Series Record: Series tied 1-1.
Last Meeting: Syracuse 23-6 in 2001 Insight.com Bowl.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Two programs that haven’t been to the postseason in a while will try to finish off resurgent seasons on an upswing. The Orange haven’t played in a bowl since 2004, but under second-year coach and Syracuse alum Doug Marrone, they’ve pulled themselves out of the Big East basement. Bill Snyder, in his second season in his second stint as Kansas State coach, has the Wildcats back in a bowl for the first time since 2006.
Kansas State’s run defense, ranked 118th in the nation, vs. Syracuse’s two tailbacks, Delone Carter and Antwon Bailey. The Wildcats’ top two tacklers are defensive backs David Garrett and Tysyn Hartman, which doesn’t say much for the front seven. Carter is a power back who averages 5.1 yards per carry. Bailey is quicker and averages 4.7. The Orange average only 130 yards rushing per game, but they’ll try to push around a Kansas State defense that has received more than a few beatings this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: LB Doug Hogue. The former running back has become one of the best linebackers in the Big East and the leader of a unit that ranks fifth in the nation in total yards allowed. He’s second on the team in tackles at 89 and leads with 9 1/2 tackles for loss.
Kansas State: RB Daniel Thomas. The senior is far and away the Wildcats’ best offensive threat. He ran for 1,495 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. At 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, Thomas has an NFL future.
FACTS & FIGURES
The last bowl game played in New York was the Gotham Bowl in 1962. Nebraska beat Miami 36-34 at Yankee Stadium. … Kansas State has run the ball 518 times and thrown only 268 passes … Expect the Wildcats to play two quarterbacks. Senior Carson Coffman has completed 64 percent of his passes, but doesn’t go down field much. Sophomore Collin Klein is almost exclusively used as a runner. He’s second on the team with 430 yards rushing. … Syracuse P Rob Long, who had a malignant brain tumor removed earlier this month, will be with the team on the sideline.