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2010 Pinstripe Bowl - Syracuse vs. Kansas St
Syracuse RB Delone Carter & KSU RB Daniel Thomas
Syracuse RB Delone Carter & KSU RB Daniel Thomas
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 28, 2010


2010-2011 Bowls - CFN's Preview & Prediction for the 2010 New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Syracuse vs. Kansas State

2010 New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Kansas State
(7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)

 
Thursday, December 30th 3:20 ESPN  

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Pick ATS: Kansas State  Confidence Score: 53
OVERALL CONFIDENCE (35 most - 1 least): 16 out of 35
SCROLL DOWN to the bottom for all the CFNers' confidence picks and bowl history

By Richard Cirminiello

The inaugural Pinstripe Bowl will pit a team from Manhattan versus a team from New York. Geographically speaking, that sounds about right.

There’s a bowl game in New York City and meaningful football once again at Yankee Stadium, which will be two of the bigger storylines on this day. Syracuse, though, feels it has an intriguing angle of its own. The Orange has unexpectedly qualified for the postseason in Bronx native Doug Marrone’s second year at the program, ending a six-year absence. This is a giant step forward for a program that’s been mired in mediocrity and malaise for much of the past decade. A bowl game—any bowl game—is going to shift Marrone’s rebuilding plan and recruiting efforts into overdrive.

Statistics In Yards
KSU    SU
4,542 Total
Offense
3,699
5,296 Total
Defense
3,525
33.6 Scoring
Offense
21
28.5 Scoring
Defense
18.1
2,469 Rushing
Offense
1,563
2,749 Rushing
Defense
1,649
2,073 Passing
Offense
2,136
2,547 Passing
Defense
1,876
0.33 Turnover Margin -0.33
Position Rankings
5 Highest - 1 Lowest
KSU   SU
3 QBs 2.5
4.5 RBs 4
2 WRs 3
4 O Line 3.5
3 D Line 4
3 LBs 4
3 DBs 4
4 STs 4
4 Coach 3.5
CFN 2010 2011 CFN Bowl Previews & Confidence Picks
- New Mexico - BYU vs. UTEP
- Human. - Fresno St vs. NIU
- New Orleans - Troy vs. Ohio
- St. Pete - UL vs. So Miss
- Las Vegas - Utah vs. Boise St
- Poinsettia - SDSU vs. Navy
- Hawaii - Tulsa vs. Hawaii
- Little Caesars - Toledo vs. FIU
- Ind. - Air Force vs. GT
- Champs - NC St vs. WVU
- Insight - Iowa vs. Mizz
- Military - Mary. vs. ECU
- Texas - Illinois vs. Baylor
- Alamo - Ok St vs. Arizona
- Armed Forces - SMU vs. Army
- Pinstripe - SU vs. KSU
- Music City - UNC vs. Tenn
- Holiday - Neb vs. Wash
- Meineke - USF vs. Clemson
- Sun - Miami vs. ND
- Liberty - UCF vs. Georgia
- Chick-fil-A - FSU vs. USC
- TicketCity - NW vs. TT
- Outback - PSU vs. Florida
- Capital One - MSU vs. Bama
- Gator - Mich vs. Miss St
- GoDaddy - MU vs. MT
- Cotton - A&M vs. LSU
- Compass - Pitt vs. UK
- Kraft - BC vs. Nevada
- Rose - UW vs. TCU
- Fiesta - OU vs. UConn
- Orange - Stan. vs. VT
- Sugar - Ark. vs. OSU
- BCS Champ. - Aub. vs. Oregon
In the preseason, most observers felt Syracuse was destined for the Big East cellar, a familiar season-ending resting place for the school. Instead, it completely flipped the script on the league, finishing in fourth, just a game behind Connecticut, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh. It wasn’t always sexy or particularly entertaining, but it qualified as a breakthrough year for a school that hasn’t had much to cheer about lately. Marrone went old-school on opponents, surviving on the strength of the running game and a very salty and underrated defense. Plus, the team played at its peak away from the Carrier Dome, winning consecutive road games over South Florida, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Rutgers.

