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Devine's career-high 188 yards, TD lift WVU over Syracuse

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Noel Devine rushed for a career-high 188 yards and a touchdown, leading West Virginia to a 17-6 win over Syracuse on Saturday.

West Virginia's offense struggled without starting quarterback Pat White, who wasn't in uniform after receiving a blow to the head against Rutgers a week earlier.

It marked the fewest points for West Virginia (4-2, 2-0 Big East) in a win since a 15-7 victory over Syracuse in 2005.

Syracuse outgained West Virginia 346-268. Curtis Brinkley ran for 144 yards, but the Orange (1-5, 0-2) were kept out of the end zone for the first time this season.

Syracuse had plenty of opportunities to take the lead in the second half yet was held without points three times after driving inside the West Virginia 20. Nate Sowers intercepted Cam Dantley to halt one drive, and Dantley's fourth-down pass from the 5 fell incomplete in the end zone with 4:42 left.

Devine responded with a career-long 92-yard TD run on the next series to complete the scoring.

Syracuse drove to the West Virginia 15 on its final drive, but Dantley overthrew Da'Mon Merkerson in the end zone on fourth down. Dantley finished 24-of-40 for 204 yards.

Without White, West Virginia changed things around on offense with little result.

The option didn't work. Neither did a direct snap to Jock Sanders. A shuffle pass from backup quarterback Jarrett Brown to Devine was stopped cold. Even the West Virginia fans booed short passes that gained little yardage.

Then, lining up in the rarely used power-I formation, Devine ran 23 yards to set up West Virginia's first score midway through the second quarter. Brown threaded a pass to Sanders, who waited for his blockers, avoided a defensive back and reached the end zone for a 12-yard TD.

Brown went 14-of-20 for 52 yards in his second career start.

Morgantown native Patrick Shadle kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal just before halftime to bring Syracuse within 7-6.

West Virginia's Pat McAfee moved past running back Steve Slaton as the school's all-time points leader with 333.

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