You are looking liven at Yankee Stadium, site of today’s snowy Pinstripe Bowl. That picture was taken right around noon when the snow was just starting to fall.
The one below was taken about twenty minutes later, which is about a half an hour ago.
I just took the below picture at 12:50.
You get the idea, yes? Could things be better for the people covering it? Certainly, but I’ve been conditioned through the years to understand this isn’t about us.
I’m seated in the open-air press box and I have a great view and a pretty nice panorama look at the stadium and the back drop. It’s snowing and I’m covering a football game in December. This game has and will acquire detractors, but this is pretty cool and it’s probably going to make for a good environment, a good game and good television.
Let’s light this candle …
Head down, typing. Winding this one down quickly.
And that is poetic. Bad center-quarterback exchange on fourth down and Geno falls short of the first down.
This should be obvious, but it should also be said: Syracuse cost Geno some money today. His second half this season hasn’t been great and I’m really interested to see how the pre-draft process treats him.
It’s 38-14 now and I’m curious how long Dana lets his guys stay in. I think he goes a while longer, but I think it’s fairly easy to see there are guys who don’t want to be out there much longer.
Also, WVU hasn’t allowed two 100-yard rushers since the 2005 Gator Bowl loss to Florida State. The last time an opponent had two safeties was a 21-18 loss to Virginia Tech in 2002.
Lemon’s first catch comes with 14:22 to go. That should be a good thing, but not today.
WVU doesn’t have a third-down conversion with 68 seconds left in the third quarter. That was a terrible decision by Geno. Held onto the ball way too long and cost his team two points.
Nassib in the first half: 3-for-10 for 40 yards. Nassib in the second half: 7-for-10 79 and two TDs.
Really simple game plan for Syracuse, but it’s effective. Second time that screen has done its job on third down.
And this is fun, no?
And WVU, which had’n’t allowed a running back to gain 100 yards this season, has allowed two from Syracuse today.
Eh, not just yet. Geno saw Smith 1-on-1 before that play happened and a 29-yard touchdown pass makes it 26-14. Bailey needs two more touchdowns to tie the NCAA’s single-season record.
And never mind. This one’s … well, the tent folding time is near.
You have to challenge that, so no problem with that, but you have one timeout left.
And this is sudden. Perfect time for a trick play, too.
Also, Isaiah Bruce makes the play after tipping that TD to Wales.
That said,the referee has refused multiple invitations to talk to Dana in this game. That’s not proper, either.
But down 12 in the second half, you can’t make a show like that. You could need the timeout and you can’t get the official to pick up the flag.
And I haven’t seen the play, but the reaction in WVU’s sideline suggested that was not a hold on whomever it was called on.
That’s bad form. You might need that timeout. that looked a lot like frustration that Dana just wasn’t able to control.
Dana calls the timeout and is demanding to talk to the referee. That’s curious.
Really, really mad at the officials. I’ve never seen a player get away with what Geno just did to the referee.
Attendance is 39,098, a game record and about 6,000 more than the previous best. The game sold 41,203 tickets.
Tight end, wholly uncovered, but the defense nearly made a play. Beckett made a better one, though. That’s Syracuse’s third third-down conversion. WVU is 0-for-6.
Syracuse completed no passes to receivers in the first half. That had to be addressed at the half.
Welp, WVU played a very sloppy half and looked competent for one stretch … and it’s a 12-7 game.
SMIRK! Dana enjoys this chess match.
The play clock was ticking and with eight seconds the referee reset it.
Dumb timeout, I say.
Officials have no control here and WVU’s players are, for some reason, taunting Syracuse players as they head off the field … and it’s NOT halftime.
WVU is real snippy with the officials. Players had protested penalties. Geno keeps talking to the official about the play clock — and is increasingly animated. Dana has had long talks with the crew and was going after the referee. And whatever happened there with the clock and WVU’s timeout infuriated Dana.
And you see how tight the sideline and end zone space is here. Players and coaches have hated that for two years. I imagine this will make three.
Well, this is sudden. Big play by Garvin. Really wants that turducken leg.
And Jenkins is having a pretty solid game so far.
It doesn’t take WVU long, does it? Two really good clocks and a missed tackle help spring a 32-yard TD for Stedman. And that was a great call. The pressure was coming in the middle, which left the middle open.