Good luck trying to figure out Kansas State, which has been unpredictable this season. The same team that started 5-1, blew out Texas, and was briefly ranked also skidded to the finish line and had major defensive breakdowns. All in all, 2010 has to be considered a success in Bill Snyder’s second year since coming out of retirement. He has the Wildcats back in a bowl game for the first time in four years and the program is generally trending upward. Playing in a huge venue, such as New York City, can only help going forward.

Kansas State has run the ball well this season, but that’s pretty much the extent of its strength. The offense can be painfully one-dimensional and the defense allowed at least 38 points in five of the last eight games. While that formula worked against average teams, the Wildcats were prone to getting exposed by the likes of Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Missouri. There was a time when the ‘Cats had visions of an all-purple date with Washington in the Holiday Bowl, but that was before giving up 82 points in back-to-back November losses to Mizzou and Colorado.

Brace yourself for the baseball references and the inevitable double entendres throughout the broadcast of this game. That’s going to happen when football returns to Yankee Stadium and the city hosts its first bowl game since the 1962 Gotham Bowl. Syracuse and Kansas State are making postseason returns of their own in a game both schools hope will propel them even higher in 2011.

Players to Watch: On both sidelines, success will depend on who does a better job of running the ball. That’s by design and a product of the weather, which won’t be kind to either marginal passer. Both schools have more than one option. Kansas State boasts one of the nation’s premier backs, senior Daniel Thomas, who ranks No. 9 nationally at more than 124 yards a game. He’s a physical, workhorse-type runner capable of bouncing off tacklers and keeping the chains moving. His partner, a secret weapon of sorts, is backup quarterback Collin Klein. The sophomore has completed just 18 passes, but has done a lot of damage with his legs. Out of the zone read, he’s averaging almost six yards a carry and burned Texas and Missouri for more than 100 rushing yards in successive weeks.

Syracuse will answer with its own tandem, starter Delone Carter and change-of-pace Antwon Bailey. In a career complicated by injuries and off-field headaches, Carter is finishing his Orange career strong, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and seven scores this season. If asked he’s capable of carrying the ball at least 25 times. Of course, Bailey will want his touches as well. A smaller, more elusive option for the staff, he’s run 504 yards on 107 carries, and has also caught 32 balls for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s the kind of playmaker, Syracuse hopes to match up with the Kansas State linebackers in space.

So which team will do a better job of stopping the run? If the regular season is any indication, it’ll be Syracuse, which is yielding 137 yards and 3.6 yards a carry. There’s talent at all levels, but especially at linebacker. While Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith arrived in Upstate New York as running backs, they’ll graduate as all-stars and next-level defenders. The program’s top two tacklers and outstanding all-around athletes, both excel in pursuit and can be hell on quarterbacks on the blitz. Someone on that K-State offensive line will have to keep Hogue, in particular, in his periphery or he’ll light up QB Carson Coffman.

Kansas State versus the run? Not so good. The Wildcats rank 118th in the country and are giving up almost six yards a carry. The good news is that Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib isn’t cause for tremendous concern. The ‘Cats will gamble on defense, pinching up the linebackers and safeties to stop the run, especially on first and second downs. While the linebackers are so-so, the defensive backs can really bring it. In fact, partially out of necessity, CB David Garrett and safeties Tysyn Hartman and Ty Zimmerman lead the team in solo tackles. Garrett is a particularly intriguing specimen. Despite being only 5-8 and 176 pounds, he has a team-high 13 tackles for loss and is a blur on the blitz.

Syracuse will win if ... it can keep Thomas from taking over the game.

