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Mountaineers take in NYC

Teams begin final preparations for contest

December 28, 2012
By Joey Kittle Sports Editor , The Inter-Mountain

West Virginia players enjoyed Thursday in New York City before final preparations begin for Saturday's New Era Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Syracuse.

Mountaineer representatives, including head coach Dana Holgorsen, senior quarterback Geno Smith and junior receiver Stedman Bailey, visited the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

Smith and Syracuse senior quarterback Ryan Nassib rang the opening bell to signal the start of the day's trading.

West Virginia players later visited the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan.

Chris Gray, who played quarterback for the Mountaineers from 1987-91, was killed during the attacks on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, and his name is displayed among the list of victims at the memorial site.

Saturday's game against former Big East rival Syracuse gives West Virginia a chance to avenge back-to-back losses to the Orange.

"Two of my worst games in college have been against Syracuse," Smith said. "I'm going to have a chip on my shoulder, be edgy and try to go out there and stick it to them."

The Orange (7-5) practiced at Columbia University on Thursday in frigid conditions, which are expected to continue on Saturday.

Syracuse center Macky MacPherson said the weather could be an advantage to his team.

"Whenever we run the ball well, we play well," he said. "We feel like we're gong to able to run the ball (against WVU), especially in this kind of weather."

MacPherson added that the Mountaineers are more than a potent passing team, however,

"They have a good running attack. They just haven't used it as much because they have a good quarterback and two very good receivers (Tavon Austin and Bailey)."

Snow and temperatures in the mid 30s are forecast for Saturday's contest, which begins at 3 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.



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