Pinstripe Bowl – Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date and Time: Saturday 12/28/13 at 12:00pm on ESPN
Game Line: Notre Dame -14 (from JustBet)
Saturday’s Pinstripe Bowl NCAA Football Analysis: The 25th ranked Fighting Irish and the Scarlet Knights meet in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. A season after a run to the National Championship game, Notre Dame had a very uneven season. A four game winning streak had them 7-2 on November second before losing two of their last three games. Notre Dame nearly came back from 15 points down to Stanford in their regular season finale on November 30 before losing 27-20. Tommy Rees threw a pair of fourth quarter interceptions to seal his team’s fate and this will be his final game as the Notre Dame quarterback. Next season the Irish will be a part of the ACC bowl line up, which will include an automatic bid to the Pinstripe bowl, while Rutgers is heading to the Big Ten. Rutgers had an even more lackluster season than Notre Dame, needing to beat South Florida 31-6 in their last game to become bowl eligible, ending a three game losing streak. The Scarlet Knights are earning their eighth bowl bid in nine years, but they hardly put together a strong campaign to end their AAC tenure. This game will not be a fun one for the Scarlet Knights if they don’t play better defense. They shut down woeful South Florida, but Rutgers gave up an average of 38 points in their previous seven games and their 311 passing yards allowed per contest is among the worst marks in the country. While Notre Dame has an above average passing attack, with extra time to prepare this should allow Rees to find open receivers and move the ball against this weak pass defense. Despite the less than great seasons from both of these teams, they seem likely to play before a large crowd, Notre Dame has a large following in New York and Rutgers isn’t very far from Yankee Stadium. Chas Dodd is likely to make his third start of the season for the Scarlet Knights since replacing Gary Nova. He has been average, even with the increased pass attempts because the Rutgers defense is so poor they were often playing from behind.
Rutgers vs Notre Dame NCAA Football Picks: Rutgers +14 and over 53.5
Rutgers vs Notre Dame Game Prediction: 31-24 Notre Dame
What to expect in the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers defense isn’t strong enough for their team to win this game, but with the extra time to get ready they should have a scheme to contain the Notre Dame passing attack at least through the first half. As the game goes on and Notre Dame feels out the Rutgers secondary they will start to exploit them and pull away in the fourth quarter. Rutgers will have an effective day running the ball and keeping it away from the Notre Dame offense to limit their chances to score. Notre Dame has too much talent and Rutgers defense is not strong enough for them to win this game, but 14 points is too many for a matchup between two teams who really failed to meet expectations this season.