On the spot in a bowl: Syracuse

Time to continue our series looking at which players need to step up their games in order for their teams to have success in the postseason. We turn our attention now to the Syracuse Orange, who take on Kansas State in the Dec. 30 New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The player who's on the spot is:

Strong safety Shamarko Thomas. Kansas State has a terrific running game led by Daniel Thomas, and that will likely require some safety help for the Orange. Syracuse's Thomas has played well this season, but he often split time with senior Max Suter. Suter will miss the bowl game because of an injured shoulder, so it's all on Thomas to deliver at Yankee Stadium. The way the Syracuse offense performed down the stretch, it will need its defense to dominate the action.