Mark this Fiesta Bowl down as a coming-out party for both Michael Bishop and Kansas State.
Bishop won a personal battle of quarterbacks with Donovan McNabb, while often-overlooked Kansas State made a case to be counted among the nation’s elite Wednesday night by beating No. 14 Syracuse 35-18 in the Fiesta Bowl.
McNabb was the name quarterback coming into the game, but Bishop left it a star, throwing for four touchdowns and running for another to cap an 11-1 season for the 10th-ranked Wildcats.
“This is just the beginning,” Bishop said. “This win should set the tone for next season. Hopefully, we sent a message out tonight with a victory over Syracuse.”
Bishop, who won two national titles and never lost in two years in junior college, raised his record as a starting college quarterback to 35-1 on a night where he enjoyed his biggest stage ever.
Bishop used it to have his best game in a year as the Wildcats’ quarterback, throwing for 317 yards and leading his team in rushing with 73 yards.
Three of those touchdown passes went to Darnell McDonald, who set a Fiesta Bowl record with 206 receiving yards.
“We had a pretty good idea Michael Bishop was good,” Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “Michael has had some games where he was exceptionally hot. Tonight, he was exceptionally hot.”
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder used some of the postgame press conference to criticize those who give his team little recognition despite winning 48 games over the past five seasons.
“I’ve never thought what we’ve done is a fluke,” Snyder said. “You guys need to talk about that crap. That’s a media thing. That’s just what is in the newspaper.”
It was the first loss in eight bowl games for Syracuse (9-4).
Kansas St. 35, Syracuse 18
Syracuse 3 12 0 3 - 18
Kansas St. 0 21 0 14 - 35
Syr-FG Trout 27, 10:24. Second quarter
KSU-McDonald 19 pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick), 11:02.
KSU-Bishop 12 run (Gramatica kick), 7:42.
KSU-Swift 28 pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick), 2:18.
Syr-Brown 24 run (Trout kick), 1:49.
Syr-Safety, ball snapped out of end zone, 1:19.
Syr-FG Trout 33, :04. Fourth quarter
KSU-McDonald 77 pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick), 13:08.
Syr-FG Trout 40, 9:59.
KSU-McDonald 41 pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick), 3:17.
KSU Syr First downs 21 24 Rushes-yards 40-140 38-176 Passing 317 271 Comp-Att-Int 14-23-1 16-39-1 Return Yards 61 0 Punts-Avg. 3-44.0 5-43.0 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1 Penalties-Yards 7-58 8-68 Time of Possession 29:30 30:30
RUSHING-Kansas St., Bishop 15-73, Hickson 7-26, Goolsby 5-25, Lawrence 11-20, Gangwish 1-9, team 1-(minus 13). Syracuse, McNabb 16-81, Brown 6-47, Sudano 3-18, McIntosh 11-18, Ke.Johnson 1-10, Downing 1-2.
PASSING-Kansas St., Bishop 14-23-1-317. Syracuse, McNabb 16-39-1-271.
RECEIVING-Kansas St., McDonald 7-206, Swift 5-98, Peries 2-13. Syracuse, Spotwood 5-51, Ke.Johnson 4-101, Brown 3-26, Turner 2-59, Lowe 1-29, Daniel 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-Kansas St., Gramatica 52 (WL), 44 (WR).
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