1998 Fiesta Bowl

Kansas State 35, Syracuse 18

1998 fiesta bowl
December 31, 1997

Attendance: 69,367

Offensive Player of the Game: Michael Bishop, Kansas State

Defensive Player of the Game: Travis Ochs, Kansas State

Sportsmanship Award: Jason Walters, Syracuse

Head Coaches: Bill Snyder, Kansas State - Paul Pasqualoni, Syracuse

Weather: Clear, warm

Television: CBS

Payout Per Team: $8,500,000

Amid a sea of fans dressed in purple, Kansas State recorded what many believe was the biggest win in the school’s history, as Michael Bishop passed and rushed the Wildcats to a 35-18 victory over Syracuse in the 1998 Fiesta Bowl.

During the only Fiesta Bowl game played on New Year’s Eve, Bishop supplied his own fireworks with 317 yards and four touchdowns through the air and 73 yards and one touchdown on the ground. The win culminated an 11-1 season for Kansas State, the first 11-win season in the school’s history, with its only loss coming to eventual national champion Nebraska.

Another key to Kansas State’s victory was wide receiver Darnell McDonald, who established Fiesta Bowl records for most receiving yards (206) and longest reception (77 yards for a touchdown), while also tying the Fiesta Bowl record with three touchdown receptions.

Syracuse, behind one of the nation’s most exciting players in quarterback Donovan McNabb, moved the ball on offense but had a hard time putting the ball in the end zone when it got into Kansas State territory. The Orangemen were held to three short field goals by Nathan Trout and had a key turnover late in the game.

Trailing 28-18, Syracuse had the ball at the Kansas State 17-yard line. McNabb took the snap and ran to the left side where he looked to have a clear path to the end zone. But, as he turned the corner, the ball hit off his hip, and Defensive Player of the Game Travis Ochs recovered for Kansas State.

The Wildcats took advantage of the turnover, as they marched down the field and scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Bishop to McDonald that put the game out of reach.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Kansas State
0
21
0
14
35
Syracuse
3
12
0
3
18

Yardstick

KSU
SYR
21
First Downs
24
40-140
Rushes-Yards
38-176
317
Passing Yards
271
14-23-1
Passes
16-39-1
61
Return Yards
0
3-44.0
Punts
5-43.0
0-0
Fumbles-Lost
1-1
7-58
Penalties-Yards
8-68

How They Scored

KSU
SYR
0
3
Nathan Trout 27 yard field goal
7
3
Darnell McDonald 19 yard pass from Michael Bishop (Martin Gramatica kick)
14
3
Bishop 12 yard run (Gramatica kick)
21
3
Justin Swift 28 yard pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick)
21
10
Dee Brown 24 yard run (Trout kick)
21
12
Safety. Ball snapped out of end zone
21
15
Trout 33 yard field goal
28
15
McDonald 77 yard pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick)
28
18
Trout 40 yard field goal
35
18
McDonald 41 yard pass from Bishop (Gramatica kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing
KSU
Michael Bishop 15-73, Mike Lawrence 11-20, Eric Hickson 7-26, Brian Goolsby 5-25, Matt Gangwish 1-9.
SYR
Donovan McNabb 16-81, Kyle McIntosh 11-18, Dee Brown 6-47, Nick Sudano 3-18, Kevin Johnson 1-10, Keith Downing 1-2.
Passing
KSU
Michael Bishop 14-23-1-317.
SYR
Donovan McNabb 16-39-1-271.
Receiving
KSU
Darnell McDonald 7-206, Justin Swift 5-98, Gavin Peries 2-13.
SYR
Quinton Spotwood 5-51, Kevin Johnson 4-101, Dee Brown 3-26, Jim Turner 2-59, Jeff Lowe 1-29, Darryl Daniel 1-5.