Pinstripe Bowl Pick – December 29th
Old Big East foes are going to be meeting on December 29th in what should be a great clash on the NCAA football betting lines at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, where the Syracuse Orange will meet the West Virginia Mountaineers.
West Virginia was probably the most bipolar team in the country this year. The club was able to start off the year at 5-0 and was ranked in the Top 10 in the BCS rankings as a result. Their season was essentially capped with a win in Austin against the Texas Longhorns in what was thought to be a potential battle of BCS combatants. Texas trailed off from there, and West Virginia ended up losing five straight games after that point though, and the season was just never the same. There are three tremendous future NFLers that are carrying this team, though. QB Geno Smith might be the top overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft, as he threw for 4,001 yards and 40 TDs on the campaign. WR Stedman Bailey caught 106 passes for 1,501 yards and 23 scores, while WR Tavon Austin chipped in with 109 catches, 1,266 yards and 12 TDs as a receiver and 61 carries, 598 yards, and three TDs on the ground. For as great as the offense was though, the defense was just that bad, allowing 469.6 yards and 38.1 points per game on average on the campaign.
Head Coach Doug Marrone brought his team to the Pinstripe Bowl two years ago, and after not making a bowl game in 2011, his club is back in the Bronx in 2012. QB Ryan Nassib really shined this year, and he very quietly led his team to 473.4 yards per game, good for 21st in the nation. Nassib too, has NFL prospects, and this is going to be a chance for him to shine against a defense that has definitely shown some holes. He threw for 3,607 yards and 24 TDs in 2012, and he had great contributions both from WR Alec Lemon (70 catches, 1,063 yards, seven TDs) and WR Marcus Sales (62 catches, 851 yards, eight TDs). This is one of the few teams in the country that had a 1,000+ yard receiver and a 1,000+ yard runner as well. RB Jerome Smith rumbled for 1,019 yards and three scores, though we can’t forget about RB Prince-Tyson Gulley either, who had seven TDs with 617 yards.
Be sure to check the weather report for the Pinstripe Bowl before committing to this play, but as long as Mother Nature doesn’t give us crazy winds or snow, there is no reason to think that this one won’t go flying past the ‘total’. Nassib is going to have a real chance to throw for 400+ yards and maybe four or five TDs against this West Virginia defense, and the end result could make this the highest scoring bowl game of the year. West Virginia 51 – Syracuse 44