Notre Dame to face Rutgers at Yankee Stadium in Pinstripe Bowl
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media December 8, 2013 5:50PM
Updated: December 8, 2013 6:28PM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame looked to the West Coast.
But in the end, the Irish decide to go to, in the words of coach Brian Kelly, a “home away from home.”
Notre Dame took an interesting path to the Pinstripe Bowl, where it will face Rutgers on Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium in New York.
Kelly said the Poinsettia Bowl, set in San Diego, and the Hawaii Bowl were both options the Irish explored. Among the setbacks, in the case of the Hawaii Bowl, was the schedule.
“Because of our exam schedule, which took us through (Dec.) 20, we would have had to have gone out there on (Dec.) 21, 22, 23. It would have been practice, practice, practice, play the game,” Kelly said Sunday. “They don’t hold the hotel rooms after the game for you. You have to leave or find other accommodations, right?
“The guys go for three days, practice, play the game, then it’s like, all right, you’ve got to go home. Didn’t make a lot of sense to go there three days, practice, play the game, then, ‘sorry guys.’”
The Pinstripe Bowl kept applying the full-court press. And the Notre Dame players, who initially said they wanted to avoid the cold, liked the perks that came with the trip.
“The way we looked at it, we lost four games, we didn’t earn to go to that,” said left tackle Zack Martin, one of the team captains. “We’re very happy to go to New York. It’s probably the best place to play if you’re not playing in warm weather.”
So New York it is, where 6-6 Rutgers awaits.
“This team is going to be in the Big Ten,” Kelly said. “If we don’t play well, they’ll beat us.”
Notes: Quarterback Everett Golson will not practice with the team during the bowl period. Golson is coming back from a suspension. He’s in line to be re-admitted in mid-December.
“We’re just not going to have the time and place to get him in to practice,” said Kelly, who plans to go to South Carolina and meet with Golson Monday.
- Kelly confirmed nose guard Louis Nix III signed with an agent.
“I didn’t know about the signing with the agent until it was too late to inform him that by doing so, you don’t get your bowl hat, and you can’t fly with us to New York,” Kelly said.
- Offensive lineman Chris Watt will miss the game because of an MCL injury.
- Cornerback Lo Wood and tight end Alex Welch were given their release. They will stay through the bowl game and then leave the program.