Notre Dame to Face Rutgers in Pinstripe Bowl

Notre Dame vs. Rutgers - 2013 Pinstripe Bowl
Rutgers Scarlet Knights mascot during the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night we learned that Notre Dame had officially accepted a bid to play in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 28. Late Saturday night we learned that the Irish will be facing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as their opponent in Yankee Stadium.

Heading into Saturday it was still unclear who Notre Dame would square off against in the Pinstripe Bowl with Rutgers and Houston the two rumored opponents.  In order for Rutgers to get the bid to face the Irish though, they had to take care of business on Saturday afternoon which they did in a 31-6 victory over South Florida to attain bowl eligibility.

So mark your calendars.  Notre Dame’s 2013 bowl game is on December 28 in New York City at historic Yankee Stadium against the Rutgers Scarlett Knights.  Kick off is set for 12:15 PM ET.  Not exactly the way most hoped the season would end in August considering last year at this time the Irish were making preparations for Alabama and the national championship game, but given the way this season has gone, this could be a nice way to end the season and build momentum for 2014.

If you are not playing in a BCS Bowl or the national championship, the purpose of your bowl game should be to end your season on a high note, reward the players for their work, use the practice time to prepare younger players, and help on the recruiting trail.

The Pinstripe Bowl with Rutgers as Notre Dame’s opponent accomplishes all of that.  The Irish will be a large favorite in the game, Yankee Stadium will sound like a home game for Notre Dame even though Rutgers is located in nearby New Jersey, and even though New York City in December isn’t the warm weather destination the players had hoped for, there are certainly far worse places the players could spend their new year’s eve than the mecca of all new year’s eve celebrations.

Notre Dame will also have a chance to get a win over Rutgers in their own backyard.  Rutgers is desperate to stake claim to the recruiting grounds in the New York city metro area, but hasn’t been able to do so.  Notre Dame has won recruiting battles in the New York and New Jersey areas much more often than they’ve lost to Rutgers over the years.  Bennett Jackson, Elijah Shumate, Ishaq Williams, Tyler Stockton, Carlo Calabrese, and Jarron Jones are current players on the Notre Dame roster from either New York or New Jersey.  Incoming freshmen Jay Hayes, Quenton Nelson, and Andrew Trumbetti are all from New York and New Jersey as well.

Most importantly, this matchup gives Notre Dame a great chance to end its season on a winning note – something that would give the Irish momentum in recruiting during the final push for the class of 2014.  In recent years, whenever Notre Dame has a lost a bowl game, recruiting has fallen apart in January and February.  After the Champs Sports Bowl in 2011 Notre Dame lost Ronald Darby to the team that beat them, Florida State, and failed to close strong as they did the year before when the Irish soundly beat Miami in the Sun Bowl.

It might not be the national championship and it might not be a location full of sun and fun, but when you are a 8-4 football team those are luxuries you are not always afforded.  For Notre Dame though, the Pinstripe Bowl gives them an excellent change to be a 9-4 football team with momentum on and off the field heading into a 2014 season that has the potential to end with a much more merrier holiday season for the Fighting Irish.

Go IRISH!  Beat Rutgers!

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  1. Out of 123 Division-I college football teams, Rutgers ranks 120th in passing yards allowed.(ahead of only Troy, Idaho, & Cal)

    For the year, opponents have attempted 474 passes against the Rutgers Defense, for 3737 yards, good for 31 TD’s, and a passing yards per game average of over 300 per game. (311.4 yards)

    Offensively, both teams rank fairly close to each other with ND holding a slight edge in most offensive catagories.

    1. Sounds like a green light for BK to abandon the run game early and let TR air it out like 50 times. Personally i would like to see Folston carry the ball 23-28 times and get GA3 and Cam a few token carries. Get used to it GA3 and Cam. Thats what your senior year is going to look like.

  2. Final Word–short and sweet-

    JUST DO IT, DAMN IT!!!!!!!!

