The Syracuse Orange football team is officially going to a bowl game, and they will play in a place familiar to many Central New York sports fans.
According to the Syracuse University Athletic Department, the Orange have formally announcved that they have accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl. The game will be held on Thursday, December 30 in the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City. The Orange will face a representative of the Big 12 Conference, and the game will be shown on ESPN at 3:30 p.m.
"This is truly exciting for our football program, the athletics department and the University. We are proud to be part of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in its inaugural year, said Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. The Yankees are a class organization with tremendous history and we are excited about participating with them at Yankee Stadium. This is a fabulous opportunity for our institution as many alums live in the area and our fans can descend upon New York City for the holidays. We continue to want to represent as New York's College Team as we are the only BCS school in the state of New York and plan to paint the city Orange.
This will be a homecoming for SU head coach Doug Marrone, who was born in the Bronx and graduated from high school less than ten minutes from Yankee Stadium. According to SU, Marrone grew up a Yankees fan and his grandfather worked as an usher at the old Stadium, which was retired in 2008.
"When the announcement was made that a bowl game was going to be played in Yankee Stadium for the first time, my thought was that if we were not going to play in a BCS game, then how great would it be to play in the first college bowl game in Yankee Stadium in my first head coaching job, said Marrone. The opportunity to play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in my hometown is part of the whole dream. New York State is our foundation. This is another step in our return to prominence."
The Orange were 7-5 in Marrone's second season as SU head coach. This will be their 23rd bowl appearance all time. The program is 12-9-1 all-time in bowl games and owns a 3-2 bowl record against Big 12 opponents, including a 26-3 victory against Kansas State in the 2001 Insight.com Bowl. Syracuse has not played in a bowl game since losing 51-14 to Georgia Tech in the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl.
This is actually not the first time the Orange will play in Yankee stadium, new or old. SU says the Orange are 5-1 all-time at Yankee Stadium, including a 3-0 victory against Pittsburgh in 1923 in the first college football game ever played there.
We are thrilled to have the Syracuse Orange representing the Big East Conference in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl, said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. It is exciting for us to feature such a respected academic institution from the great state of New York in the first year of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. We expect the historic backdrop of Yankee Stadium and the many attractions of New York City to create a one-of-a-kind bowl event for the athletes participating and the legions of Syracuse fans that will have the opportunity to watch their team play in person.
In addition, the Orange have played seven times at the Polo Grounds in New York City and taken the field for games at Shea Stadium in Queens and Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
SU says future football trips to the New York City area are scheduled. The Orange will host USC at New Meadowlands Stadium in 2012, Penn State in 2013 and Notre Dame in 2014 and 2016.
The contest will mark the first NCAA football bowl game in the Bronx since the Gotham Bowl on Dec. 15, 1962, when Nebraska edged Miami 36-34 at the original Yankee Stadium. More recently, Notre Dame defeated Army 27-3 in a game at new Yankee Stadium last month.
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Information from SU Athletics and the Associated Press was used in this report.