by CFP Staff
December 31, 2011
Rutgers pocketed its fifth straight bowl win by holding off Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl at the new Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.
A 17-point second quarter gave the Scarlet Knights a 17-6 halftime lead as head coach Greg Schiano ran his bowl record to 5-1 with Rutgers. The school had only played in one bowl game before his arrival - a 1978 loss in the short-lived Garden State Bowl at the Meadowlands.
Rutgers finished the season 9-4 by winning 4 of its last 5 games.
It was the first time Rutgers and Iowa State met college football.
Both Rutgers and Iowa State far exceeded preseason expectations. The Scarlet Knights were projected in the preseason to go 4-8 by the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com while the Cyclones (6-6) were saddled with a 2-10 forecast. None of the major season preview magazines and websites had Rutgers finishing higher than 7th in the Big East and none had Iowa State higher than 8th in the Big 12.
Voters at CollegeFootballPoll.com were split 50/50 on which team would win this game and the Congrove Computer Rankings only gave Rutgers a scant 0.665-point edge.
The Syracuse Orange defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 36-34 in the inaugural Era Pinstripe Bowl last season. It marked the first college football bowl game played in the Bronx since Nebraska edged Miami (Fla.), ironically by the same score, in the Gotham Bowl on December 15, 1962 at the original Yankee Stadium.
It was Rutgers' second appearance at Yankee Stadium this season after the Scarlet Knights defeated the Army Black Knights, 27-12, on November 12 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. In its past, Rutgers played nine times at the original Yankee Stadium, all against New York University, going 1-7-1. The last meeting in that series was played in 1952.
The 2011 Pinstripe Bowl was the fourth college football game to take place at the current Yankee Stadium. The original Yankee Stadium played host to a number of college football games from the year it opened in 1923, including New York University and Fordham home games and the two schools' annual matchup.
From 1925-46, and again in 1969, the annual Notre Dame-Army football game took place at Yankee Stadium, including the memorable "win one for the Gipper" matchup in 1928, and the 1946 contest which ended in a scoreless tie and featured four Heisman Trophy winners (Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, Johnny Lujack and Leon Hart).
From 1968-73 and '76-87, Grambling played a series of home games at Yankee Stadium, known as the Whitney M. Young Urban Classic.