  3. Just run the damn ball, hog the clock and give a great defensive effort.
    It isn’t rocket science.
    I don’t CARE if it is in “Rutgers back yard”–Most of the Nation still is FILLED swith ND Alumni. Take Rutgers seriously and put these dudes away–and get some killer instinct for the love of heaven and earth.
    It’s Rutgers–Not Florida State.
    C-Dog asks “why Rutgers isn’t Pitt?”
    That deserves to be looked at.
    ND lost on fundamentals –loose ball, easy 7 points–not alert.
    Turnovers ( again)
    ND LOST that –Pitt did not necessarily win.
    They were just more hungry–especially on Heinz Field.
    That is the ONLY reason Rutgers would like to make New Years Eve memorable by beating a name team in their “back yard.”
    They will have target practice for ND -and ND should expect that –and take them as seriously as Mich. St –and bring it —immediately–not letting Rutgers in the game. No excuses–NO BEING DRIVEN INTO THE GROUND LIKE NAVY And AIR FORCE AND PITT–Defense rise to this occasion as it if were Clemson, USC and Sparty.

    Kill, destroy, conquer.
    No apologies.

  4. Jack, rankings are elections, a behavioral science, not football. Always have been, always will be.

    I believe that is a shame, and absurd that we don’t have a 16 team playoff.
    That’s sports. That’s competition. Settle it on the gridiron.

    Notwithstanding, when Notre Dame went 12-0 last year we got the berth in the National Championship game against Alabama.

    The solution is simple (uncomplicated) but difficult. Win all the games you play.

    Just win, Irish!


    “I always liked this guy; when I’ve seen him interviewed he is impressive: Razor sharp, clean cut and exudes confidence and optimism. I’d think most parents like it when he comes into their living room.

    Having said that, the play calling was ofteny highly questionable this year.
    Was it Martin calling 51 passes per game vs UM?
    Or all those long, low % throws against MSU on 3rd & short? Etc.
    Was it Martin abandoning the run game?
    Or was Kelly responsible?
    Or was it Rees checking into all those throws?

    This will probably forever remain a mystery.

    One thing I will say is this: For a guy who swore he wasn’t calling the plays this year, BK was doing a great imitation of a guy calling plays.

    Talking furiously into headset with laminated game plan card held up to his face to defeat lip readers as ND huddled. Isn’t that what guys who call plays do?

    Whatever. I wish Chuck well. Chicago Irish guy who gave ND his very best for 4 years.”

      1. Hey, Burgundy, heck of a coaching job your man Mike Tomlin is doing in Pittsburgh. Losing to Miami in a snow storm! Perhaps ND should hire him and try to repeat the “Golden Era” of Tyrone Willingham, another under-qualified affirmative action cautionary tale. But, of course, lest Burgundy play his race baiting card, I’d love to see Tony Dungy, a truly qualified coach, who learned his craft from Chaz Knoll, be the coach of any of my teams at any time!

    1. It is not a matter of guts, so much as I think he thinks offense is his bag and he wants a, I know this is a dreaded term, “game manager” to execute his philosophy and plan. So, don’t hold your breath on a “guru.”

    2. BJ
      Who are you thinking as candidates for possible OC besides in-house possibilities MD or TA as meeting your criteria. Please don’t think I am being flippant. I am just curious as to who you were thinking.

      1. Not my choice, but I think it will be Denbrock. I won’t claim to have a great knowledge of up and coming OCs. It is just that I think BK is a real hands-on when it comes to the offense and wants to OC to be an extension of himself.

  6. But, cousinnap, don’t you know that this is Rutgers’ Super Bowl? Don’t you know that in some mysterious way, unknown to the laws of science, the Scarlet Knights will in a few weeks morph into a combination of the 72 Dolphins, 79 Steelers, and 85 Bears. Their struggling QB will show his true self and turn out to be a cross between Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and John Elway. We’ll be told by many here if ND struggles or God forbid loses that Rutgers is the greatest 6-6 team in the history of football at any level, both an irresistible force and an immovable object. You see some here still believe that Temple, Purdue, and Pitt are great teams. I can hear the excuse makers already.

    If ND doesn’t win this game by at least 17-20 points it’s an absolute embarrassment. Enough already of playing down to the level of weak opponents and not being ready to challenge the big boys. Time to change the trend and thrash the Temples and Purdues and play with the Bamas and other top teams.

    Be ND!

    Really Play Like a Champion instead of making that a punchline for the ND haters!

    1. SFR,
      Better watch what you say. It’s my country right or wrong around here. We have to pretend it’s 1946, although God help you and your entire extended family if you refer to what made ND great prior to 1994.

      ND better mop the stadium with these guys.

      Anyone with good analysis as to why Rutgers isn’t Pitt?

