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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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2013 Pinstripe Bowl Notre Dame vs Rutgers Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a much lesser bowl than last year, but still they are happy to be taking on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at New Yankee Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN and has a start time of 12:00 pm (Eastern).  Current odds have Notre Dame listed as 14 point favorites, while the total sits at 53.5.

Analysis: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights barely made it into a bowl with a 6-6 record on the year. Despite making it to a bowl game, the Knights haven't playing all that well as they have won just 2 of their last 7 games, with the two wins coming vs lowly Temple and South Florida. The Offense has really left this team in their last 7 games as they have averaged just 19.1 ppg over that stretch, compared to putting up 40 ppg during their 4-1 start. Gary Nova has been inconsistent for the Knights behind center as he has completed just 54.5% of his passes for 2159 yards. He has 18 TD passes for the year, but also has 14 picks. Defensively the Knights come in at 69th overall, but where they struggle most is vs the pass, as they have allowed 311.4 ypg through the air, which is 122nd in the nation.

After playing in the BCS Title game last year, they 8-4 Irish have been relegated to a much lesser bowl this year. The Irish might have been inline for a better bowl game but they struggled late in the year, losing 2 of their final 3 games. THe Irish are led by QB Tommy Rees, who had a much better year than most thought he would. Rees comes into this game having thrown for 2938, with 27 TDs and 13 INTs. He has completed just 53.7 % of his passes, but has made better decisions this year at crucial times. Tommy has a favorite target in TJ Jones, who has 65 catches for 1042 yards and 10 TDs, while Cam McDaniel is the teams leading ground gainer with 620 yards. On defense the Irish are not as stout as last year, but they still have allowed a respectable 22.9 ppg and they are 18th in the nation vs the pass.     

Pick: I see this as a low scoring game. The Rutgers offense comes in struggling mightily, having scored just 19.1 ppg in their last 7 games and the only times they put up more than 17 points in that stretch was vs lowly Temple and South Florida. Rutgers did put up 51 points on Fresno State in their opener, but in their last 4 games vs bowl teams they were able to muster just 14.5 ppg. The Irish defense was not as good as last year, but still respectable, allowing just 23 ppg. They did give up 26 ppg vs bowl teams, but this Rutgers just doesn't have type of offensive punch to put up anywhere near that. On defense Rutgers has struggled big time, especially vs bowl teams, allowing 44 ppg, but still they are taking on a conservative Irish offense that loves to play ball control and work on the clock. The Irish will use that game plan on offense, while their defense gives up no more than 17 here. I see this as a 31-17 type game.  

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