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In one of the only games played in a baseball stadium, we get to see the Rutgers Scarlet Knights take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Yankee Stadium in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. These two teams score about the same, and actually a good number of their stats, including their passing yards and rushing yards per game are pretty similar. Their styles of play are very similar as well, and that should actually make this game even more interesting than already expected.
Rutgers finished up this year with a 6-6 record, and although they were just 3-5 in conference play they were still able to get into this bowl game. Possibly their most impressive game of the year was their first game in which they lost by one point in overtime to the Fresno State Bulldogs and Derek Carr.
Notre Dame on the other hand did fail to live up to expectations to some extent this year, but they also lost quarterback Everett Golson to an injury as well. Tommy Rees stepped up well for him and led the Fighting Irish to an 8-4 record, including some big wins over the likes of Michigan State, Arizona State, USC, and BYU. They have a ton of talent, and I'm expecting them to play big here.
While the offenses seem to be similar, I think that defense should play a big role in the outcome of this game. Notre Dame definitely gets the edge in defense here, as they allow just 22.9 points per game, and Rutgers allows 29.8 points per game. That's even more impressive when you consider the fact that Notre Dame has played a very tough schedule, including those teams named above.
The Fighting Irish are big favorites, and since I posted this almost two weeks ago those who read the Express thread may have got +16 if they bought the point. I do think that the Fighting Irish win this game, but it's going to be much closer than many think. I'll take the Scarlet Knights in this big game getting two touchdowns. That's a great spot for a solid team, and a key reason for the decision to bet on Rutgers is the fact that I don't think Notre Dame's offense will be able to outscore Rutgers by that many points, as Notre Dame really isn't an offensive powerhouse. Take the points or buy up, and hopefully jump on it before the line moves any lower for the Scarlet Knights. One of the interesting aspects of the bowl season is when one team is favored but the other team is predicted to cover. Usually those games are not selected until closer to kickoff. This is one of them. Notre Dame should win by almost a touchdown but they are giving way too many points. Right now I have to take Rutgers. Will update as we get closer to game.
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