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Pinstripe Bowl: Heavy Hearts, Focused Minds

SU might have a big game coming up but all of the focus was on one of the guys not playing in the Pinstripe Bowl. Punter Rob Long announced that he was going to need another round of treatment after it was discovered that the initial surgery did not remove all the malignant tissue.

The news hangs heavy over the head of Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone and his team.

The Orange are doing their best to focus on the Bowl and Kansas State. Doug Marrone is in full Standpoint-Mode when it comes to describing how the team is practicing.

One player in particular who's going to have to step it up in the Pinstripe is #Shamarko. Thomas' play leveled out in his sophomore season as he returned from injury early on. Now that Max Suter is out of the game, #Shamarko is going to start for the Orange at strong safety and a lot of will be asked of him.

Strong safety Shamarko Thomas. Kansas State has a terrific running game led by Daniel Thomas, and that will likely require some safety help for the Orange. Syracuse's Thomas has played well this season, but he often split time with senior Max Suter. Suter will miss the bowl game because of an injured shoulder, so it's all on Thomas to deliver at Yankee Stadium. The way the Syracuse offense performed down the stretch, it will need its defense to dominate the action.

In #Shamarko We Trust.