Rutgers accepts invite to Pinstripe Bowl
Led by second-year head coach and 2012 Big East Coach of the Year Kyle Flood, the Scarlet Knights (6-6) responded to a season-opening loss by winning their next four games, including a 55-52 triple-overtime victory at SMU on Oct. 5. Running back Paul James (nine touchdowns) and wide receiver Leonte Carroo (nine touchdown receptions) each helped lead the Rutgers offense. Linebacker Steve Longa led all freshmen nationally with 111 tackles.
For the Scarlet Knights, it will mark the second time that the school has played in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. In 2011, Rutgers took home the George M. Steinbrenner Trophy, defeating Iowa State, 27-13, in a victory dedicated to Eric LeGrand, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a game against Army in 2010.
"I'm so proud of this team and staff for earning this unprecedented opportunity for Rutgers University," said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Julie Hermann. "The chance to compete against Notre Dame in a potentially sold-out Yankee Stadium in our own backyard is unparalleled in our history. This is a critical chance to continue our preparation as we move to the prestigious Big Ten Conference."
This will be Rutgers' third appearance at the current Yankee Stadium, after the Scarlet Knights also defeated Army, 27-12, on Nov. 12, 2011 in their first game in the Bronx since 1948. Rutgers, whose main campus in Piscataway, N.J., is located less than 50 miles away from Yankee Stadium, also played nine times at the original Yankee Stadium - all against New York University - going 1-7-1. This will mark the ninth time that the school has played in a bowl game, having tallied a 5-1 record in their previous six appearances since 2006.
"This year's Pinstripe Bowl matchup is truly special as it features two outstanding schools, in Rutgers and Notre Dame, with a great history of playing college football in Yankee Stadium," said Mark Holtzman, Executive Director of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. "We are confident that each team will only add to their respective legacies in the Bronx in what I am sure will prove to be a memorable experience for all involved during this holiday season."
Established in 2010, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has featured some of the most memorable moments of bowl seasons in just three short years, including the exciting finish in the inaugural 2010 game in which Kansas State missed a game-tying two-point conversion in the final minute. The 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which saw Syracuse defeat West Virginia 38-14, included a record-setting 213-yard rushing performance by the Orange's Prince-Tyson Gulley.
Last year's game also featured six 2013 NFL draft picks, including each of the game's starting quarterbacks - Syracuse's Ryan Nassib (Giants) and West Virginia's Geno Smith (Jets).
Additionally, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has seen increased attendance in each of its first three years of existence, including a record 41,203 in 2012. This year's game will be nationally televised by ESPN, which has also secured national and local radio rights for ESPN Radio.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl week will see players, coaches and university staff taking part in a variety of events in the days leading up to the game, showcasing their respective universities to the New York metropolitan area. Special events, promotions and community outreach will take place throughout New York City during the week of the bowl game to once again create an unforgettable experience for fans, families, players and staffs of the two teams.
Tickets for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl can be purchased now at www.pinstripebowl.com, the official Web site of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, and www.ticketmaster.com. For up-to-the-moment information regarding the game, fans are also encouraged to follow the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's official Twitter account - @PinstripeBowl.