Jacksonville Sports Day

West Virginia and Syracuse Selected to Play in 2018 Camping World Bowl

FILE photo by Ben Queen/USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO – The No. 16 West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3, 6-3 Big 12) and the 20th-ranked Syracuse Orange (9-3, 6-2 ACC) will play in the 2018 Camping World Bowl. Florida Citrus Sports’ Chairman Pete Schaefer and CEO Steve Hogan announced on behalf of the organization’s Team Selection Committee.

The game will kick off at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 at Camping World Stadium and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

This year’s Camping World Bowl will be the 61st all-time meeting between the former Big East rivals. Syracuse comes into the game holding a 33-27 edge in the series, including a 38-14 victory in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl, the last meeting between the Orange and Mountaineers. The Orange lost their only previous Camping World Bowl appearance to Georgia Tech in 2004, while West Virginia will be seeking its first win in its Camping World Bowl-record fifth appearance in the game.

Syracuse’s nine wins this season are the most for the program since the Orange finished 10-3 in 2001. The Orange feature a high-powered offense that averages 40.8 points and 468.8 yards per game, good for 12th and 18th in the FBS, respectively. Quarterback Eric Dungey ranks eighth nationally with 15 rushing touchdowns on the season and enters the Camping World Bowl with 3,297 yards of total offense (2,565 passing, 732 rushing), the second-highest season total in team history.

Defensively, the Orange feature defensive back Andre Cisco, the national leader in interceptions with seven. Defensive lineman Alton Robinson also has 10 sacks on the year, tied for first in the ACC and ninth in the FBS.

West Virginia also features a potent offense that ranks third nationally in passing (358.1 yards per game), eighth in total offense (520.4 yards per game) and ninth in scoring (42.3 points per game). The Mountaineers offense is led by quarterback Will Grier, who comes into the game ranked third in the FBS in both passing yards per game (351.3) and passing touchdowns (37).

Grier’s top targets are wide receivers David Sills V and Gary Jennings, Jr. Both rank in the top five nationally in receiving touchdowns with 15 and 13, respectively. Defensively, the Mountaineers hold opponents to an average of 26.5 points per game and come in having forced multiple turnovers in three consecutive games.

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