Beat writers unanimously pick Syracuse to win Camping World Bowl

first_imgNo. 20 Syracuse (9-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) and No. 16 West Virginia (8-3, 6-3 Big 12) haven’t played a game in over a month. But on Dec. 28, the two will meet in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Orange are playing in their first bowl game in five years and are one win away from its first 10-win season since 2001. The Mountaineers are coming off a high-scoring loss to Oklahoma, 59-56, and will be without their starting quarterback Will Grier, who is sitting out the game for his NFL Draft stock.Here’s who our beat writers have taking the win, and why.Andrew Graham (10-2)Country road, take me homeSyracuse 45, West Virginia 34Will Grier sitting out this game is about the best early Christmas present head coach Dino Babers could ask for: the opponent’s best player is not playing. In a game with two teams that love to air it out and score, this should still be an exciting evening. But for a West Virginia team that had legitimate playoff aspirations, this feels like more of a consolation. Syracuse, the team that hasn’t played in a bowl in half a decade, is hungry. The seniors have never played in a bowl, and it’s hard to imagine Eric Dungey and company don’t go out on a win against what may be an undermanned and unmotivated West Virginia side. SU will finish with 10 wins or more for the seventh time ever and the expectations for 2019 climb just a little bit higher.Josh Schafer (10-2)No will to win Syracuse 52 West Virginia 38AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn many ways, Syracuse plays Big 12 Conference style football. I’d expect that to pay dividends in this year’s Camping World Bowl. Both Syracuse and West Virginia ranked in the top-15 in scoring offense and allow more than 25 points per game. With WVU quarterback Will Grier sitting out because of his high draft prospects, the edge falls to Syracuse. The Orange seniors have waited their entire careers to play in a bowl game while the Mountaineers have played in one each of the last five seasons. In bowl season, sometimes it’s those random factors that matter. Syracuse’s offense will thrive against an exposable defense and hold off a second-string quarterback long enough to secure its first bowl victory since 2013.Matt Liberman (9-3)To the Mountains Syracuse 49, West Virginia 41This is a perfect matchup for Syracuse, which runs its offense like a Big 12 offense. The difference is Syracuse still has to play grind-it-out defense against offenses in the ACC like Pittsburgh and Boston College that rely on run-heavy schemes to advance the ball. West Virginia allows 26.5 points per game, meanwhile Syracuse boasts the No. 23-ranked defensive efficiency in the nation. Against truly capable passing teams, West Virginia never held them under 30. Syracuse has the offensive firepower to compete with anyone in the Big 12 aside from Oklahoma, and the intangibles on defense and special teams to stop them. Plus, without Will Grier, West Virginia may be searching for options against one of the best teams in the nation at turning people over. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 26, 2018 at 11:27 pmlast_img

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