2010 Pinstripe Bowl Preview
When Syracuse and Kansas State meet on December 30th at the new Yankee Stadium, it will mark the return of a college football bowl game to the Bronx for the first time in 48 years. In 1962, Nebraska and Miami squared off in the Gotham Bowl at the old Yankee Stadium just across the street. Notre Dame and Army christened the new Yankee Stadium playing the first college game there last month.
The Pinstripe Bowl is a match up of two BCS conferences, the Big 12 and the Big East. The Kansas State Wildcats will represent the Big 12 after going just 3-5 in conference play but 7-5 overall. Syracuse also finished 7-5 this season and will represent the Big East conference. This will be the third time the Orangemen and the Wildcats have faced each other in a bowl game. Kansas State won the 1997 Fiesta Bowl over Syracuse, and the Orangemen returned the favor winning the 2001 Insight.com Bowl.
When Kansas State has the Ball
The Wildcats have been successful on offense this year averaging over 33 points per game. Kansas State is primarily a running team and will look to control the ball and the clock against Syracuse. Senior running back Daniel Thomas will get the bulk of the carries, and he has proved this season that he is a force to be reckoned with. At 6’2″ and 228 pounds, Thomas is tough to bring down as evidenced by his 5.4 yards per carry this year. Thomas gained over 100 yards in 5 games this season and went over 200 yards twice on his way to 1495 yards this year. Two quarterbacks will see time for the Wildcats with Carson Coffman and Collin Klein both taking snaps. Coffman is a pocket quarterback, and Klein is more likely to take off and run.
Syracuse has been stingy on defense all year allowing only 18.1 points per game, good for 14th in the nation in scoring defense. The Orangemen did a great job of holding their opponents in check in all but two games. Washington managed to score 42 points against Syracuse and Pittsburgh scored 45. Washington and Pittsburgh were successful through the air with both quarterbacks throwing for 4 touchdowns. Kansas State will need to be balanced running and throwing to beat Syracuse. Look for Kansas State to give Syracuse some different looks on offense to try to keep the Orangemen defense off balance.
When Syracuse has the Ball
Fortunately for Syracuse their defense is strong because their offense has struggled to score points this year. Syracuse ranks 99th in college football scoring only 21 points per game. Running back Delone Carter has been good for Syracuse this year. The senior running back went over 1000 yards for the second straight year and found the end zone seven times. Carter averaged an impressive 5.1 yards per carry this year, and he will need to be successful on first and second down against the Wildcats.
Kansas State was nothing special on defense this year giving up over 28 points per game. In their last three games the Wildcats gave up 38 to Missouri, 44 to Colorado, and 41 to North Texas. The 41 by North Texas was their highest output on the season and was 17 points above their season average. North Texas running back Lance Dunbar torched the Wildcats with 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dunbar had 161 yards in the first quarter alone. The Wildcats were able to come back and win the game, but it was definitely not because of their defensive performance.
2010 Pinstripe Bowl Prediction
The star of the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl will be the city of New York and the new Yankee Stadium. An outdoor game in New York at the end of the December is going to be cold and the weather could get ugly. Both teams will be content to grind out yards on the ground and play a game of field position especially if the weather is bad. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder will throw some different looks at Syracuse with two quarterbacks, and running back Daniel Thomas should have a solid game. Look for Kansas State to squeak out a victory in the Bronx.
Prediction: Kansas State 27 – Syracuse 24