Bronx, NY—The second Pinstripe Bowl between a team from the Big East and one from the Big 12 was played at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon, December 30. The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (9-4), in its second game at the Stadium in 2011, was victorious over the Iowa State Cyclones (6-7), 27-13.
The Big 12 is currently one of the three major football conferences, along with the Big Ten and SEC, in the nation. Eight of the ten teams in the Big 12 will be participating in a Bowl game to end this season. Iowa State, although only 3-6 in the conference qualified for a Bowl bid by completing the regular season with a 6-6 mark.
Rutgers, although not a major football power, has an important place in collegiate football history. Rutgers defeated Princeton in the first college football game in the sport’s history. The contest took place in New Brunswick, NJ, on November 6, 1869. Rutgers played its first football game at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 1926. Although it lost the contest, 30-0 to NYU, Rutgers was invited back to the Stadium for each of the next seven years. Rutgers did not score a victory on Yankee Stadium turf until November 12, 2011 when the Scarlet Knights bested Army.
On Friday afternoon, the Cyclones brought the ball to the Rutgers 23 in its first possession. The drive ended successfully with a 40 yard field goal kicked by Zach Guyer at 13:41. Its second drive ended at the 28 yard line of Rutgers with a career high 46 yard field goal by Guyer at 7:35. Iowa State did not score again until 10 minutes before the game ended.
The second quarter began with Rutgers 12 yards from the Iowa State goal line after Rutgers’ quarterback Chas Dodd threw four compete passes for a total of 62 yards minutes before the first quarter concluded. The drive ended with a 1 yard touchdown run by Jawan Jamison at 12:39.
A fumble by the Iowa State quarterback gave Rutgers possession four yards from the goal line of the Cyclones. A 21 yard field goal by San San Te gave Rutgers a 10-6 advantage mid-way through the second quarter. The final touchdown of the half was accomplished by a 12 yard run by Jamison, the leading ground gainer on the Scarlet Knights during the regular season.
The 17-6 score lasted until the final quarter as neither team scored in the third quarter. A second field goal by Te, from 29 yards, gave Rutgers a 20-6 lead after one minute and 39 seconds elapsed in the final period.
The field goal was followed by a 76 yard Iowa State drive that culminated in a 20 yard touchdown rush by Jeff Woody that cut Rutgers’ advantage to seven points, 20-13, with 10 minutes left to play.
The final touchdown notched the win for Rutgers as Dodd completed a pass to Brandon Coleman that resulted in an 86 yard score at 5:47. Coach Paul Rhoads of Iowa State described the key play that impacted the final result, “20-13 and I thought the momentum was all ours and field position was good. We created a second and long situation…When the ball went up…I was very hopeful of an interception. They both went up and made the play, timing was good and their kid made a great, great catch and ran for a touchdown.”
After the contest, Rhoads gave praise to the winning team, “The team that played the best football won the game today.”
The win was the fifth straight victory for Rutgers, the national mark. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano attributed a strong motivating factor for his team was its loss to Connecticut in the final game of the regular season, “There was a bad taste in their mouth after the Connecticut game. That one really took its toll. They really worked their tails off for this game. They did it the right way.”
The events of the game will not be the only memories the student-athletes, coaches, staff and family of the Iowa State will retain. Many had never visited New York City before and were mesmerized by what they saw. Three days before the game, several Cyclones spoke with the media. Linebacker AJ Klein said he was looking forward to see Times Square, the Empire State Building and the site of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum . Quarterback Jared Burnett commented upon the experience, “It’s very overwhelming. I’ve only been here a couple of days and I’m already in love with it [New York City].”
Nine of the team had a very moving visit to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Center on Thursday morning to visit with the young patients. Tara Cannistraci of the Yankees, who traveled with the players, was very impressed by how the young men interacted with the children at the hospital.
The streets near Yankee Stadium were filled on Friday afternoon. Football fans were excited to witness the fourth college football game at the current home of the Yankees. Storekeepers were pleased to see their shops filled with customers. Dr. Cary Goodman, executive director of the 161 BID (Business Improvement District), saw the fruits of his efforts to ready the area for the onslaught of happy visitors. More than 38,000 traveled to 161st Street for the big winter event. Although Iowa State fans were disappointed by their team’s loss, they will return to the Mid-West with interesting stories to tell of what they saw in New York City and of their time within the sports palace in the Bronx.