Syracuse Orange (9-3) at West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3)
|Date & Time||Friday December 28, 2018, 5:15 PM (EST)|
The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers +1 -- Over/Under: 67.5
|TV Channel||Stream College Football all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The 16th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers & 20th ranked Syracuse Orange will square off in the Camping World Bowl this Friday night.
The 16th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers came into this season with high expectations and although their goals of winning the Big 12 Championship and securing a CFF Playoffs spot fell short, the Mountaineers still had a solid season after finishing the year with an 8-3 overall record. West Virginia has some great victories this season on the road agianst Teas Tech & Texas and gave Oklahoma all they could handle in a 59-56 loss at home to finish their regular season. This will be the Mountaineers fifth straight bowl game and they will be looking to win their first Bowl game since they defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Cactus Bowl in the 2015 season.
Offensively, West Virginia is averaging 42.3 ppg on 520.4 total yards per game (358.1 passing yds/g; 162.3 rushing yds/g). Offensively, the Mountaineers have been led by QB Will Grier who completed 67.0% of his passes for 37 TD & 8 INT while averaging 351.3 passing yds/g. Grier has already announced that he won’t be playing in the game as he is preparing for the NFL draft, so it looks like the Mountaineers will go with Jack Allison who completed 6 of 10 passes for 75 yards, 1 TD, and an INT. The top receivers for the Mountaineers have been Gary Jennings Jr. (4.9 rec/g; 83.4 yds/g; 13 TD), David Sills V (5.5 rec/g; 81.5 yds/g; 15 TD), and Marcus Simms (4.2 rec/g; 63.5 yds/g; 2 TD). Jennings Jr. is also going to be unavailable for this game due to an ankle injury. Leading the way for the Mountaineers backfield has been the duo of Kennedy McKoy (11.6 att/g; 66.3 yds/g; 7 TD) & Martell Pettaway (8.6 att/g; 51.1 yds/g; 6 TD).
Defensively, West Virginia is allowing their opponents to average 26.5 ppg on 405.5 total yards per game (254.6 passing yds/g; 150.8 rushing yds/g). The Mountaineers forced 22 turnovers on the season and have a turnover margin of +6.
The 20th ranked Syracuse Orange rebounded from a 4-8 season last year to finish this season with an impressive 9-3 record. Syracuse picked up impressive wins against Florida State, NC State, and Boston College and gave Clemson all they could handle in a 27-23 loss in late September. The Orange have won their last three Bowls games they’ve appeared in however, this will be Syracuse’s first Bowl game since the 2013 Texas Bowl in which they defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 21-17.
Offensively, Syracuse is averaging 40.8 ppg on 467.9 total yards per game (261.5 passing yds/g; 206.4 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Syracuse has been led by QB Eric Dungey who completed 60.1% of his passes for 17 TD & 7 INT while averaging 213.8 passing yds/g. Dungey is also a threat with his legs as he has 15 rushing TD’s on the season and is averaging 61.0 rushing yds/g. The top receivers for the Orange have been Jamal Custis (3.8 rec/g; 68.8 yds/g; 6 TD), Sean Riley (5.3 rec/g; 61.1 yds/g; 3 TD), Nykeim Johnson (3.5 rec/g; 50.5 yds/g; 4 TD), and Taj Harris (3.3 rec/g; 46.4 yds/g; 3 TD). Leading the way for the Orange backfield has been Moe Neal who has 5 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 68.9 rushing yds/g.
Defensively, Syracuse is allowing their opponents to average 27.8 ppg on 426.8 total yards per game (263.0 passing yds/g; 163.8 rushing yds/g). The Orange have forced 30 turnovers on the season and have a turnover margin of +14.
The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, however, are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 bowl games. The Orange are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
This line has moved a bunch since it was first released as it’s going to be interesting to see has the West Virginia offense plays without their star QB in Will Grier and one of their top WR’s in Greg Jennings Jr. Syracuse also has a very dangerous offense that ranks 16th in total offense and although the Mountaineers defense isn’t as bad as we’ve seen in previous this year, they still can give up some points through the air as we saw in their last game against Oklahoma. The Orange did a great job forcing turnovers this season and as I think they’ll be able to force the Mountaineers Jack Allison into committing a few turnovers in this one, I think Syracuse is going to cover this small spread.