Pinstripe Bowl: Syracuse, Kansas State On The Ground (Mostly)

via The Pinstripe Bowl

The weather might not affect the actual gameday but the weekend's blizzard is already wreaking havoc on the Pinstripe Bowl's grand plans for NYC domination.

Today's Times Square meet-and-great that was supposed to kick off festivities in town has been canceled due to the weather.

Syracuse University’s football clinic for Bronx youth at Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club is also canceled due to weather concerns. Bummer.

Both team’s will practice on Monday, however. No snow is going to keep Doug Marrone from running wind sprints. Kansas State works out first at 3:00 p.m. at Columbia University’s football facility while Syracuse gets started at 4:00 p.m. at the Timex Performance Center.

For Doug Marrone, this game is a culmination of two years of back-breaking hard work. Still, it's not the endgame. The picture is quite bigger than just this.

"I think there’s a bigger picture," he said. "When I was a kid growing up, I used to go to the Yale Bowl to see the Giants and the Jets play. I look at this game as more for the city kids … A game where someone might have an interest in football, but all of a sudden they see Syracuse University and Kansas State playing at Yankee Stadium, and now their interest in the game of football raises to another level … A level where they understand that they have to do the right things academically, they have to go to school and perform well on their tests and grades if they want to be able to attend a university."

"Who’s that 9-or 10-year old kid that’s going to put that game on, that lives in the Bronx or lives in Brooklyn or Queens, and is going to say to himself -- ‘One day I want to be in the Pinstripe Bowl.’ So now you’ve got to start figuring out how you’re going to do that. And to figure out how you’re going to do that is going to establish this foundation of you being successful," Marrone said.

If and when Delone Carter finally gets to town, he'll be playing in not only his final game as a Syracuse Orange but also in his final chance to show NFL scouts what he can do in a college contest. He's officially on the clock for an NFL career and he's got a decent shot. That said, it won't be easy given his history of injuries and lack of notable moments that separate him from the pack.

"I think Delone is big enough and I think Delone is fast enough," said Wheatley, SU’s running backs coach who played a total of 10 seasons with the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders. "But he’s going to have to work extremely hard to make it in the NFL. When I played, I played every practice as if the other guy was putting his hand in my pocket trying to take my money. Whatever Delone is thinking in terms of work, he’ll have to multiply it by three."

Another group of Syracuse players who'll need to step it up are the special teams players. Gone is Rob Long and in his place is Ryan Lichtenstein. Gone are Malcolm Cater and Brice Hawkes, two strong special teams tacklers. Gone is Bob Casullo, the coach who mentored that unit (for better or worse) for the last two years. And they'll need to regroup quickly if they want to shut down a Kansas State special teams unit that features two All-Americans.

Syracuse will face a Kansas State (7-5) team that features two All-Americans in the special-teams department. Senior Corey Adams is the first long snapper in school history to be named an All-American (Phil Steele). He has appeared in all 48 games during his four-year career and has been perfect on a combined 475 snaps, including 60 field goal/PAT attempts and 58 punt snaps this season.

Of more concern to the Orange should be kicker returner William Powell, who leads the nation with a kickoff return average of 34.6 yards and was named a Sports Illustrated honorable-mention All-American. He is also a first-team All-Big 12 selection, His average is second in Big 12 history and first in K-State history for a season and a career.

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