You could hear the cheering throughout Central New York, as Syracuse took down Kansas State 36-34 in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl. It was a battle up to the last few minutes at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. And many SU fans took the trip to support the team, playing in their first bowl game since 2004.
Back at home, bars were packed with Orange fans who were catching every play on the big screens. Crowds were cheering so loudly you could barely hear the person next to you. But that atmosphere drew fans out, so they could be surrounded by other SU faithfuls.
"It's something you can't describe in words. Syracuse has been down for so many years it's awesome to feel that success in this atmosphere. It was really something special," said Alan Shoeneck.
"I didn't know what to expect, we got a new quarterback Ryan Nassib, he did his thing," said Dan Fahey.
A win in the "New Era Pinstripe Bowl" could usher in a new era in SU football. "It means a lot for getting the program turned around and I think we're going to bring a lot of quality kids into the program," said Mike Skrupa.
Here's the game recap from the Associated Press:
Delone Carter ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns, Marcus Sales caught three long TD passes and Syracuse got some help from a celebration penalty on Kansas State to beat the Wildcats 36-34 in the first Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
Adrian Hilburn slipped a tackle and raced to a 30-yard touchdown catch with 1:13 remaining to pull Kansas State within two. Hilburn saluted the crowd behind the visitor's dugout and was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, which pushed the 2-point conversion attempt back to the 17-yard line.
Carson Coffman overthrew Aubrey Quarles in the end zone, and when Kansas State (7-6) couldn't come up with the onside kick, Syracuse (8-5) only had to take a knee to win a bowl game for the first time since 2001.
Daniel Thomas ran for three touchdowns for Kansas State, which was making its first bowl appearance since 2006.
In a bowl season filled with blowouts so far, the first bowl game in New York in 48 years turned out to be a home run.
The teams traded big plays right from the start - Thomas went 51 yards for a score on the second play from scrimmage - and scored touchdowns on the first five second-half possessions.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, sensing field goals would not be enough, called for a fake with about five minutes left in the fourth from the 10, but Syracuse stacked up Ryan Doerr on the run.
Carter, who scored two second-half touchdowns, broke free for a 60-yard run on the next play. It set up Ross Krautman's 40-yard field goal with 3:08 left that made it 36-28.
Too much time.
Coffman, who played brilliantly in his last college game, led the Wildcats into Syracuse territory and connected with Hilburn near the sideline about 10 yards down field. After winning a footrace to the end zone, he dropped the ball, did a quick salute and turned to celebrate with his teammates.
The flags came flying and the 2-point attempt turned into a desperation play.
Coffman finished 17 for 23 for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas was held to 90 yards on 22 carries by a defense that was geared to stopping him.
Ryan Nassib passed for 239 yards and hooked up with Sales on touchdowns of 52, 36 and 44 yards.