SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame is going to make its first postseason appearance at Yankee Stadium. The Irish (8-4) on Saturday officially accepted an invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28. They will be making their fourth straight bowl appearance and will play Rutgers (6-6), which qualified by beating South Florida on Saturday night.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Notre Dame was headed to the game. It will be Notre Dame's second visit to the new Yankee Stadium. The Irish beat Army 27-3 at the site in 2010. But the Irish have played some famous games at the old Yankee Stadium, including in 1928 against Army when coach Knute Rockne gave his famous "Win one for the Gipper speech."
No. 1 Army and No. 2 Notre Dame played the Game of the Century there in 1946 in a game that featured four Heisman Trophy winners and ended in a 0-0 tie. Coach Brian Kelly said the Irish are looking forward to returning. "We were privileged to play in New York City and Yankee Stadium in 2010.
The treatment our university received from the Steinbrenner family, the New York Yankees and the entire organization was unlike anything we've experienced in my tenure at Notre Dame," he said. That game drew a stadium-record crowd for football of 54,251. Pinstripe Bowl executive director Mark Holtzman said organizers were thrilled to have the Irish.
"No two organizations in the history of American sport are more closely intertwined with such a rich and wonderful history as the New York Yankees and Notre Dame," he said. Notre Dame is 16-6-3 in games at both Yankee Stadiums. Notre Dame had to wait to see what bowl spots went unfilled because it had no bowl affiliation this year. The spot was open because the Big 12 didn't have enough bowl-eligible teams.
Next season the Irish will be part of the Atlantic Coast Conference bowl lineup, which will include the Pinstripe Bowl. Rutgers, from the American Athletic Conference, earned its eighth bowl bid in nine years with a 31-6 victory over South Florida on Saturday night that snapped a three-game skid. Shortly after the game, Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood announced that his team had received a bid from the Pinstripe Bowl.