West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has struggled in his collegiate career against Syracuse. He's 0-2 against the Orange with losses coming in 2010 and 2011. He threw five interceptions and was sacked a whopping nine times combined.
But he gets one more shot at the team from New York, writes John Harris of Trib Total Media:
Asked if he had a bowl opponent preference, Smith said, yes, and that he got his wish because he wanted to face Syracuse one more time.
"It‘s ironic," said Smith, WVU‘s career passing leader and the only player in school history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season (he accomplished the feat in back-to-back campaigns). "Deep down, that‘s who we wanted to play."
Smith has had a Heisman-caliber season, but he didn't come home with the hardware this season. Smith completed 71 percent of his passes for 4,004 yards this year. He threw for 40 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
The last time the Orange and Mountaineers faced, Smith and his squad fell, 49-23. Smith threw for 338 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions.
Smith said he "studied film all summer, figuring out ways to defeat that coverage."
West Virginia and Syracuse will square off Saturday in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Both teams enter the game with a 7-5 record. Kick off is set for 3:15 p.m. ET.