John Currie has always said one of the mission statements for the Kansas State athletic department is to give the student-athletes “… a world-class experience. I think we’re going to have that in one of the world-class cities of the world.”
That city is New York City where the Wildcats will play in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl against the Syracuse Orangemen on Dec. 30, in Yankee Stadium. The game will have a 2:30 (Central time) kickoff and televised on ESPN.
On accepting the invitation, coach Bill Snyder quipped, “It made my wife happy. She loves New York City.”
In making the announcement on Friday, Currie, K-State’s athletics director, said, “It’s a great opportunity to expose our university and remind people around the country that we are a national university with over 200,000 alumni, half of which live around the country and the world.”
He would add, “We look forward to turning the Big Apple purple.”
This will be K-State’s 14th postseason opportunity, which includes 12 under the leadership of coach Bill Snyder.
“I appreciate these new bowls and the opportunity to play,” said Snyder, who guided the Wildcats into postseason play for 11 consecutive years from 1993-2003.
“I’m constantly asked about whether there are too many bowls, and the answer is, ‘No, there aren’t too many bowl games.’ I understand what the bowl system has meant to Kansas State.
“I appreciate the Yankees for being about young people and the growth of young people,” Snyder added.
Kansas State has not been to a postseason bowl game since attending the first-ever Texas Bowl in 2006, and not one current Wildcat played in that game.
“This means everything,” said senior Zach Kendall. “We want to leave our mark. We had some other goals get away from us, but we want to go out on a good note.”
Fellow senior Aubrey Quarles added, “This game is a true blessing. I’m excited about being able to strap that Wildcat helmet on one last time.”
This will be the third time that K-State and Syracuse have collided in postseason play.
On Dec. 31, 1997, KSU’s Michael Bishop out-dueled SU’s Donovan McNabb, 35-18, in the Fiesta Bowl.
Bishop passed for 317 yards and four TDs, plus ran for 77 yards and accounted for a fifth score. Darnell McDonald had seven catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
Syracuse picked up some revenge on Dec. 29, 2001, with a 26-3 handling of the Wildcats at the Insight.com Bowl.
Ell Roberson was just 2-of-15 passing for 70 yards and sacked five times, while Marc Dunn completed 12-of-25 passes for 151 yards. Josh Scobey was the leading rusher, but with just 46 yards.
TICKETS AND TRAVEL
Currie indicated that the majority of the 2,300 tickets that the Big 12 committed two have been sold, but another allotment was in hand.
“We know that every Wildcat fan will not be able to go to the game, but the ones who can will, and those who cannot will be able to watch the team in another nationally televised game,” said Currie in reference to ESPN.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets for the game through the K-State Athletics Department at the official online bowl headquarters - www.k-statesports.com/bowlgame. Tickets may also be purchased via phone (1-800-221-CATS) or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m.
All ticket orders made through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office will be assigned based upon the bowl priority point system, which is available on the official online bowl page.
The K-State Alumni Association will also provide official travel packages to the bowl game, with or without charter air service. Visit the Alumni Association’s official bowl travel page - www.k-statesportstravel.com - for travel package information.