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Syracuse Tops West Virginia in 2018 Camping World Bowl

It wasn’t the high-scoring shootout we expected but Syracuse still controlled throughout and topped West Virginia 34-18 in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando Friday night.

Instead of Will Grier vs Eric Dungey, the game became Jack Allison and WVU kicker Evan Staley vs Abdul Adams and SU kicker Andre Szmyt. In fact arguably the biggest plays of the game Syracuse made came from Oklahoma transfer running back Adams (he had two first half touchdowns), Michigan State four-star transfer wideout Trishton Jackson (who caught a toe-tapping TD to start the fourth quarter) and backup defensive back Allen Stritzinger (who made a pivotal pick in the fourth quarter.) The first of two were making their debuts for Syracuse and the latter has seen limited time all year. But hey, a win is a win and SU now finished a year with 10 of them for the first time since 2001.

Dungey might not have played the best game of his SU career like he may have done in the Orange’s last game at Boston College, but he got the moment in the sun he deserved. He totaled 303 passing yards and 22 rushing yards on the night. However, those passing yards were still enough to become the all-time leading passer in SU history. He might not be Donovan McNabb but he’s pretty darn close. Despite all the injuries and some head-scratching plays at times, he is going to leave SU as one of the most lovable athletes to come through the school in recent memory.

He played his heart out each and every game of his career and deserves to have his jersey retired one day. Plus, as much as it was annoying at times, you can’t tell me you’re not going to miss watching plays like these.

As for Jackson, he only made one catch in some limited time in his SU debut, but it was one of the most impressive and timely one’s of the year. This dude was a four-star for a reason. He would’ve been the most talented wide receiver on the team this year. Adams would’ve been the most talented back too. The fun thing is both of those guys have so much more time in Orange. So does Ed Hendrix, Nykeim Johnson, Jarveon Howard and Taj Harris. It’s been said a lot but the future really is super bright.

Yeah, Syracuse didn’t beat Clemson this year and that loss might still sting a little. They got blown out at Notre Dame and that was pretty depressing. The Pittsburgh loss was frustrating. But think about those three losses this year. All to really solid teams. Two of them ranked, the other won the ACC coastal division and all three of them away from the Dome.

It’s really not that far-fetched to say this year couldn’t have gone much better. They were projected to win 5.5 games. They won 10. Had big wins over Florida State, NC State, @BC and last but not least, West Virginia.

Dino always said 2018 was going to be a memorable program-changing year. He was right.

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