Fri 10/21/11 8:00 PM
UConn W 43-15
Tulane W 37-34
Series: SU 31-27
First Meeting: 1945
Last Meeting: 2010
Syracuse trumpets the fact that it is going to the ACC in its game notes, and includes this gem from Athletic Director Dr. Daryl Gross:
"We are truly excited that academically and athletically we will be a member of the ACC, one of the nation's premier collegiate athletic conference. As ‘New York's College Team,' we plan to compete at the highest level across all of our sports and help enhance this great conference."
We'll ignore the "New York's College Team" crap for a moment, and focus on Dr. Gross' giddiness at joining the ACC. If that's the case, shouldn't it be removing references to the Big East from its game notes, buildings, fields and the like? If Syracuse wants to be in the ACC and is delighted to be joining it, that's fine. But don't play it both ways.
I'm well aware that Syracuse is still in the league, and that Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said that the league plans to hold it to the 27-month period between notification of withdrawal and actual departure. But maybe the league should tell Syracuse that, as a non-participating member on league issues, it must remove conference logos from its uniforms, fields and communications. On the other hand, perhaps Big East officials are happy to see members having to wear and display the league logo for the next two years.
In our Match-Ups article, we noted that quarterback Ryan Nassib would be a key in helping Syracuse control the ball and keeping West Virginia's offense sidelined. But did you realize that Nassib is on pace to become a season record holder, just as WVU's Geno Smith is?
Halfway through the season, Ryan Nassib is on track to have the most prolific passing season in the history of Syracuse football. Nassib is currently 124-of-192 for 1,294 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is on pace for 248 completions, 384 attempts and 2,588 yards. All three numbers would be school records. He is on schedule to ti e the SU season record for passing touchdowns (22) and finish second in completion percentage and passing yards per game.
Yep, those numbers would push Nassib past Don McPherson, Donovan McNabb and Marvin Graves on the list of Orange greats/.
WVU can even its all-time record in the Carrier Dome at 8-8 with a win on Friday. WVU is currently riding a four-game winning streak on the flat, featureless floor of the Dome.
RACE TO 700
WVU blew past Syracuse in the total win column recently, and now has 696 all-time football wins, good for 14th on the NCAA leader board. The Orange are one position behind with 690 wins, but it has taken the Orange three more years than West Virginia to reach that total.
BUSTING THE CHARTS
West Virginia is on pace to set a number of team and individual offensive records this season, but perhaps none displays its new-found offensive prowess more than this one. Over the past ten years, WVU has thrown for 225 yards or more in a game 25 times. Every one of the Mountaineers' 2011 games are included in that list. What's more, the top four performances on the list have all come this year. West Virginia passed for 469 yards against UConn, 463 against LSU, 431 vs. Norfolk State and 388 against Maryland.
Granted, that time frame covers a period in which the Mountaineer rushing attack was one of the most feared in the nation, but we're not talking just a few yards here. West Virginia is obliterating its single game passing records, and by the end of the year, many of the old standards will be pushed aside.
With three overtime games this year, Syracuse has now played 13 games with at least one extra session. Fresno State, Missouri, N.C. State, Pitt and SMU have also played 13 overtime games since the rules were modified to eliminate tie games in 1996.
Hmmm, Pitt, Syracuse, Missouri and SMU. All schools involved in the current conference realignment mess. Is there a hidden message in there somewhere?
In no way am I predicting that this will happen this week .But would anyone bet that, at some point in the near future, West Virginia doesn't threaten its all-time total offense mark of 674 yards? That record was set in 1923 against Washington and Lee, and for a long time I thought it was the one unassailable Mountaineer mark outside of the scoring record of 92 points in a game, set against Marshall. However, the Mountaineers came close against Bowling Green, racking up 643 yards, and have topped the 500 mark on three other occasions. It might not happen this year, but that record is going to fall.