Stats to know: West Virginia vs Syracuse
December, 28, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Tim Heitman/US PresswireGeno Smith will try to close out his season with a Pinstripe-Bowl win.Five stats to know on the New Era Pinstripe Bowl between the West Virginia Mountaineers and Syracuse Orange at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon (ESPN, 3:15 ET)
1. Expect a busy scoreboard in this one. West Virginia is seventh nationally in scoring and has gone over 40 points six times this season. The Mountaineers needed to in order to balance out a poor defense that allowed over 38 points per game and ranks 114th in FBS.
2. West Virginia has allowed 63 completions of 20 yards or longer this season, the most in a season in the last four years. Syracuse led the Big East with 49 completions of 20-plus yards and have at least one such completion in every game this season.
3. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is 0-2 in his career as a starter against Syracuse. In both starts, Smith completed less than 60 percent of his passes and threw at least two interceptions.
Added defensive pressure was a big reason why Smith struggled. He completed 45 percent of his passes and had three interceptions when the Orange sent five or more pass rushers.
That matches Smith’s interception total against the blitz in his 36 other games as a starter.
4. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey lead all receiving duos with 35 receiving touchdowns, 216 receptions and 2,760 receiving yards this season.
They have been targeted on 55 percent of West Virginia’s pass attempts and have gained over two-thirds of the Mountaineers’ receiving yards.
Austin has 909 yards after the catch this season, most among players from AQ schools.
5. Syracuse started 2-4 in its first six games, committing 15 turnovers and only forcing five. In its last six games, the Orange committed only five turnovers and forced 14.