Abdul Adams and Trishton Jackson made their Syracuse debuts memorable, combining to score three touchdowns and helping the 17th-ranked Orange secure their first 10-win season since 2001 by topping No. 15 West Virginia 34-18 in the Camping World Bowl on Friday.
Adams rushed for two first-half scores, and Jackson hauled in a TD pass from Eric Dungey on the first play of the fourth quarter for Syracuse (10-3), which survived a game that featured eight lead changes. Adams and Jackson were both transfers who had to sit out a year, which by NCAA rule was satisfied at the end of the first semester.
Dungey completed 21 of 30 passes for 303 yards for the Orange, who trailed 18-17 going into the final quarter.
Barely five minutes later, it was 34-18 Syracuse. Dungey connected with Jackson, the Orange got an interception one play later and turned that possession into a field goal by Andre Szmyt, and Jarveon Howard barreled in from 4 yards out with 9:59 left to cap the SU flurry.
Syracuse got a fourth-and-goal stop on the next possession, and from there the orange-clad faithful who came south from Central New York could start to celebrate.
Jack Allison, making his first collegiate start because West Virginia star quarterback Will Grier elected to skip the bowl game and focus on preparing for the NFL, completed 17 of 35 passes for 277 yards for the Mountaineers (8-4).
Kennedy McCoy had a 3-yard touchdown run for West Virginia on a direct snap, and Evan Staley made four field goals for the Mountaineers. Szmyt made a pair of field goals for Syracuse, ending his freshman season with 30 — one shy of the Football Bowl Subdivision record set in 2003 by Georgia’s Billy Bennett.