NEW YORK — The weather made passing at the Pinstripe Bowl perilous, so Syracuse sent Prince-Tyson Gulley and Jerome Smith dashing through West Virginia and the snow.
Gulley ran for a career-best 208 yards and had three touchdowns, Smith added 157 yards, and the Orange bid a blustery farewell to the Big East with a 38-14 victory over West Virginia on Saturday.
Syracuse (8-5) will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference on a roll after finishing this season with six wins in its last seven games, capped by its second postseason victory at Yankee Stadium in the past three years.
“The football gods brought snow,” said Smith, who carried a season-high 30 times. “The football gods from Syracuse brought us some snow and it changed even West Virginia’s game. They had to run a little bit more than they were used to. We ran the ball a little bit more than we’re used to and did what we were supposed to do.”
Syracuse finished with a season-high 369 yards on the ground and beat its former Big East rival from West Virginia, now playing in the Big 12, for a third straight time.
Geno Smith connected with Stedman Bailey for two touchdown passes for West Virginia (7-6), but the Mountaineers’ quarterback also was sacked in the end zone in the first half and called for intentional grounding in the end zone in the third quarter to give Syracuse a second safety.
ARIZONA STATE 62, NAVY 28
At San Francisco, Taylor Kelly threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score to lead Arizona State to its first bowl win in seven years as it trounced Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl.
Offensive MVP Marion Grice ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (8-5), who used their fast-paced spread offense to score touchdowns on their first nine possessions.
The Midshipmen (8-5) have lost five of their past six bowl games. Among the few highlights for Navy were Keenan Reynolds’ 3-yard TD pass to Matt Aiken in the first half and a 95-yard kickoff return for a score by former Richland Northeast star Gee Gee Greene in the third quarter.
RICE 33, AIR FORCE 14
At Fort Worth, Texas, freshman quarterback Driphus Jackson threw for 264 yards in relief of Rice’s hurt starter, including two touchdown passes to Jordan Taylor, to lead the Owls in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Jackson’s first series after taking over for Taylor McHargue ended with a bad pitch for a fumble near the goal line 2 seconds before halftime, when the Owls (7-6) trailed 14-7.
But Jackson made up for it after halftime, when Rice scored 26 straight points. Taylor caught nine passes for 153 yards, with a 16-yard TD from McHargue in the first quarter.
Air Force (6-7), which scored on consecutive drives in the second quarter with backup quarterback Kale Pearson in the game, was held to a season-low 214 yards.
TEXAS 31, OREGON STATE 27
At San Antonio, David Ash threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the last a 36-yard strike to Marquise Goodman with 2:24 left, to give Texas a comeback victory over No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.
The Longhorns (9-4) never led before Goodman scored his second touchdown on a deep post pattern, just a play after Texas converted a fourth-and-1 play to keep its chances alive.
Storm Woods ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns for Oregon State (9-4). The Beavers left stunned after looking as though they would wrap up their first 10-win season since 2006.
S.C. family drops lawsuit
Relatives of a Western Carolina player who died after a 2009 workout have dropped a wrongful death lawsuit against the school’s athletics personnel.
The lawsuit filed by the father of Ja’Quayvin Smalls, who was from Wando, was voluntarily dismissed.