Celebration penalty costly for K-State

Syracuse defensive end Brandon Sharpe (91) tries to stop Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas (8) as defensive end Chandler Jones tackles Thomas in the second half. The Orange beat the Wildcats, 36-34, on Thursday in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

An official signals a touchdown as Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas (8) celebrates his TD against Syracuse in the second quarter of the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, in New York.

Conference Chatter by Eric Sorrentino

Call it like you see it: K-State got jobbed in Pinstripe Bowl

? The first Pinstripe Bowl turned into a home run derby, with Syracuse and Kansas State trading big plays and touchdowns in one of the most exciting games of this postseason.

A little too much enthusiasm, though, cost the Wildcats.

Delone Carter ran for career-high 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, on Thursday 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.

“I didn’t see it, I heard he just did a salute, which is kind of bogus,” Kansas State quarterback Carson Coffman said. “It’s something you can’t do, we know that. Adrian is our guy, we’re not mad at him for it, but I thought it was a little bit of a bogus call.”

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 hit.

The teams traded long gainers 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.

Both teams pulled off successful flea-flickers, with Syracuse’s going for its first touchdown.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, sensing field goals would not be enough, called for a fake with 4:50 left in the fourth from the 11, but Syracuse stacked up Ryan Doerr on the run.

Snyder passed on commenting on the celebration penalty, instead blaming himself for the fake field goal.

“I went for the (fake) field goal, which in hindsight was not — wasn’t a good call,” he said.