Bits & Bytes: WVU - Syracuse

Passing marks, rushing prowess and all-time records are among the tasty tidbits offered up as WVU heads to Syracuse to take on the Orange. Game Scorecard
Sat 10/10/09 12:00 PM

Syracuse, NY

Carrier Dome
Record: 3-1
Last Game
Colorado W 35-24
TV: Big East Network
Radio: MSN
Record: 2-3
Last Game
USF L 34-20
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2009 Schedule

Series: SU 30-26
First Meeting: 1945
Last Meeting: 2008
Press Release
Season Stats
2009 Schedule

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Yes, we know the game is indoors this week. We still provided the weather outlook as a service for those traveling to the game. Although, given WVU's weather adventures this year, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Dome spring a leak on Saturday.


If they can continue at their current pace, both Syracuse quarterback Greg Paulus and West Virginia signalcaller Jarrett Brown will set single season records for pass completion percentage. Paulus is currently connecting on 64.4% of his tosses, which puts him 11 percentage points ahead of Bill Scharr's 1989 mark of 63.3%. Brown, who is currently at 67.6%, has an edge on Patrick White, who set the single season standard of 66.7% in 2007.


The Orange are in the midst of an incredible six-game home stand, with West Virginia the fourth contest in that stretch. Syracuse will not venture outside of the Dome in the month of October, and will go almost two months without playing a road game. The payback comes in November, when SU plays three of its final four on the road.


West Virginia and Syracuse are two of just 14 schools to play in a current BCS bowl game and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA basketball tournament in the same season. WVU, along with Florida, UCLA and Ohio State, make up the foursome that has done it at least twice. Florida, with three such double achievements and a pair of national titled in each, is the only school to have achieved the coveted dual championship.


While West Virginia has won the last seven meetings between the two schools, it has also been making headway in the overall wins department. The Mountaineers and Orange each have 676 all-time victories, tying them for 14th on the list of winningest FBS teams. Pitt is the only other Big East school in the top twenty, holding down the final spot with 657 wins.


Of Noel Devine's 540 rushing yards to date, 259 of them have come on just five carries, meaning that his other 68 carries have resulted in a gain of 281 yards. This points out a couple of things. First, Devine, despite his performance in grinding out yards against Colorado in the fourth quarter, is the kind of back that you want to keep giving the ball to, because he has the ability to pop the big gain at any time. But it also shows that the speedster isn't just living off big runs, as he's averaging 4.1 yards per carry on his "lesser" runs.


Two years ago, Syracuse honored its undefeated, once-tied 1987 team at halftime of its game against West Virginia. This year, the Orange will honor Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis by naming its playing surface "Ernie Davis Legends Field." Despite the somewhat unwieldy name, it's certainly a fitting honor for a man who was one of the most inspirational athletes in Syracuse history. It's too bad that those involved with the film of Davis' life, titled "The Express" allowed gross inaccuracies in the name of "artistic license". Davis' story stands on its own, and needed no such embellishment to portray its powerful message.


West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart is 13-5 in his first 18 games as West Virginia's head coach. Only Ira "Rat" Rodgers and Bobby Bowden, at 14-4, exceeded that mark in their first 18 games at the helm.

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