West Virginia, Syracuse coaches downplay bad weather

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NEW YORK -- Bowl games generally stir images of warm and sunny destinations, but New York can be just the opposite this time of year.

A winter storm is forecast for today, and two to four inches could fall by the time the Pinstripe Bowl kicks off at 3:15 p.m.

Coaches for West Virginia and Syracuse said Friday at the final news conference before the game that they're not too concerned about the weather.

"I've become quite the weatherman lately," said coach Dana Holgorsen. "There's two factors that matter. It's wind and it's wet. Snow doesn't bother us much. If the wind's blowing that makes it miserable."

Syracuse coach Doug Marrone agreed that his team will make due regardless what precipitation, but warned organizers to be prepared to keep the yard lines uncovered.

"For me, the biggest concern at the end of the day, rain has a little bit of a factor depending on how hard of a downpour it is. But, really, with the snow, the only thing I get concerned about is making sure those officials can see those lines," said Marrone.

Marrone told a story about a game at the old Meadowlands against the Steelers when he was with the New York Jets.

"They only had a couple of shovels. ... It was tough seeing the out of bounds line," said Marrone.

He then turned to bowl organizer Mark Holtzman and said: "Mark, Let's not make the same mistake."

Holtzman replied from the side of the room: "I already went to Home Depot."

Marrone reconnects

Marrone grew up in the Bronx and reconnected with area youth Friday in a short chalk talk at the stadium.

He said at the news conference that the event hit home.

"You look to your left with young kids from the Bronx there. When I look at them, I see part of my life going by. I was once like these kids," said Marrone. "Look to your right and there's the Syracuse football team. ... All of a sudden you take in the venue here, I am standing in the middle of Yankee Stadium. Of all the things I've pretty much done in my life from a standpoint of sports -- I know people will laugh -- it is probably for me the greatest moment personally because it's life come full circle."

How many points?

West Virginia won a game giving up 63 points this year (vs. Baylor), and lost another when scoring 49 (vs. Oklahoma). Asked what his prediction would be for how many points it will take to beat Syracuse, Holgorsen said he can't predict that.

"That's a good question. Syracuse has got a great defense," he said. "We're going to have to take advantage of every opportunity we have whether it's scoring points, creating turnovers or whatever it is. You can't predict the score. We've won some games in a low-scoring game as well."

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