The guy is like a freight train, and when he starts to roll, as he did against UCLA, Iowa State, and North Texas, the game can get away from the other team. Coffman doesn’t present too many concerns, and the Kansas State defense can be solved. That makes corralling No. 8 even more crucial for the Orange. Although it’s solid in the front seven, it might consider pressing up safeties Shamarko Thomas and Phillip Thomas to cause a traffic jam in the box. The Wildcats have struggled when Thomas has been mortal this season. It’s up to that stingy, unheralded Syracuse D to make him earn every yard and force Coffman to complete passes on third-and-long.

Kansas State will win if ... it keeps Syracuse reeling on offense.

Look at the last four Orange games. The team produced 46 points and four offensive touchdowns, an ugly trend that the Wildcats need to keep going. It won’t be easy for a team that’s had so many defensive breakdowns, but this pairing provides some hope for coordinator Chris Cosh. There are some grinders, but not a lot of playmakers on a Syracuse team that’s 106th nationally in total offense and 99th in scoring. Beyond the defensive backs, Kansas State will need help from the front seven, namely LB Alex Hrebec and linemen Prizell Brown and Brandon Harold. The ‘Cats have the better offense and the better skill position players. It’ll be up to the troubled defense to keep it that way on Thursday afternoon.

What will happen: Both teams can run the ball. Syracuse can stop it, which will be the difference in a game that could be one of the most visually unappealing of the postseason.

Forget the passing games. They won’t be relevant on this day unless picks are being thrown. It all comes down to Thomas and Klein vs. Carter and Bailey. While Kansas State has the better runners, Syracuse is markedly better on defense. Throw in poor weather and a month to prepare, and Marrone will pick up a satisfying, albeit ugly win in his hometown. In a defensive struggle, the Orange will rally around Hogue, Smith, and DE Chandler Jones to keep Thomas in check. PK Ross Krautman will provide the difference in the kicking game, booting a couple of key field goals in a close win.

CFN Prediction: Syracuse 19 … Kansas State 17 ... Line: Syracuse -1
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Pick ATS:
Kansas State  Confidence Score: 53
OVERALL CONFIDENCE (35 most - 1 least): 16 out of 35

Pete Fiutak: Pick ATS - Syracuse  Pick Confidence - 8
- How can it not be fun? A bowl game in New York in late December? It'll be kitschy, but it might not be a very entertaining game. Scoring is optional at Syracuse, but it plays tough defense, while Kansas State will try to run the ball in the cold. First to 20 wins?

Richard Cirminiello: Pick ATS - Kansas State  Pick Confidence - 5
- If either team throws for more than 200 yards, it’ll be because of one busted play that goes for 80 yards. The weather will be awful, but as far as bowl venues go, New York City around the holidays is a sweet one, even for the kids from Manhattan.

Matt Zemek: Pick ATS - Syracuse   Pick Confidence - 5
- This game will be played in Syracuse’s back yard. Given the Orange’s record at home this year against FBS opponents, that’s not a good thing for the Cuse.

Russ Mitchell: Pick ATS - Syracuse  Pick Confidence - 26
- Seriously? Pinstripe Bowl? Sigh. It’s a shame given this should be an exciting contest between two resurgent programs. Yes, the Big East was down this year, but don’t take much away from the Orangemen’s solid effort. All things being equal, outdoors in the freezing cold we take Syracuse. Yes, we know it’s cold in Manhattan, but you’ve clearly never spent a winter in Syracuse.

Barrett Sallee: Pick ATS - Syracuse  Pick Confidence - 7
- Even though there are WAY too many bowl games, you can’t complain about a bowl game in Yankee Stadium. Add a local presence with Syracuse, and you’ve got a pretty solid inaugural game.

Gabe Harris: Pick ATS - Kansas State  Pick Confidence - 33
Brian Harbach: Pick ATS - Kansas State   Pick Confidence - 35
Matthew Smith: Pick ATS - Syracuse  Pick Confidence - 7
Billy Gomila: Pick ATS - Kansas State  Pick Confidence -  3
Clucko (A coin flip): Pick ATS - Kansas State   Pick Confidence -  15