BRONX, N.Y. -- All things considered - and on the first day of on-site preparation for Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl, there were plenty of things to consider - West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen was in a pretty good mood Wednesday.
True, it was Holgorsen who cancelled practice at Fordham University later in the day because he didn't see the purpose of practicing in the windy snowstorm that blew through the metropolitan area. But it was also Holgorsen who said it paid off because WVU actually had a good workout in a ballroom at the team hotel, sheltered from the conditions that dropped snow and sleet all over town.
"I've become a very good weatherman," he said. "I studied that thing pretty hard and I've been right on the last few times."
Syracuse (7-5), which looks to win a third straight against WVU in the 3:15 p.m. ESPN game at Yankee Stadium, fit in a practice early in the morning at Columbia University. Holgorsen's team will practice today, probably outside and with better weather, but it'll be the first practice in a week and the only full-scale practice before the game.
"We probably ought to forfeit," he said.
WVU won't, of course, and players and coaches were pretty satisfied with the way practice went and how the unusual circumstances didn't affect effort. It may have actually helped.
"We were actually able to come up with new things and put different things in even after being away for four days because guys came in very focused," quarterback Geno Smith said.
The Mountaineers also started to move on without second-team all-Big 12 center Joe Madsen, but Holgorsen said he knew last week the senior would miss a second bowl game because of academic problems. Asked if he had a plan in mind, Holgorsen replied, "Yeah."
He wouldn't say who will start in place of Madsen, who started the past 25 games and all 50 in his career.
"That's for me to know and you guys to try to figure out as soon as you possibly can," he said. "I think you understand that as well."
That didn't take long, though. Smith spoke as though starting right guard Jeff Braun would start for the first time at center, which likely means Pat Eger, who lost his starting spot at right tackle after five games, will play right guard.