NEW YORK -- There are those on the West Virginia side of the rivalry who remember Syracuse's line of Hall of Fame running backs, later the triple option offense and the style influenced by Coach Doug Marrone's pedigree as an offensive coordinator in the NFL.
Then there are those who will be surprised what they see when Syracuse (7-5) takes on West Virginia (7-5) in Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. It will be new, but also familiar.
The 3:15 p.m. game will be televised by ESPN.
"Syracuse has a great offense," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "That's been talked about a lot, but they're a lot more similar to us than what I remember a year ago."
Both the Mountaineers and the Orange would be happy to establish the run and play with the luxuries that threat provides, but both offenses as just as happy, and probably more dangerous, passing the ball. Both spread the field and aim at two receivers more than others.
Both even play an up-tempo style, which is something the Orange added this season. WVU snapped the ball 940 times in 12 games. Syracuse snapped the ball 939 times in 12 games.
Truth be told, what Syracuse has done on offense to set a number of school records is similar to what WVU's opponents have done in the Big 12 this season, right down to following the lead of the its quarterback, Ryan Nassib.
"It is to a certain extent, but for us, I think the quarterback progression is a little bit different," Syracuse offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said.
"From what I can tell watching (WVU's) defense against the Big 12, Ryan has the ability to get the ball out very fast. He doesn't stand back there and hold the ball like, 'Let's see if something happens.'
"Versus West Virginia, there were some guys running for their lives and throwing it down the field. We're trying to get the ball out a lot faster. We don't want to hang out back there too long."
That difference actually binds these teams even closer. The greatest similarity is that each team trusts a quarterback to control the offense on the field and play independent of the play call.