All week it's been about the pageantry, the events, the photo ops and trips to Dallas BBQ and articles about how Doug Marrone grew up in the Bronx and Yankee Stadium has hosted football games before.
Finally...today is only about the game.
Dave Rahme's got his Insider look up and as far as he can tell, these two teams share a record but that's about it.
The records and a couple of late-season swoons — SU is 1-3 in its last four games and KSU 2-4 in its last six — are about the only things the teams have in common. While Marrone has tried to build from the ground up — some 15 true freshmen have played this season — Snyder has reverted to a formula that helped him engineer one of the most remarkable stories in college football, namely mining the junior-college ranks extensively for seasoned talent and then fitting it seamlessly into his system.
The biggest key for the Orange today? Stopping Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas.
The K-State offense is very similar to the one SU faced in 1997 and 2001. There will be plenty of option plays, plenty of zone-option reads by the quarterback and plenty of handoffs to Thomas, who has rushed for 1,495 yards this season. The key to the game will be the ability of Syracuse’s defense to contain Thomas and force QB Carson Coffman to win the game with his arm. Until a month ago SU was exceptional at achieving that goal. Over the last four games it has done poorly, allowing 172.5 rushing yards per game. It must knock 50 yards off that average Thursday to have a shot.
While there's been a lot made of Thomas and Syracuse's issues with the run as of late, the D.O. doesn't want you to forget about KSU's passing ability. Namely the big-play ability of Aubrey Quarles.
Quarles is the one receiver that has been a consistent downfield threat this season for the Wildcats. He has 47 catches for five touchdowns. Merkerson and fellow corner Mike Holmes will need to key on him.
Front page of the Post-Standard today...SyracuseFan.com
Pinstripe Bowl, Syracuse Vs. Kansas State: Yankee Stadium Goes Bowling...SBNation.com
New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Gameday Stream: Syracuse, Kansas State Meet At A Field Of Dreams...SBNation New York
Win or lose, inspiration of Long will make Pinstripe special day for Syracuse...Daily Orange
SU preps for toughest defensive challenge yet in K-State offense, running back Thomas...Daily Orange
Inconsistent offense attempts to finally find 'identity' heading into bowl game...Daily Orange
Syracuse attempts to adjust after losing 5 players in last month...Daily Orange
With Pinstripe Bowl looming, Syracuse punter facing fears with a smile...NJ.com
Some Northern Flair for a Pinstripe Affair...NY Times
Syracuse University football team saw Wildcat package in its infancy way back in 1997...Dave Rahme
Orange slices: Pinstripe Bowl edition...SU Juice Online