NEW YORK — In a game that was billed as a glimpse of Notre Dame’s future, it didn’t take long for the Irish to fall back into their old habits.
In its final appearance of 2013, Notre Dame (9-4) scrapped out a 29-16 win over Rutgers (6-7) in the Pinstripe Bowl Saturday, Dec. 28.
Most of Notre Dame’s success throughout the day boiled down to kicker Kyle Brindza’s leg. Brindza nailed five of six field goals on the day, bailing Notre Dame out of its continued red zone scoring struggles. Much of the game was a microcosm of Notre Dame’s entire 2013 campaign — opposing quarterback scrambling for big-chunk gains, Tommy Rees overshooting receivers in the end zone and shoddy kickoff return coverage.
TJ Jones scored Notre Dame’s only touchdown of the first three quarters off an eight-yard run. The Irish wouldn’t find the end zone again until freshman running back Tarean Folson punched in a three-yarder in the waning minutes of the game.
The Irish and Scarlet Knights exchanged scores through most of the game until the Irish scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
Tommy Rees finished 27-of-47 for 319 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions in his final game in a Notre Dame uniform.
Rutgers’ sole touchdown came off a 14-yard pass from Chas Dodd to Brandon Coleman in the first quarter.