"We finished the season strong with two straight wins and I am glad our players get the reward of playing in a bowl game," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement. "This will be West Virginia's 11th straight bowl appearance and one more chance for our fans to see the 2012 Mountaineers. Playing in New York City will provide a national stage and Yankee Stadium will be a great venue for our seniors to finish their careers."
Syracuse won five of its last six games after a 2-4 start that included losses to Northwestern, Southern California and Minnesota in the non-conference. SU beat Rutgers and won a non-conference road game at Missouri near the end of the season and finished with a 38-20 win at Temple.
Syracuse leads the all-time series vs. West Virginia, 32-27, winning the last two meetings after eight straight Mountaineer wins from 2002-09. Before 2012, the two teams had met annually since 1955.
This isn't the first time the Mountaineers have played at Yankee Stadium, but it's been 65 years and that was at the former Yankee Stadium. WVU played the second-ever college football game in the original Yankee Stadium on Oct. 27, 1923, a 13-13 tie with Penn State. West Virginia also played Fordham there twice and Manhattan once, and the last game there for WVU was a 40-0 win over NYU in 1947.
Syracuse will be playing in the Pinstripe Bowl for the second time in three years. The Orange beat Kansas State there in 2010, 36-34. Coach Doug Marrone is from the Bronx, where Yankee Stadium is located.
"We are thrilled to be invited to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for the second time in three years," Marrone said in a statement. "It means a great deal to us to play a bowl game in Yankee Stadium where many of our alumni and fans will have the opportunity to share it with us. New York State is the foundation of our program.
"I am proud of this team for the way it fought through early-season adversity to win five of the last six games and win a share of the Big East championship. It is great for our team, and particularly our seniors, to have the chance to play one more game. This senior class has given so much to our program on and off the field and will be great ambassadors for our program and the university."
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1