last year was 4,352 and this year it is 4,369. He didn't break his single-season passing mark from last year, though, falling 184 yards short of his 4,385 in 2011. He also broke his own mark for completions (362). Austin had just 21 yards receiving, but that was enough to give him 1,280 for the season and squeak past Bailey's total from last year (1,279) and move into second place on the single-season receiving yards list, behind only Bailey's total (1,627) from this season. Smith's two TD passes to Bailey give him 102 touchdowns for which he is responsible, but that's still one short of Pat White's career record.
BRIEFLY: The only line worthy of repeating from a pregame press conference involving Yankees brass and the ADs from the two schools belonged to West Virginia's Oliver Luck, who responded to a joke about the game being a certain defensive struggle."I'm not sure what I would do as the athletic director at West Virginia if I saw a defensive struggle,'' Luck said. "That would be very much out of character.'' Yankee Stadium holds about 50,000 for baseball, but put on the market only 42,000 seats for the football game. Club officials said that 41,203 tickets were sold.
The actual attendance was listed at 39,098. The Yankees say that reflects the actual number of bodies in the house, independent of ticket sales, which is the way all attendance figures should be. It looked like there were more empty seats than that, and there were. But it was because many people watched the game from the concourses where it was warmer. Prince-Tyson Gulley's 208-yard rushing day was the first 200-yarder against WVU in 11 years, or since Boston College's William Green in 2001. The 369 rushing yards allowed was the most by a West Virginia opponent since Navy ran for 388 in 1999. Unofficially, only five teams have ever run for more yards against WVU. Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.