Dec 27, 2001
Phoenix, Ariz. -
By LEWIS SHAINE
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, Dec. 29
Kansas State (6-5) vs. No. 18 Syracuse (9-3), 5:30 p.m. EST
Kansas State leads 1-0.
1997, Kansas State 35-18.
Career Bowl Records
Kansas State 5-4, Syracuse 11-8-1.
Last Bowl Appearance
Kansas State beat Tennessee 35-21 in the 2001 Cotton Bowl, Syracuse beat
Kentucky 20-13 in the 1999 Music City Bowl.
Common Opponents This Season
Bill Snyder, 13th season at Kansas State (105-48-1), Paul Pasqualoni, 11th
season at Syracuse (90-39-1, 124-56-1, 16th year overall).
Kansas State-Wildcats have a dangerous backfield combo with sophomore QB Ell
Roberson and senior RB Josh Scobey. Success will depend on the defense, led by
senior Ben Leber and sophomore Terry Pierce at LB.
Syracuse-Orangemen are looking to prove bowl officials wrong. Sophomore QB
R.J. Anderson, who leads an option attack, has been a key along with senior RB
James Mungro. All-America senior DE Dwight Freeney, the nation's sack leader,
is the catalyst on defense.
Streaks, Stats and Notes
This is the 13th Insight.com Bowl. ... The bowl was known as the Copper Bowl
from 1989-96. ... The new site of the bowl is Bank One Ballpark. ... Kansas
State makes its second appearance in the bowl, defeating Wyoming 52-17 in 1993.
... These schools met in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl. ... Syracuse is making its sixth
bowl appearance in seven years and has won eight of its last 10 bowl outings.
... KSU is one of seven schools appearing in a bowl for the ninth straight
year. ... The Wildcats had the NCAA's fourth toughest schedule. ... Kansas
State, ranked third nationally in total defense (262.3 ypg.), is the only
school to rank in the Top Five in the category for the past five seasons. ...
KSU is also ranked seventh in scoring defense (16.3 ppg.) and pass defense
(165.9 ypg.). ... Kansas State is one of two schools in the nation's Top 15 in
both rushing offense and rushing defense. ... Scobey set a school-record with
1,263 yards rushing and 15 TDs. ... Syracuse is one of four Division I-A teams
with an active streak of 15 winning seasons. ... All three of SU's losses have
been to teams ranked in the Top 10. ... Mungro rushed for 1,170 yards, the
sixth player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards, and tied the SU mark
for rushing TDs (14) set by Ernie Davis in 1965. ... Freeney, named the co-Big
East Defensive Player of the Year, set the NCAA single-season sack record with
17.5. ... SU ranked seventh in the nation in turnover margin (plus 1.25).
KANSAS STATE PRACTICE NOTES -- 12/27/01
* Kansas State's seniors had the final practice of their collegiate careers on Thursday afternoon at Mountain Pointe High School. For the rest of the Wildcats, it was their final practice until spring workouts begin next April.
* Kansas State had a normal Thursday schedule, working on all phases of the game, including its normal emphasis on special teams. The workout was in shoulder pads and helmets.
* Following a late-afternoon practice on Thursday, the Wildcats had a barbecue dinner and will travel to the Phoenix Suns-Boston Celtics NBA game at America West Arena.
* K-State will have its normal Friday walkthrough at Bank One Ballpark in mid-afternoon. The Wildcats will test the turf on the playing surface, then will head to the annual Wildcat Pep Rally to be held just next to the ballpark.
* The 2001 Insight.com Bowl will be the first game for the Wildcats in a stadium also used for baseball since the 1999 Holiday Bowl. K-State defeated Washington, 24-20, on 12/29/99 in then-Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. The Insight.com Bowl is one of three 2001 postseason to be played in supposed-baseball only facilities. Georgia Tech played Stanford on Thursday in the inaugural Seattle Bowl at Safeco Field and the annual East-West Shrine All-Star Game will be played in San Francisco's Pacific Bell Park.
* Kansas State has won three of its last four bowl games, a string which began with its 35-18 victory over Syracuse in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl on 12/31/97. Following that win, K-State lost 37-34 to Purdue in the 1998 Alamo Bowl, but has defeated Washington, 24-20 in the 1999 Holiday Bowl and beat Tennessee 35-21 in the 2001 Cotton Bowl.
* The Wildcats are 5-4 overall in bowl games, including 5-3 under Head Coach Bill Snyder.