(SU ATHLETICS ) - The Syracuse football team caps its 2012 season with a trip to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl this Saturday, Dec. 29th, to face West Virginia at Yankee Stadium (3:15 p.m.; ESPN). The Orange (7-5, 5-2 BIG EAST) spent the past few days in NYC, practicing for the bowl game and enjoying what the sights and the sounds of this city. This morning before SU's final walk-through, the Orange hosted a Chalk Talk with the Bronx youths. For head coach Doug Marrone
, a Bronx native, the event hit close to home.
"For all the events you do during the year or throughout the years, this one probably hits home the most," Marrone. "Here you are and you look to the left and you see young kids from the Bronx there. When I look at them, I see part of my life flashing bye. I look to the right, and there is the Syracuse football team and I say that was a point in my life. All of a sudden you look around the venue and here you are standing in Yankee Stadium. It's probably the greatest moment for me because life comes full circle."
This will be the Orange's second bowl game in three years and its 24th appearance in a bowl game in school history. SU is 13-9-1 in 23 bowl appearances. This is Syracuse's second trip back to the Pinstripe Bowl, after the Orange defeated Kansas State, 36-34, in 2010.
"We were able to give today to the community," Marrone said. "Now it's time to get ready and prepare. We need to get ready to play a competitive football game. That's what we're looking forward to." Syracuse vs. West Virginia
Syracuse leads the overall series against the Mountaineers, 32-27. Both teams are led by senior quarterbacks, with SU's Ryan Nassib
and WVU's Geno Smith. SU and WVU's offenses each average more than 470 yards per game of total offense. The two teams are also among the winningest in major college football. The Mountaineers are 14th all-time with 708 victories while SU is 15th with 697. SU Shares Big Title
Syracuse won a share of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship with a 5-2 league mark. The Orange tied with Louisville, Cincinnati and Rutgers for the league crown. It is the fifth BIG EAST title for the program (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004 and 2012). Rewriting the Record Book
Syracuse's offense is having a record-setting season. The following nine team marks have been set or tied this season – total offensive yards (5,681), total yards per game (473.4), plays (939), passing yards (3,619), passing yards per game (301.6), completions (283), pass attempts (449), most touchdown passes (tied at 24) and first downs (300). Marrone Returns Home
SU head coach Doug Marrone
, a life-long fan of the New York Yankees, is a Bronx native and a 1982 graduate of Herbert H. Lehman High School, located less than 10 minutes from Yankee Stadium. Marrone's love for the Yankees isn't his only tie to the 27-time World Series Champions. His maternal grandfather, Robert Thompson, worked as an usher at old Yankee Stadium for nearly 20 years. In addition, Marrone was a classmate of Yankee YES Network broadcaster Michael Kay at Lehman. Orange at Yankee Stadium
The 2012 Pinstripe Bowl marks the eight football game for Syracuse in the House the Ruth built. The Orange is 6-1 all-time at Yankee Stadium, including a 1-0 mark at the current Yankee Stadium. Syracuse defeated Pittsburgh in the first football game ever played at Yankee Stadium, 3-0, in 1923.