Years from now, when fans think back to the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl, they may think of the game, but one thing is for certain – they will definitely remember the weather.
Roughly 20 inches of snow has blanketed the New York City area on the day after Christmas, canceling thousands of travel plans, holding various players back in their respective cities and even forcing Kansas State back into its hotel to do its walk-through.
That being said, come snow or shine, Syracuse (7-5) and Kansas State (7-5) will meet Thursday at Yankee Stadium at 3 p.m. on ESPN. Here are some interesting facts about the upcoming matchup:
Syracuse in New York: Syracuse is 5-1 all-time at Yankee Stadium. SU was actually the first team to play a college football game there and won a 3-0 decision against Pittsburgh all the way back in 1923. Syracuse also played seven times at the Polo Grounds and had games at Shea Stadium in Queens and Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Homecoming: SU coach Doug Marrone grew up in the Bronx and lived just minutes from Yankee Stadium. His maternal grandfather worked as an usher at Yankee Stadium for almost 20 years.
New York City: The Big Apple hasn’t hosted a bowl game since the 1962 Gotham Bowl. Nebraska topped Miami in that game, 36-34. It was canceled after that due to poor attendance. That won’t be a problem this year, as Syracuse is only 250 miles away from the Bronx.
Familiar foe: This is the third time Syracuse and Kansas State have met in a Bowl Game. In 1997, Kansas State beat Syracuse in the Fiesta Bowl 35-18. Syracuse would get revenge in the 2001 Insight Bowl with a 26-3 win, which is also the last time Syracuse won a bowl game.
Bowl droughts: Syracuse hasn’t played in a bowl game since the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl but was defeated by Georgia Tech, 51-14 in Paul Pasqualoni’s final game at the helm of Syracuse. This will be Kansas State’s first bowl game since the 2006 Texas Bowl.
Who to watch for – Kansas State: Kansas State is led by tailback Daniel Thomas. The senior was second in the Big 12 with 1,495 rushing yards and tied for first in the conference with 16 touchdowns.
Who to watch for – Syracuse: Syracuse tailback Delone Carter is third in the Big East with 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. But the statistics aren’t as gaudy when you look at how Carter got them. Four of them came in a 42-7 win over Colgate, and Carter hasn’t found pay dirt in the last three games.
Missing in Orange: Since it was announced that Syracuse was headed to the Pinstripe Bowl, it has lost six players. Among them, senior defensive linemen Andrew Lewis (suspension) and senior punter Rob Long (brain surgery) will not be playing. Lewis had 28 tackles, including 4 1/2 for loss, one sack and one forced fumble.
Prediction: Kansas State 17, Syracuse 7. SU’s offense has been struggling lately, scoring just 26 points in its last three games. Although its defense has been solid this season, Thomas should be effective enough to give the Wildcats enough yards to win.
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.