The Notre Dame offense had driven inside the Rutgers 30-yard line six times but had just 19 points to show for it. Clinging on to a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter of the Pinstripe Bowl, senior quarterback Tommy Rees, playing his final game in a Notre Dame uniform, made sure the Fighting Irish would get in the end zone to seal a win.
Rees led the Irish on a 10-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a Tarean Folston 3-yard touchdown run to cap off an eventual 29-16 win.
Notre Dame outgained the Scarlet Knights 494-237 in total offense on the afternoon, but the Rutgers defense held the Fighting Irish to five Kyle Brindza field goals to keep things close.
Both offenses were pretty even early. The score was tied at 13 at half time after Rutgers’ Kyle Federico matched two Brindza field goals, ND’s T.J. Jones scored on an 8-yard run and Rutgers’ Chas Dodd found Brandon Coleman on a 14-yard score.
Things got sloppy on both sides, but Notre Dame took control of the game in the second half. The Scarlet Knights struggled to get anything going while Notre Dame put together long drives, but continued to settle for field goals. The Folston touchdown run with 3:38 to go finally gave the Irish a two-score advantage. Dodd threw an interception – his third of the game – on the ensuing possession. Another Brindza field goal followed to put the game out of reach.
Rees finished the game 27-of-47 for 319 yards. Cam McDaniel and Folston ran for 80 and 73 yards respectively.
Dodd struggled mightily in his last game at Rutgers. The senior completed only 10 of his 28 attempts for 156 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Fighting Irish, who played without running back George Atkinson III and cornerback Jalen Brown due to suspension, finish the year at 9-4 and could potentially sneak into the final BCS rankings.
With the loss, Rutgers dips below .500 to finish the season with a 6-7 record.
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