    2. Steel Fan for President!
      Finally a man with some backbone, combination of telling it like it is–what is broken, what needs to be fixed, what could and HOW it could be better –and still encouraging. Steel Fan–want a coaching job?

      1. Thanks for the kind words, irisheye62 and C-Dog. I think those of us who don’t get tossed to and from with every shifting wind of ND football discourse from either end of the spectrum need to stick together. The world’s not coming to end by playing in the Pinstripe Bowl. But if this is what many here consider success, then we might as well be living in the end times of ND football.

        Just keeping speaking truth to power (that’s what prophets should do!) and let’s hope we can make a few converts from either extreme. Reel in a few of the “Chicken Littles”/”fire BK now!” types as well the “Don’t dare question BK”/”ND football is still great!”/”wait til next year” crowd.

        Don’t just say “We Are ND! Be ND! Man up and destroy Rutgers!

        Don’t just say “Play like a Champion”. Actually go out and let your play do the talking. Beat the Scarlet Knights by at least 3 TDs.

        Go Irish!

      2. I remember the last time ND played Rutgers, look up the score. Enough said, ND should roll. Rutgers plays in a crappy conference and was drubbed by Cincy. Come on Man! They have a month to heal and get kids reps. NO EXCUSES!


  8. Absolutely a crap matchup but the Irish have no choice. 17 point favorites and I would not touch this game. Damned if they win, damned if they don’t.

  9. Not so fast my friend! We all realize that RU is just barely a .500 team and that they have gotten clobbered by a few teams this year. Their QB situation is not good, no matter which one they use. Wuith that being said and the fact that previous ND / RU games have been a blowout, don’t count the Knights short. They are playing what amounts to a home game and they have nothing to lose. Do I think RU can realistically beat ND…, but stranger things have happen especially this year in the NCAA. let’s hope Rees is on his game, whatever that is because is he turns the ball over anything could happen. Realistically ND 27 RU 10! Go Irish!

  10. Great venue to play a bowl game looking forward to watching this group go after a 9th win for the season looking forward to watching those 2 beasts on the left side Martin and Watt blow up one more time go IRISH beat Rutgers

  11. How does USC finish in the top 25. They got dominated by UCLA. the only quality win they had was Stanford. Also, ND played 2 top five teams, beating one of them, and 5 teams ranked in the top 25. Three of the teams they played are playing in BCS games. OSU played one top five team and got beat. Rankings are bull shit!

    1. Realize that the Irish are going to have ups and downs in the popularity contest until they truly re-establish themselves. You have to be somewhat consistent. And unfortunately, among the coaches, ND is at a disadvantage. Coaches may hate their inconference rivals, but they stand together when voting. And so you’ll see the conferences protect turf. It’s questionable whether ND will get an ACC bump next year. A sad reality.

    2. Jack–
      Living here in Columbus, Ohio I assure you that if the suckeyes played the schedule ND did they would NOT be BCS this year. Year after year , three ( or four) games at home at noon which are mere scrimmage games. These are followed by a mixture of 8 Big Ten Games which are a mix of very poor, mediocre teams and some –maybe three which are good or better.
      OSU strength of schedule is a joke, a sham, a feast of empty victories combined with a few “classics” ( and they do have those to their credit–which is not much in the big picture)

