West Virginia scrambles Orange on Legends Day

Big East rival Mountaineers control from the start, topping Syracuse, 34-13, Saturday afternoon.

The West Virginia offensive machine continued to roll, piling up 385 yards of offense to claim the Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy for the eight consecutive season with a 34-13 win over hometown Syracuse in front of 40,134 fans at the Carrier Dome.

MIKE WILLIAMS: The top wide receiver in the Big East Conference (top 5 in the country) got nary a sniff until the second quarter.  Finally got a screen run for him, and a West Virginia defensive back rips six inches off Williams’ jersey.  Williams wasn’t kept silent for long, catching a 50-yard touchdown pass (20th of his career to tie Marvin Harrison for second all-time at Syracuse).  Williams ended the afternoon with four catches for 89 yards (10 receptions from tying the school record).

ROCK JOCK: West Virginia wide receiver Jock Sanders slings his way to the top of list for athletes with sports names, joining Flip Murray, Tree Rollins, Donald Driver, Hack Wilson and Spike Owen. The scatter bug lived up to his sporty name, making nine catches for 67 yards with.  Sanders reeled off a nine-yard scamper around the left end for his first rushing touchdown of the season.  

COOL RUNNINGS: The running backs were front and center on Saturday.  First, a quartet of SU backs graced the program cover.  Then, WVA halfback Noel Devine dominated pre-game talking points.  SU back Delone Carter saved a sure Mountaineer touchdown on the first interception/fumble return. Devine spun his way into end zone on the ensuing play for his first TD of the afternoon. WVA bowling ball Ryan Clark rolled in for two touchdowns on goal line situations before halftime.  SU legend Jim Brown, still large and in charge, ambles onto Carrier Dome field as part of halftime ceremony to name Ernie Davis Legends Field.      

FEMALE MOUNTAINEER:  West Virginia mascot is typically a student dressed up similar to Daniel Boone (coonskin cap, rifle, gun powder bag), making the assumption a male is preferred.  For just the second time in school history, the Mountaineer is a female (Rebecca Durst). Interesting fact: the first WVU female mascot (early 1990s) is current West Virginia Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant.  

DAVIS DAY:  SU tries way too hard to keep the number 44 in the minds of fans.  The SU offensive possession overlapping the 1st and 2nd quarters saw the Orange needing to get to the 44-yard line for a first down (the newly adorned yard marker with an orange #44 on the sideline).  When the break occurred the public address announcer made a perfect seg-way: a video montage with message from Floyd Little, another #44 football legend.  Later in the game, Jock Sanders found open field on a punt return, only to mysteriously trip over the 44-yard line.

THEY SAID IT: We must always do those things that are right.  Ernie Davis did that.” -- Martin Luther King III, during halftime ceremony.

I’m big on the little things.  Its how you present yourself, it’s how you hold your head up high, and it’s how you shake someone’s hand.  We’re not doing those little things.” -- Orange head coach Greg Marrone in post game press conference.

My wife is with me, so give her a hand.”  -- SU legendary athlete Jim Brown.

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