Kansas State Wildcats (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Syracuse Orange (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS), Pinstripe Bowl, 3:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, December 30, 2010, Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y. TV: ESPN
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: KSU +1/SYR -1
Over/Under Total: 48
For the greater part of the last decade, the Syracuse Orange have been the laughing stock of the Big East. But that has changed. The Orange are now in a bowl game and it’s an exciting new one – the Pinstripe Bowl at the brand new Yankee Stadium in New York, where they will battle it out with the Kansas State Wildcats.
The Orange started off the season at 6-2 but they lost three of their last four games to finish the season. After a very soft non-conference schedule, they started Big East play off at 3-1 with wins over South Florida, West Virginia and Cincinnati. But their offensive struggles hurt them down the stretch, as they fell to Louisville, UConn and Boston College with a win over Rutgers in between.
Against FBS opponents this season, Syracuse has never scored more than 31 points in a game. They have only scored more than 20 points once against BCS conference opponents.
Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib has 2,095 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. RB Delone Carter leads the way in the rushing department with 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. Van Chew is the team’s leading receiver with 41 receptions for 611 yards and five touchdowns.
K-State started off the season at 4-0 with wins over UCLA, Missouri State, Iowa State and UCF, but then the Wildcats lost five of their last seven. They ended the season with a close win at North Texas, 49-41, not really much to brag about considering that North Texas is a 3-9 Sun Belt team.
Kansas State QB Carson Coffman has 1,832 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. RB Daniel Thomas is the team’s main offensive weapon. He has 1,495 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Thomas is ninth in the country in rushing yards and ninth in the country in rushing touchdowns. Aubrey Quarles leads the team in receiving with 47 receptions for 685 yards and five touchdowns.
The key for Syracuse will be to stop Thomas. The Orange have allowed 137.4 rushing yards per game and 11 rushing touchdowns this season. The key for Kansas State will be to score some points and move the ball on offense. There is no doubt Thomas will get the ball a lot for the Wildcats.
Syracuse is 0-3 this season against FBS opponents when there are more than 38 total points scored in the game. Conversely, there have been at least 38 total points scored in all but one of Kansas State’s games this season.
The Orange have scored 20 or less points in each of their five losses this season but are 4-0 when they score at least 21 points. Kansas State is 5-0 this season when it allows less than 24 points.
Thomas ran for a career-high 269 rushing yards in KSU’s win over North Texas to end the regular season. He also scored two touchdowns. But Coffman only threw for 77 yards and a touchdown on 9-for-20 passing.
Syracuse ended the season with some poor offensive performances. In their last two games, the Orange lost 23-6 to UConn and 16-7 to Syracuse. And both games were at home.
Kansas State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games following an ATS loss, 7-19 ATS in its last 26 non-conference games, 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight December games, 0-4 ATS in its last four bowl games, and 0-4 ATS in its last four games vs. the Big East. Syracuse is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a SU loss, 4-1 ATS in its last five games following an ATS loss, 6-2 ATS in its last eight non-conference games, and 1-4 ATS in its last five Thursday games. The over is 4-0 in the Wildcats’ last four games overall. The under is 5-1 in KSU’s last six December games. The under is 5-1 in Syracuse’s last six games overall.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I was really hoping for a higher total here as under was my first inclination, but the number is right on with no value to be had. I do however like the Orange to win this game straight up. Take Syracuse to get the money.