      Mich. St loses to the Irish in a sloppy slug fest on both sides —
      and then Sparty beats the Buckeyes was awesome to see.
      Truth be told, if ND has MSU today, Sparty would probably win. When ND was playing the green and white, OSU had Florida a and m–a NON FBS team. Really?
      OSU beat the # 2 Texas Longhorns and Michigan some years back in the same season filled with 8-9 VERY weak teams and one would have thought the Queen of England moved to Columbus.
      No Jack ratings are not fair.
      But when an over rated academically poor university ( 52 in the nation) with the scam of “intesne scrutiny for admission” ( which is only true for freshman because others can get in their sophomore year from anywhere)
      –when a college that big with more sports than any other and more $$ in those sports combined –there is power. NOT TRUTH, mind you–but Power. Oswho lost to a much better Sparty team because of the pass and swarming defense.
      Osu rarely plays a schedule with more than 2 or 3 top 25 teams. In Columbus, the delusional media calls it “tough” –In the Bible they call it dung!
      Others who love their teams –and are realists–call it hot air and self-indulgence and crap piled so high. It’s no wonder oswho is red and gray.
      The latter of the two from blah schedules and myopic views. The former from the embarrassment that they should have from being so puffed up with their ego, crude fans and their over inflated selves as if the sun rises and sets on osu. Unfortunately, the double standard is that ND has to dominate to be “relevant” in the eyes of close minded people and voters from o. state.
      Final point: Isn’t it however, ironic, that when ND loses to a well known program ( weak schedule and all) that the same opponet when beating ND claims it is a “great milestone” or “great win” for their program. ND wins and the other team is dubbed “short of victory” to the Irish. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      I was hoping OSU would get Bama. They have yet to beat the south more than twice.
      They complain about that but they don’t set up a series with the SEC or anyone from the South ( except UAB and TROY) because they know the result would be a thumping.
      AGAIN, if oswho would play the schedule ND does, they wouldn’t do well most years.
      Go Clemson -beat suckeyes.
      Go Irish–beat Rutgers and GOD BLESS the Spartans for making this town a bit quieter in their defeat!
      I’m suprised they didn’t riot at academicaly 52nd ranked osu.

  12. Sadly, the Pinstripe Bowl game will not be at “historic” Yankee Stadium. It will be played at the NEW Yankee Stadium just down the street from where the Historic Yankee Stadium was. Just a point of interest.

    1. Green Day:

      I’m not talking smack here–Notre Dame has not played pretty football most of the year. Looking Back beating Michigan STATE was a BIG win–with sloppy play on both sides. Given where Sparty is now ( thank GOD they beat the suckeyes of osu) Given that–ND can get the job done. ND does NOT have that killer instinct–at all.
      Running game established Irish are good to go.
      Return teams –not great-and coverage on opponet return not great. QB is not solid–but we still ahve some talent to win some games–Arizona State for example.
      Rutgers cannot even BEGIN to play the schedule ND has most years. Still–they would AND SHOULD give it their best.
      Have you seen Rutgers play?
      It’s not pretty either.
      It’s not anything close–ND wins this one–or I owe you 50 bucks.

  13. a minor bowl against an Eastern opponent. Hmmm.

    In 1976, after losing a late November tilt in California (SC) the Irish
    played Penn State in the Gator Bowl. The Irish won, 20-9. The following year the Irish had a whole group of success despite a slow September start.

    This is a great chance for Kendall Moore to cement his fifty year.
    For Max Redfield to see the field in significant snaps at safety.
    For Jarron Jones to have a lights out game at noseguard.
    For Isaac Rochell to use the two weeks of practice to prep for a starting role in 2014.

    For Harry Hiestand to get Hegarty, Hanratty and Elmer ready for more snaps than they thought they’d get.

    For Ishaq to begin his “arrival” as a senior.

    For Romeo Okwara to continue being an effective swing player.

    For Cole Luke and Devin Butler to position themselves for the starting CB battle opposite KeiVarae Russell in 2014.

    For Shumate and Hardy to overcome punctuality challenges and rejoin the safety rotation.

    For Andrew Trumbetti and Jay Hayes to enjoy the pracices and the game, just a few days before Trumbetti heads off to South Bend as an early entrant.

    For the young receivers, Robinson, Brown, Fuller, Prosise, Onwualu to begin positioning themselves for the WR battle for T.J.Jones minutes and catches for the Spring and 2014.

    For Stephon Tuitt, for one last performance on the soil (albeit surrounded by a different edifice and façade) that once was underfoot of Lujack, Czarobski, Connor, Martin, Fisher and Hart.

    For the Doppelgangers, Martin and Watt to finish with a blaze of glory.

    It’s Notre Dame football. There’s a lot to see here.

  14. The opponent, which is not good, makes this a must win game. ND really doesn’t have much to gain here and everything to lose.

    Go Irish!

    1. You bet this makes it a “must win” game for the Irish….but with so many jobs at stake on the other side what doesn’t kill you tends to make you stronger. Dont count Rutgers out….they’ve surprised much better than ND.

      Have kids at both schools and have sat faithfully through seasons with both.

      It will come down to simply who wants it more as it always does.

      Good luck to all.

      A Very Weary, but committed Fan who sits in the middle


  15. works for me, yankee stadium is right in my backyard

    ….now if i can only scrounge up a few hundred bucks for tickets…

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