The Orange had the odds stacked against them when taking on West Virginia on Oct. 21. The Mountaineers were nationally ranked and looking to make a statement after a recent upset loss to Virginia Tech.
Syracuse didn't exactly help itself, though, as the game was essentially determined in the first half, when West Virginia blocked a field goal and a punt, as well as getting a turnover when Syracuse's punt returner fumbled. The special teams' errors led to two West Virginia touchdowns and helped stake the Mountaineers to a 17-0 halftime lead.
"Defensively, we just didn't get the thing under control," said Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni.
"And offensively, we needed to hit some of the open receivers. We were a little bit hurried. I thought we were a little bit anxious. And we didn't execute from a special-teams standpoint. It's a combination of things."
The combination led to a 27-6 setback that left the Orange at 3-4 on the season and wondering when the losses will end. Pasqualoni, for his part, doesn't seem to have the answer yet, but he needs to find it soon.
"You know, it's the same thing," Pasqualoni admitted. "I mean, we're in there battling and battling and battling. But we just didn't get it done."
GAME BALL GOES TO
QB Perry Patterson -- Although the Orange didn't have a good night scoring against West Virginia, Patterson was able to put up a career-high 249 yards passing. Patterson completed 23 of 37 passes.
KEEP AN EYE ON
WR Steve Gregory -- After missing four games with a thigh injury, Gregory bounced back with a big game against West Virginia. Gregory set career bests with five receptions for 58 yards, giving the Orange hope of having another threat in the passing game.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We definitely wanted to win this game. Our goal is get to the BCS and this was the game we had to do it in. We just didn't come out and do it. From the start we didn't come out and play the way we needed to, and things kind of fell apart kind of quick." -- Syracuse wide receiver Steve Gregory on the 27-6 loss to West Virginia.
With Steve Gregory back from a thigh injury, Perry Patterson had another target and was able to put up a career-best 249 yards passing. Of course, a lot of that came with West Virginia protecting a big lead, but it's a building block for future contests.
STILL NEEDS SOME WORK
Special teams had an awful time blocking the Mountaineers, who blocked a field goal and a punt. The punt was especially disheartening considering West Virginia had set up for a return and rushed only one player.
Running back Walter Reyes didn't play against West Virginia due to flu-like symptoms. It was the first time since the opening game of the 2001 season, Reyes' freshman campaign, that he did not play.