NEW YORK - Perhaps now West Virginia knows what it was like to be Clemson last bowl season.
No, the Mountaineers didn't give up 70 points. Their performance - or lack thereof - did not set a ton of records.
But as far as having just about everything go wrong that could, well, West Virginia saw that happen and then some.
Despite being stymied by a combination of weather and simple incompetence on offense, the Mountaineers somehow stayed with Syracuse for a little over a half Saturday in the Pinstripe Bowl. But then a meltdown of epic proportions on both sides of the ball allowed the Orange to run away and hide.
The final score was 38-14 in front of a crowd of 39,098 at snowy Yankee Stadium. It left WVU with a record of 7-6 for the season, its worst mark since Rich Rodriguez's first team went 3-8 in 2001. And this from a team that was, at one point in the season, 5-0 and ranked in the top five.
"This is not the way we wanted to go out,'' said Stedman Bailey. "But life goes on. We wanted to go out on a good note and we didn't.''
It was a simply awful way to go out for a group of West Virginia seniors that includes record-smashers Geno Smith and Tavon Austin, as well as Bailey, a junior who is leaving early for the NFL draft.
How bad was it? Well, Smith was either sacked or penalized for two safeties. He completed 16 of 24 passes for just 197 yards. He did throw two touchdowns to Bailey, who had seven catches for 126 yards, but Austin had just two catches for 21 yards and ran 12 times for 54.
The failure of West Virginia's offense to perform was just the tip of the iceberg. The defense also gave up 369 rushing yards and the team overall was penalized 10 times for 106 yards. The offense did not convert a single third down in 11 attempts, the defense allowed Syracuse to convert nine of 18 third downs and the special teams had a field goal blocked, a kickoff go out of bounds and two decent Austin returns brought back by penalties.
Indeed, this was a team effort.
"We did a poor job of overcoming adversity,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said, referring not only to the snow, cold and slick playing surface, but the Mountaineers' own mistakes that seemed to compound.
Syracuse had no such issues. The Orange had some adversity, including a pair of turnovers. Ryan Nassib threw for just 134 yards.