Two under-achieving teams will meet at Yankee Stadium for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, as Notre Dame and Rutgers square off this postseason.
Notre Dame started the season with a win over Temple, before losing a tough one at Michigan. The Irish were the only team to beat Michigan State, and joined Wisconsin and Stanford as the only teams to defeat Arizona State. However, the losses to the Wolverines and Pittsburgh (as well as defeats to Oklahoma and Stanford) knocked them out of any hopes at BCS contention.
Rutgers looked like they could be a contender in the AAC, opening with an overtime loss to Fresno State and four straight wins, including victories over Arkansas and SMU. They lost four of their next five games to AAC contenders Louisville, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF, before suffering a new low with a loss to Connecticut (who were 1-9 at the time). A win against South Florida in the season finale granted bowl eligibility.
Rankings and records: Neither team is ranked. The Irish went 8-4, while Rutgers was 6-6 with a 3-5 conference record good for seventh in the AAC. Notre Dame has won all four matchups between the two schools.
Vegas: Notre Dame is a 15.5-point favorite. The over/under is 52.5 points.
Weather: Low 30s.
Three names to know
Tommy Rees. The Irish's quarterback has been plagued by inconsistency, and threw at least two interceptions in each of Notre Dame's losses.
T.J. Jones. Rees' top target is averaging more than 16 yards per catch with over 100 all-purpose yards per game and ten total touchdowns.
Paul James. The Scarlet Knights running back is a walk-on and, despite missing four games to injury, ran for over 800 yards. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry with nine touchdowns.
Two things at stake
Kyle Flood's seat is about as hot as it gets, and a bowl win over the likes of the Irish would help cool that down.
After a run to the national title game last year, Notre Dame is looking to make up for a disappointing season with a bowl win.
How to witness
TV: 12:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Radio: Here's a list of Notre Dame affiliates. For Rutgers, try 1450 AM and 97.5 FM.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Location: Bronx, NY
Stadium: Yankee Stadium (54,251)
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: Syracuse 38, West Virginia 24
Last year's attendance: 39,098
Last year's TV rating: 3.4 (5.1 million viewers)
Last year's payout for each school: $1,800,000
Team with the most all-time appearances: Syracuse (two)
Team with the most all-time wins: Syracuse (two)