Yankee Stadium might be home of the Bronx Bombers, but it’s turning into a multi-purpose complex.
Dec. 30 in the Bronx, Yankee Stadium will re-open for the bowl season, as it is the venue for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which will showcase Rutgers of the Big East and Iowa State of the Big 12 Conference.
This matchup will be the first-ever meeting between the Scarlet Knights and the Cyclones on the gridiron.
Our latest Pinstripe Bowl odds list the Scarlet Knights as a 2-point favorite, while the total has been listed at 45 points.
Rutgers got out to a 5-1 start, then had a late three-game win streak that was snapped with a 40-22 loss to UConn to end the year and end up in fourth place in the conference (4-3). Rutgers was 2-3 away from home this year, and finished with a 1-2 overall mark versus the three Big East co-champions. Two of the four defeats came by two points each, and three losses were by 14 points combined.
Rutgers is one of the better defensive teams in the nation, rating 12th in the nation in points surrendered (19 points per game), surrendering 315 yards per game (168 throwing, 147 running) while compiling 33 sacks and generating 31 turnovers with four taken back for touchdowns (Scott Vallone and Marcus Cooper, fumbles; Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan, picks).
Khaseem Greene leads this defense with 127 stops (56 more than any other player on the team), chipping in three sacks and forcing two fumbles, while Justin Francis has 6.5 sacks to go with 60 stops, two blocked kicks, an interception and a fumble recovery. Harmon has five picks with 45 tackles, while Jamal Harrell has three blocked kicks, two forced fumbles, 39 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Offensively, Rutgers ranks 66th in the country in scoring (26 ppg) while compiling 336 yards per contest (245 passing, 91 running). Chas Todd and Gary Nova have combined to complete 54 percent of their attempts for 2,931 yards and 20 scores with 16 picks. The offensive line has given up 30 sacks.
The top receiver is Mohamed Sanu with 109 catches (78 more than anyone else) for 1,144 yards and seven scores, while Jawan Jamison paces the ground attack with 766 yards and seven scores on 3.8 yards per tote.
The Cyclones were streaky this year started 3-0, then lost four in a row, then won three in a row, then dropped their last two games against Oklahoma (26-6) and Kansas State (30-23). Iowa State was 1-4 against current top-25 schools, but has an overtime win over No. 3 Oklahoma State. Iowa State was 2-4 away from home, with three of those defeats against top-25 teams.
ISU ranks 82nd nationally in points surrendered (30 ppg), surrendering 432 yards per contest (237 throwing, 195 on the ground) while recording 17 sacks and generating 24 turnovers one taken back for a touchdown (A.J. Klein, pick).
Jake Knott paces the defense with 107 stops and three forced fumbles, adding two picks and a fumble recovery, while Klein has 101 tackles with two sacks and one interception. Patrick Neal has 3.5 sacks, 38 tackles and two forced fumbles, while Ter’Ran Benton has three picks, 62 tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Cyclones rank 86th in the nation in offense (23 ppg) while totaling 393 yards per game (218 passing, 181 rushing). Steele Jantz and Jared Barnett have combined to complete 52 % of their throws for 2,500 yards and 16 scores with 15 INTs.
Darius Reynolds paces the receiving corps with 41 catches for 655 yards and seven TDs, while Josh Lenz adds 35 grabs for 438 yards and two touchdowns. James White leads the rushing game with 701 yards and eight scores on 4.7 yards per carry.