Camping World Bowl Set Today in Orlando, No. 16 West Virginia Faces No. 20 Syracuse

By  //  December 28, 2018

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AT CAMPING WORLD STADIUM AT 5:15 p.m.

ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski and The Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong are live from Camping World Stadium to Preview No.16 West Virginia minus former Gator QB Will Grier and No.20 Syracuse.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA– The Bowl season makes its second stop today at Camping World Stadium in The City Beautiful’ as the No.16 ranked University of West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3) from the Big 12 take on the No.20 ranked Syracuse Orange (9-3) representing the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

As we see too often in sports these days, the biggest storyline in this contest isn’t the matchup on the field but its what’s happening off the gridiron that has everyone talking not just about this matchup but several big bowl games this season.

West Virginia quarterback and former Florida Gator signal caller Will Grier has elected to sit out the contest to prepare for the NFL Draft.

Grier is one of a handful of players skipping their team’s bowl games to ensure their health and the millions of dollars that await them in the NFL.

In place of Grier will likely be Jack Allison, who has attempted just 10 passes this season. Without Grier in its bowl game last season, West Virginia lost 30-14 with just 153 yards of offense.

West Virginia quarterback and former Florida Gator signal caller Will Grier has elected to sit out the contest to prepare for the NFL Draft. (Image by Florida Gators.com)

This is a great look at what West Virginia could look like in the future with Allison behind center.

For Syracuse, Eric Dungey will line up under center today. Dungey has been one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks that no one has talked about much of this season.

In his fourth year as a starter, Dungey has finally played a full season and is averaging close to 275 total yards per game for the nation’s 16th-best offense.

Dungey can improvise plays with his feet and trusts his receivers Jamal Custis and Sean Riley in the passing game.

West Virginia comes into the game with the eighth-best offense in the country and the 74th-best defense, allowing more than 400 yards of offense per game.

ABOVE VIDEO: West Virginia vs. Syracuse: The No. 20 Orange head to Orlando to take on West Virginia out of the Big 12 in the Camping World Bowl on December 28th. Senior quarterback Eric Dungey will lead Cuse as it tries to secure its 10th win for the first time since 2001. 

The difference between Syracuse’s offensive and defensive national ranking is just as stark with the 90th-best defense, allowing 426.8 yards on average.

Originally titled the Blockbuster Bowl, the Camping World Bowl game was born in Miami, Florida, in 1990 and thrived in its first year with a marquee matchup between Penn State and Florida State which drew more than 74,000 fans.

Over the next 11 years, however, the game’s attendance dwindled, and it became apparent that the game would not survive in south Florida.

Sensing a unique opportunity to bring a second bowl game to Orlando, then Florida Citrus Sports Executive Director Chuck Rohe and the Board of Directors initiated a process of obtaining the bowl’s certification.

Syracuse QB Eric Dungey will line up under center today. Dungey has been one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks that no one has talked about much of this season. (Image by Syracuse University)

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The first game was called the Tangerine Bowl, a tribute to the name of Orlando’s original bowl game (now the Citrus Bowl).

With each successive year in Orlando, the bowl has continued to make strides, at one point posting eight consecutive years of attendance increases (a standing record among bowl games).

That growth reached a crescendo in 2011, the last game under the Champs Sports Bowl name when Florida State and Notre Dame played before a sold-out crowd of 68,305.

Over the past five years, the bowl has averaged just shy of 55,000 fans per game.

The game’s place in the postseason lineup has also improved significantly over its time in Orlando. In the new College Football Playoff era, the bowl will match the top selection from the ACC (inclusive of Notre Dame) outside of the CFP series against the second selection from the Big 12 outside of the CFP series.

In early 2017 Camping World signed an agreement with Florida Citrus Sports to be the new title sponsor of the game through 2020.

Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily as our own Alan Zlotorzynski along with Steve Wilson and Orville Susong from the Friday Night Locker Room report live from the field before and after the game.

SYRACUSE STAT/LEADER WEST VIRGINIA
9-3 (6-2 ACC Atlantic) Record (Conference) 8-3 (6-3 Big 12)
40.8 Points per game 42.3
27.8 Points allowed 26.5
468.8 Yards per game 520.4
261.5 Passing ypg 358.1
207.3 Rushing ypg 162.3
426.8 Yards allowed per game 405.5
263.0 Passing yards allowed 254.6
163.8 Rushing yards allowed 150.8
Eric Dungey
2,565 yards (17 TDs, 7 INTs)
Passing leader

Will Grier (Not playing)
3,864 yards (37 TDs, 8 INTs)

Moe Neal
827 yards, 5 TDs
Rushing leader Kennedy McKoy
729 yards, 7 TDs
Jamal Custis
826 yards, 6 TDs
Receiving leader David Sills
896 yards, 15 TDs
Ryan Guthrie
101 total tackles, 14.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks
Defensive leader David Long
94 total tackles, 18.5 TFL, 8.0 sack

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