And then, in the fourth quarter… Syracuse decisively ended the football game.
With an effective running game, and one clutch third down catch after another, the Orange poured it on and turned a football game they had simply controlled into an all out rout. Tight end Nick Provo, who ran wild all night, caught his fourth touchdown pass and the game was pretty much over.
The Mountaineers countered with a Brad Starks touchdown, but it didn’t matter. The Orange simply ran the ball down the defense’s throat, a 50 yard effort from Antwon Bailey setting up a three yard touchdown dive a three plays later.
By the fourth quarter, the West Virginia defense was absolutely gassed and the their spirit had been broken. The Orange got a ton of bounces, and played efficient football, and then got into the heads of their opponent. The Mountianeers were never able to recover, losing a game in which they were beaten at every turn. Where the Mountaineers were sluggish, the Orange were speedy. While Syracuse played clutch in crucial moments, West Virgina made one mental mistake after another.
The defense had trouble tackling, and the offense had trouble blocking, and the Mountaineers head back to Morgantown beaten soundly and with a lot of issues to address.
49-23. Ugly, ugly game which will leave the team a whole lot to think about over the next eight days. Their next opponent? Rutgers, who also lost tonight. Things are getting ugly all around the Big East.