With 4:58 left in the half, Tavon has his first catch. First. Only targeted one other time.
WVU killed itself with the motion before that snap. Cook spun toward the line and Joseph spun out of the play, right to left, and the run was simple.
Can’t keep doing this. That’s another penalty on third down for a first down. By Cook.
Joe DeForest is on the field, I just noticed.
And Eu is 3-for-9 for 21 yards?
And Jenkins makes a huge play, though. Feigt and Eger were standing over the ball and Jenkins flew in to recover it.
That was fun. Not the result you like, but it was fun. WVU ran a deep pass pretty much banking on Syracuse pressure, but Eger got fooled and Alston couldn’t clean up the mess.
One of the players Syracuse suspended for the game as a short-yardage back who played a specific role in a specific package that the Orange didn’t use there.
This will be interesting if they review it … but that’s a nice play by Cook. He guessed right and he and Joseph saved that drive with back to back stops.
Weak effort by Joseph there. Let’s watch the safeties in the end zone area here. Syracuse will do something in the back to make them work.
And the screen goes left for a first down. Kind of thought that was the play there, given the spot and the situation.
Backup QB is a lefty, by the way.
And that’s a game-changer there. Brought the blitz from the field side at the optimal time and Nassib never saw Garvin turn out the lights.
I’m reading some of the comments … am I being negative? I made a vow not to because 1) no one cares about what sportswriters have to gripe about when they’re writing about sports and 2) I’m rally having fun here today. This is cool. Honest.
Punt. In the end zone. Ohmygosh. Buckle up.
And Woods is having a bad game. Made no effort to come back to that ball.
WVU’s first quarter: Missed FG, 26-yard punt, five negative-yardage runs, three drops, a holding penalty and two pass interference penalties … including one by Cook that was maybe the worst decision by a DB this season.
That’s not the call you make when you’re WVU, and thus not great at short yardage runs, and when you play Syracuse, which will just stuff the middle. And Braun had a hard time on that play. Never got set and was moved out of the way.
And then he drops a pass. Maybe they’re just getting these miscues out of their system in the first quarter?
Terrific block by Buie and then a whiff from the start by Woods, who lets his defender make the tackle on the second level.
I was watching Eger on that play and I thought he did a good nob of NOT holding. Not sure he did anything wrong. But add that to the tally.
I mean, that went between three defenders who never saw the ball…though maybe Francis, in the flat, did. Cook tried to blow it up.
We talked a lot about the Syracuse pass this week and the 300-yards plus per game. Syracuse also runs for 170 yards per game and, right now, WVU isn’t in a tackling mood. That usually doesn’t improve.
Outside blitz swallows the reverse and that’s four negative yardage plays. WVU really wanted to avoid those. … And then Arlia drops a third down pass that would have been a first down.
Lots of errors here. Two drops, the four negative plays, a pass interference on third down, a blocked field goal and now a 26 yard punt.
There’s something new on offense, too. Only the second carry of Bailey’s career. I’m in the end zone behind that and the the back end was wide open for Alston, if the handoff went to him,
Between the hashes from WVU’s 20 to 35 is really brown. Not ideal in the fourth quarter.
WVU did a few new things on that drive with the defensive line. There were a few snaps with four linemen. But there remain some talent things that need more than new eyes and new ideas to fix. Missed tackles, a refusal to watch the ball, etc. Same stuff, really.
WVU is catching some breaks here early. Syracuse has two penalties for 309 yards for WVU’s offense and that bad snap before the holding penalty changed the drive and the silly drop by Lemon cost his team a touchdown. Should be 7-0 (or 7-3, if you think Bitancurt ought to make field goals), but it’s 3-0.
I take it back about the Internet. It’s our blog server. Wonderful!
That’s eight blocked field goals in Mr. Bitancurt’s career.
None of that sequence looked good early. A first and 10 and the 15 turned into third and 14 at the 19 and Stedman seemed unaware the third-down pass was headed his way.
Three negative-yardage plays already.
And I hate the Internet here now, but I’ll soldier one. Big break for Bitancurt on the roughing call. A first down run by Alston and a second personal foul has WVU at the 25 as Buie rips off a 9-yard run.
