Just one season removed from a record setting rushing performance at Yankee Stadium, Northwestern junior Justin Jackson set a new standard.
Jackson rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to victory against Pittsburgh in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday.
Although this year's game didn't come within sniffing distance of last year's Pinstripe Bowl record 651 combined rushing yards by Duke and Indiana, Jackson's 224 yards comes up just three yards short of the Individual record set by Indiana running back Divine Redding last season.
Jackson's stellar performance, particularly in his 149-yard, two-touchdown first half, seemed that it would set up a battle between a pair of elite running backs. Pitt has relied heavily on James Conner and the senior running back has not failed to produce. Conner was named first-team All-ACC for his 1,060-yard, 16-touchdown performance this season. His 56 career touchdowns and 52 career rushing touchdowns are the most in ACC history. Amazingly, he's done it all after announcing he had overcome Hodgkins lymphoma this past May.
"He is a legacy player at Pitt," head coach Pat Narduzzi said. "He's going to have a heck of an NFL career, I can tell you that." More »
The 2015 New Era Pinstripe Bowl ended with a finish reminiscent of last season's final moments at Yankee Stadium.
For the second consecutive year, the teams needed overtime to settle the contest, which was once again decided by a field goal. Duke ended its bowl game slump and came out on top of Indiana, 44-41.
This was the fourth straight season that the Blue Devils earned a trip to a bowl game after losing each of its postseason opportunities under head coach David Cutcliffe in the final moments of the game.
"Our team had a lot of heart. Our team had a lot of good leadership," Cutcliffe said following the win. "It wasn't all perfect tonight, but there was a will, a strong will, to prepare, a strong will to continue competing even when we fell behind in the fourth quarter."
"I think it was critical that we believed we could come out and pull this game out. If not the fourth quarter, then overtime." More »
In his pregame press conference, New York Yankees President Randy Levine called the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl "the most successful game in its history," based on advanced ticket sales and the dream matchup of Penn State vs. Boston College. Mr. Levine evidently is clairvoyant, because the game also met the lofty standards of the pre-game hype.
For the first time in Pinstripe Bowl history, 60 minutes was insufficient to settle the affair, and Christian Hackenberg and the Nittany Lions willed their way back twice in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Penn State then claimed its first bowl win since 2010, 31-30, in front of a record crowd of 49,012 at Yankee Stadium.
"New York was an unbelievable host," Penn State coach James Franklin said after the win. "The way the guys persevered, it wasn't always pretty, but the guys stuck together and that's who we are: a blue collar, hard-nosed program."
Hackenberg capped off his sophomore campaign with 371 passing yards and four touchdowns, each a school record, earning the game's Most Valuable Player award as the Nittany Lions claimed their first bowl win since 2010. More »
Kyle Brindza's favorite athlete is New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. On Saturday, the Notre Dame kicker did his best to imitate the future Hall of Famer.
Brindza made five field goals, including two in the fourth quarter, to help Notre Dame defeat Rutgers, 29-16, in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in front of a record crowd of 47,122 at Yankee Stadium.
"Fourth quarter's what I love," Brindza said of the success he's had making pressure kicks. "The reason why I love Rivera is because he's a closer. That's what I like to think of myself."
Three times in the second half, head coach Brian Kelly handed the ball to his closer. And much like Rivera did time and again for the Yankees, Brindza did for the Fighting Irish.
"We have a saying on the team and that's, 'Count on me,'" the kicker said. "Coach Kelly said, 'Can you make this,' and I said, 'Count on me.'" More »
Prior to the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone sat in the press conference room at Yankee Stadium and told the assembled media why he felt the game was so important. "To the right of us here is the (George M.) Steinbrenner Trophy", the Bronx native said. "That's why both teams are here, and that's what we're playing for."
Marrone got his wish on Dec. 29, when his Syracuse Orange defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers, 38 - 14. Despite a winter storm, Syracuse piled up 369 yards on the ground en route to it's second New Era Pinstripe Bowl title in three years.
"You know, it's special," Marrone said. "Winning the second one, this has been a special place for all of us. It's always been a special place for me." More »
From the exciting action on the field to the 38,328 fans that passed through the turnstiles to the incredible week of events leading up to it, Rutgers' 27-13 victory over Iowa State in the second annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl proved that this game is here to stay.
"The whole idea of this experience is to show the student-athletes and everybody from these great universities what New York City is about and what Yankee Stadium is about," said Yankees president Randy Levine. "They will tell their kids and grandkids, 'We played at Yankee Stadium.'"
Rutgers trailed 6-0 after one quarter, but redshirt freshman running back Jawan Jamison, the eventual winner of the 2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl David C. Koch MVP Trophy, scored two second-quarter touchdowns as the Scarlet Knights took a 17-6 lead into halftime. A 20-yard touchdown run by Iowa State running back Jeff Woody brought ISU to within a score, 20-13, in the fourth, but Rutgers responded with its biggest play of the game, an 86-yard touchdown strike from Chas Dodd to Brandon Coleman that sealed the victory. More »
When the New York Yankees began the planning stages for a new stadium they had a vision.
Not only would Yankee Stadium be the grandest stage in all of baseball, it would be home to a wide variety of special events, from concerts to boxing matches to football games.
The latter was established in memorable fashion on December 30, 2010 when the Syracuse Orange defeated the Kansas State Wildcats in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl. It was the first college football bowl game held in New York City in nearly half a century, and the game's success set the bar for one of the most anticipated sporting events of the holiday season.
The inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl was held on Dec. 30, 2010, and ended in a thrilling 36-34 Syracuse victory that came down to the wire. More »