Fast reaction: Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 34-18 win over West Virginia

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ ORLANDO, Fla. — In the program’s first bowl game in five years, No. 20 Syracuse (10-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) celebrated on the field while it’s former Big East rival, No. 16 West Virginia (8-4, 6-3 Big 12), slunk to the locker room after a 34-18 beating.After a lethargic, back-and-forth first half, SU steadily built a lead and held it, winning it’s fourth-straight against the Mountaineers and securing a 10-win season.Here are three reactions from SU’s first bowl game in five years.More CoverageSyracuse defeats West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl to cap first 10-win season since 2001No. 20 Syracuse’s defense stymies No. 16 West Virginia in Camping World Bowl winSuperlatives from Syracuse’s 34-18 Camping World Bowl win over West VirginiaEric Dungey delivers fitting end to historic career in Camping World Bowl Published on December 28, 2018 at 8:46 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamcenter_img Dungey’s curtain callAdvertisementThis is placeholder textLate in the third quarter, on a shovel pass to fullback Chris Elmore, Eric Dungey became Syracuse’s all-time leading passer, eclipsing Ryan Nassib’s 9,190 yards. Dungey finished the game with 303 yards and threw for 9,340 in his four years at SU.In his final game for the Orange, Dungey played with the same reckless abandon that fans will remember in central New York for years to come. Facing near-constant pressure early in the game, he rolled and bailed from the pocket, taking hits and grinding out yards on the ground.He threw two bad interceptions, but he also accounted for a touchdown. When he took a shot and WVU got flagged for roughing the passer in the first quarter, Dungey popped up and started clapping in the direction of the two defenders who buried him.From missing the ends of his first three seasons and compiling a lopsided losing record, Dungey pushed and pulled and cajoled SU to its best season in decades and the seventh 10-win season in school history. He will go down as a Syracuse legend, because he is.Transfer trial runIn their first ever game for Syracuse, transfers Abdul Adams and Trishton Jackson accounted for three of Syracuse’s four touchdowns.Adams, a running back who started at Oklahoma, bulldozed his way to two touchdowns on eight carries for 19 yards. Jackson, a wide receiver formerly at Michigan State, made three catches — one an acrobatic, contested grab on the left edge of the endzone for a touchdown, placing both feet down and rolling out of bounds with the ball on the first play of the fourth quarter.During bowl practices and at the joint conferences the day before the game, SU head coach Dino Babers was coy about how much Adams and Jackson would, or could play. They needed to master the playbook, be comfortable taking contact again and Babers stressed a certain amount of loyalty to the players who got SU to this point.But on the field in Orlando, it was the transfers who starred for the Orange.Unlikely contributorsEarly in the fourth quarter, a deflected pass fell in the hands of Syracuse defensive back Allen Stritzinger. The pick set up SU at the WVU 33-yard line, and a few plays later, Andre Szmyt knocked in a 34-yard field goal.Earlier, sophomore defensive end Tyrell Richards chased down running back Martell Pettaway to save a touchdown, then came bursting off the edge to drop Jack Allison for a sack.Both players have been regular contributors on special teams and occasionally earned rotational snaps or played in garbage time. But as SU dominated the Mountaineers, Babers played several younger players. He had stressed that as much as the bowl is a reward for the 2018 team, it’s also a springboard into 2019.“The interesting thing about the bowl season is that you’re really — you have one team but you have another team that’s surfacing,” Babers said on Wednesday. “Your underbelly, your 2019 team, is surfacing because they realize in less than three days maybe the guy that’s in front of them is going to be gone.”All over the field, players who had for most of the season been buried on the depth chart started sliding in and making plays. Commentslast_img read more