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Rapid Reaction: Syracuse 36, Kansas St. 34

12/30/2010

NEW YORK -- A quick take on Syracuse's 36-34 win over Kansas State on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS: Syracuse wins the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl, in only the second college football game played at the new Yankee Stadium. It's the Orange's first bowl game since 2004, and their first bowl game win since 2001. Syracuse finishes the season 8-5 -- its first winning season since '01.

Kansas State loses in its first bowl game since 2006. But the Wildcats still finish with a winning record, 7-6.

BACK AND FORTH: Neither team led by more than seven points in this see-saw battle. It was a game of strikes and counterstrikes by each offense -- there were no turnovers in the game, and only five punts.

KEY SEQUENCE: In the end, the game came down to one play. Kansas State, trailing 36-28, scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Carson Coffman to Adrian Hilburn with 1:13 remaining. The Wildcats obviously had to go for the two-point conversion, to try to tie the game.

Only problem? Hilburn was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration after the touchdown. The penalty was assessed on the point-after attempt, meaning Kansas State had to try to convert a two-point conversion from the 18-yard line. That's a tall task, and the Wildcats predictably failed.

COLOR COMMENTARY: The announced attendance was 38,274 -- more Syracuse fans than Kansas State fans, to no one's surprise. The temperature was in the low 30s, and there was snow on the sidelines and in the end zone, but the fans were definitely into this game.

WHAT'S NEXT: That's obviously the end of this season for both teams. And it's the second and final college football game at Yankee Stadium this season.

But the Pinstripe Bowl will be back next season. Also, Army will play Rutgers at Yankee Stadium next season, on Nov. 12.