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Pinstripe Bowl: The Rob Long Factor

via <a href="http://www.suathletics.com/images/2010/12/27/rp_primary_photo1.jpg">www.suathletics.com</a>
via www.suathletics.com

I'm not trying to be a negative nelly here but the Football Gods have not set up Syracuse in a great way for the upcoming Pinstripe Bowl.

Three starters will miss the game due to injury or suspension. Two other players and future starters will also miss the game. One of them is gone from the team for stealing TVs. A blizzard made it tough for many Orange, including star RB Delone Carter, to travel to the city and get in precious practice time.

However if the karmic needle shifted a little too far in one direction for Syracuse, it's being shifted right back to where it belongs now that Rob Long is back with the team. Recovering from brain surgery and awaiting a second one to remove malignant tissue, Long made good on his promise to join the Orange in New York. He helped out at practice today and the team captain will take his rightful place alongside the other captains at Tuesday's special event.

We are a team. We are a family. And we support Rob and his family all the way,Marrone said. We're getting ready for another game after this and it’s the game for Rob, which we feel a whole lot more comfortable about winning than going out and playing a very good Kansas State team. Long, fellow captains Ryan Bartholomew, Derrell Smith and Marrone are scheduled to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday morning at 9:30.
54 Orange practiced Monday at the Timex Performance Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. 31 others were still stranded somewhere else, waiting for their chance to make it to NYC and join their teammates. Obviously, Marrone is working on that.
We're working on that, SU coach Doug Marrone said of the 31 players still missing. "A majority are coming in late tonight, very late. So we expect to have pretty much everyone, except for two or three, for practice tomorrow.

Marrone said he and Kevin Van Derzee, SU's director of football operations, spent hours on Monday trying to arrange transportation for those who had flights canceled by the storm that blew up the East Coast on Sunday.
Mike Holmes is not concerned. As a senior, he's seen a lot during his time at Syracuse and this current setback isn't anything they can't handle.
"I think that will be the story of my whole career here, the whole team, just overcoming adversity and getting through things," Holmes said Monday before the team’s first practice for Thursday’s New Era Pinstripe Bowl game against Kansas State.

"No one’s panicking," said Holmes, who joined 53 teammates inside the Timex Performance Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. "We have enough guys to practice. We have guys who are going to go both ways in practice, and when the guys do come in later on today and tomorrow, they’ll have time to get in some practice."