WVU’s first three plays were forgettable, so the flag was big just to keep the offense on the field, but also to do something good early on after a long break and against a defense that has had this offense’s number.
Anyhow, my brother-in-law decided we needed to make use of the many leftovers. So today we’re playing for the TURDUCKEN LEGS. Offensive and defensive MVP get one, good?
To those unaware, I was in search of a turducken 10 or so says ago. My in laws asked me to prepare one for Christmas dinner. Original plan fell through, so I was scrambling, but I found one thanks to a Twitter followed tipping me off about Harris Teeter.
And just to recap, the decision not to put the Schwartzwalder on the line was Syracuse’s. The bowl doesn’t care. WVu and Syracuse talked about it, but WVU and the Pinstripe were as surprised as you and I when Marrone said at the press conference that it wouldn’t be on the line.
Haymakers! Jed Drenning and former SU tight end Chris Gedney are foin an in-stadium pregame show. As they wrap things up, each is asked for their picks and Drenning says “Where’s the Schwartzwalder Trophy?” and the WVU fans behind him erupt (small eruption). Off camera, there’s a “In Syracuse!” It was Gedney, who was not amused.
Another pregame skirmish — and I use the phrase lightly, because it wasn’t much. But WVU started it again. The team finished its stretching and blew the whistle and WVU’s players started bouncing around and hollering, but they did it as they approached midfield and Syracuse didn’t like it — and took the bait.
It lasted about 10 seconds and dispersed, but, man, that happens a lot.
The precipitation is rain/snow mix. It’s washing away the snow on the field. And that field is going to be a mess.
Snow update: 2:10 p.m.
Also, Ickey Banks won’t play today. He’s still out with whatever ankle injury he suffered against Iowa State. That’s a starting cornerback, by the way.
Linebacker Tyler Anderson and defensive end Korey Harris are also missing from the dress list.
Not a lot of meat in the press conference.
This is the most successful Pinstripe Bowl yet. The max attendance is 42,000 and 41,200 tickets were sole as of 1:30 p.m. The economic impact for the city is going to be somewhere around $25 or $30 million.
And George Steinbrenner loved college football and insisted the new stadium accommodate games in the future. He was a running back at Williams College and people forget he was a graduate assistant for Woody Hayes and then an assistant at Northwestern and Purdue.
Randy Levine, the Yankees president, told us a story about Ohio State giving Steinbrenner a national championship ring and that Steinbrenner would proudly wear it from time to time. “He’d put it in Derek Jeter’s face to get a rise out of him,” Levine said of Jeter, who was a Michigan Man.
Also, Oliver Luck and Daryl Gross said they’ve talked about a future series. Luck wants to figure out non-conference scheduling when the playoff system arrives and “playing Syracuse in your non-conference will obviously strengthen your schedule.” It’s years down the road, of course, but Gross said the Orange “look forward to coming to Morgantown in the future.”
About to head to a press conference with officials from the Yankees, Syracuse and WVU. President Clements will not there due to a family emergency. No need to elaborate, but, obviously, positive thoughts to him and his family today.
I told you this was going to be fun. Big ups to @GFCoyle, who, I kid you not, is working on, like, three hours sleep today.
Apologies in advance for typos today. This ought to explain why.
This is what happens when you spent a lot of cold Fridays covering high school football in West Virginia. You need your fingers to be warm and agile. I really hadn’t had the problem since, you know, basketball is played inside and football press boxes are always closed.
I think I’ve worn gloves once since my prep football days. I wore batting gloves at Providence once because the playing floor was above an ice rink and it was a tad cold.
I have options and I’ve decided to go with the pair on the left. My wife bought me those for Christmas and they’re the touch screen compatible gloves, but they’re warm and thin enough to let me type. Just not pertfectlky!
The ones in the middle are great. They’re Nike running gloves. I’m not a runner, but I love those. Not thin, but not thick like ski gloves, and they insulate your hands pretty well. I might have them on before long.
The batting gloves are old school. I brought them along basically because they never leave my backpack, but I found already that they get stiff when they get cold. Not optimal.
And that’s a lot about gloves. Better put my cap on and keep my brain warm…
Media bowl swag! You better believe I’m using this today.
This entry was posted on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.