The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 30, 2012

Braun, WVU not making excuses

NEW YORK — Jeff Braun wasn’t looking for excuses following West Virginia University’s 38-14 loss in the Pinstripe Bowl Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

He moved from guard to center because Joe Madsen, the veteran starter, was academically ineligible.

WVU’s offense was held to 285 total yards in a steady rain and snow that made the field conditions poor. The Mountaineers had only 88 rushing yards on 37 tries.

Syracuse, though, moved that ball well and netted 369 of its 511 total yards on the ground.

“It seemed like we would hit big plays and then we would have a negative thing happen afterward, whether it be a penalty or a sack or a tackle for a loss,” Braun said. “We can’t have that. Obviously, we need to execute a lot better than what we did.”

It was WVU’s third straight loss to Syracuse, and the Mountaineers have lost six of eight after a 5-0 start to finish 7-6.

“They did everything to a ‘T,’” Braun said. “Odd front. Three down. They blitzed. The one thing that was a little different from last year (a 49-23 Orange win in Syracuse) is I think they tried to disguise it a little bit better. Last year they came out and showed you. This year they knew we were trying to check away, check to run, so they tried to disguise it a little bit.”

WVU senior Tavon Austin, so explosive throughout the season, ran 12 times for 54 yards and caught two passes for 21 yards.

“They had our number for two years,” Austin said. “They had a good defensive plan over there. They blitzed a lot. Their front four did a good job. There were times we were that close from busting it. It just didn’t happen today.”

Wide receiver Stedman Bailey was far and away WVU’s offensive leader with seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns, a tackle-breaking 32-yard reception from Geno Smith in the second quarter and a 29-yard pass from Smith in the third.

Were the Mountaineers flat?

“I’m not sure what other guys had going on, if they were in the game or whatever the case may be,” Bailey said. “We just didn’t do a good job of responding.”

Bailey, with a year of eligibility remaining, has made the decision to move on to the National Football League.

“It’s tough,” he said. “We lost the game. That’s not the way we seniors wanted to go out. Life goes on. We just have to live with it.

“A lot of guys are sad, especially the seniors. That’s not the way we wanted to go out. It’s our last game wearing the gold and blue. We wanted to go out and get a win, end everything on a good note. We didn’t.”

WVU, in addition to its defensive woes, was 0-for-11 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth.

The Mountaineers were also penalized 10 times for 106 yards and lost a touchdown because of a holding penalty.

“It didn’t look very good,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. “The team with the best running game is going to win, and they clearly had the better running game.”

Email Cliff Nichols at cnichols@timeswv.com.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2

    Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
    Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus

    Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • FSHS #32, 29-BU #15-TS.jpg Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS

    They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.

    April 23, 2014 7 Photos

  • Gabbi Mascaro Signing -md.jpg Mascaro signs with FSU

    Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
    After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- West Liberty’s Crutchfield not interested in Division I

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coaching job at an NCAA Division I university.

    April 23, 2014

  • Volquez outdueled; Pirates fall to Reds, 4-1

    Edinson Volquez spent four years watching Johnny Cueto evolve into one of the National League’s best pitchers when the two were teammates in Cincinnati from 2008-11.

    April 23, 2014

  • MLB suspends four from Pirates-Brewers brawl

    Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday’s brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.

    April 23, 2014

  • EF # 5 BP #23 MW.JPG Slow start spoils Bees’ upset bid: PHOTOS

    Fresh off a fairly successful trip to Myrtle Beach, the East Fairmont baseball team was looking to gain some respect in its own state by toppling No. 4 Bridgeport on the road. Instead, the Bees came home with an 8-3 loss after a slow start spoiled their upset bid.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • Calhoun, FSU land two signees

    Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun is adding the finishing touches to this year’s signing class.

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos