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West Virginia Hearts Syracuse Some More

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Following up on the #50-#26 Greatest Football Players West Virginia Has Faced, the Top 25 Have been announced and some more Orange make the list:


24. Donovan McNabb, QB, Syracuse
West Virginia coaches had an opportunity to recruit Donovan McNabb out of Chicago’s Mount Carmel High School but instead took a pass on him. McNabb passed for 308 yards and accounted for 354 yards of total offense in a 1995 Syracuse triumph over West Virginia, and he threw six TD passes in games against the Mountaineers in 1997 and 1998. Today McNabb is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles.


9. Jim Brown, RB, Syracuse
Having Jim Brown No. 9 on any list is almost blasphemous, but the reason he’s No. 9 here is because his numbers against West Virginia were merely ordinary by Jim Brown’s great standards. He accounted for 188 all-purpose yards against the Mountaineers in 1955, and he ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-20 loss to West Virginia in 1956. Yeah, ordinary.


7. Floyd Little, RB, Syracuse
In the mid-1960s, West Virginia had trouble tackling good running backs of all sizes. And while Syracuse teammate Larry Csonka was running people over, Floyd Little chose to run around them. In 1965, Little ran for 196 yards and scored four touchdowns in 41-19 Orange victory over WVU. A year later in 1966, the Mountaineers held Little to just 127 yards in a 34-7 Syracuse triumph. Little took his show to the AFL in 1967 where he was a three-time all-pro runner for the Denver Broncos.


5. Ernie Davis, RB, Syracuse
Leukemia robbed what would have been a great professional career for Syracuse Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, who was born and raised in nearby Uniontown, Pa. before moving to New York before high school. Davis enjoyed his trip back to Morgantown in 1960, running 14 times for 125 yards in Syracuse’s 45-0 victory over the Mountaineers. A year earlier during Syracuse’s journey to the 1959 national title, Davis ran nine times for 141 yards and two touchdowns against WVU.


4. Larry Csonka, RB, Syracuse
With the exception of Tony Dorsett, no running back has enjoyed more success against West Virginia than Syracuse battering ram Larry Csonka. The Stow, Ohio native ran for 216 yards and scored two touchdowns as a sophomore in 1965 against WVU including 139 in one quarter, and added 145 yards in a 1966 Syracuse win. As a senior in 1967, West Virginia was able to hold Csonka to only 117 yards in Syracuse’s 23-6 victory. Csonka was the first running back drafted in 1968 and was a standout runner for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL.

Honorable mention included Syracuse's John Mackey and Tim Green.