The 2013 Pinstripe Bowl wasn't played in a blizzard like the 2012 edition, but it was still a mess. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish outgained the Rutgers Scarlet Knights by more than a 2:1 ratio, but repeated field goals close to the goal line meant the Irish had to grind away for a 29-16 win in Yankee Stadium.
The early going in this game was actually fairly compelling football. It was 10-10 after 15 minutes, with touchdowns coming via a T.J. Jones touchdown run for Notre Dame and a 14 yard pass from Chas Dodd to Brandon Coleman for the Scarlet Knights. The offense basically stopped after that. Notre Dame was able to move the ball fairly well, but penalties, sloppiness, and a conservative situational game plan kept Rutgers in the game. The Irish settled for three field goals of 26 yards or less, all while just one touchdown in one of those situations would have given the game a completely different feel.
Rutgers was still within one score until the last four minutes, when Notre Dame put the game to bed with a three yard Tarean Folston touchdown run. Dodd threw an interception on the ensuing drive, which rendered the rest of the game academic.
The box score for Rutgers was predictably ugly. Dodd went 6-19 for 104 yards, a touchdown and three picks, and running back Justin Goodwin was picked off on a halfback pass attempt. Paul James was the team's leading rusher with 48 yards on 10 carries, and the team only amassed 229 yards of total offense.
There was some weirdness for Notre Dame, as well. The offense put up almost 500 yards of total offense, but Tommy Rees -- hardly the kind of quarterback Irish fans would want throwing the ball in high volume -- went 27-47 for 319 yards. 47 attempts. You crazy for this one, Brian Kelly.
Box Score Hero:
Cam McDaniel and Tarean Folston chewed up a lot of ground for the Irish today. They combined for 153 yards and a touchdown.
Notre Dame could sneak back into the final BCS standings with the win.
But Did They Cover?
Notre Dame was a 14.5 point favorite at kickoff, so they did not cover the spread.
For More On This Game:
For more on the Fighting Irish, head over to One Foot Down.
For more on the Scarlet Knights, check out On The Banks.