Maryland’s Coleman not enough as Rutgers falls in Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers, scheduled along with the Maryland Terrapins to enter the Big-10 next year, dropped the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl to Notre Dame, 29-16, at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

One of the lone bright spots for the Scarlet Knights (6-7) came from Maryland, in the form of Accokeek native Brandon Coleman.  The junior wide receiver had a first quarter 51-yard reception that set up his 14-yard touchdown catch just moments later. It was the only Rutgers touchdown of the afternoon.

Coleman entered the Pinstripe Bowl with 32 receptions for 473 yards and three touchdowns. Knee surgery prior to the 2013 campaign slowed his production down significantly from last year. In 2012 he had 43 receptions and 10 touchdowns for Rutgers.

The 6’6” receiver remains a top pro prospect and won’t be joining Rutgers or Maryland in the Big-1o next season as he declared his eligibility for the 2014 NFL draft earlier this month.  

Chas Dodd’s TD pass to Coleman was a rare highlight during a long afternoon for Rutgers through the air, as Notre Dame (9-4) picked off the Scarlet Knights four times.

Across scrimmage, quarterback Tommy Rees played well for the Irish, connecting on 27/47 attempts for 319 yards and no interceptions. Despite the effort, the game’s MVP award went to Irish offensive lineman, Zack Martin.

“I was giving Tommy a hard time,” said Martin after the game. “I think he got snubbed a little bit.”

“I’m a Tommy Rees fan for life,” said Coach Brian Kelly. Kelly’s frequent sideline tirades directed at the senior from Lake Forest, Illinois would suggest otherwise. Rees is scheduled to play in the East-West Shrine Game on January 18.

T.J. Jones and Tarean Folston had short touchdown runs for Notre Dame, which also received five field goals from kicker Kyle Brindza. Folston’s touchdown came with 3:38 left in the game to move the Irish from a slim 19-16 lead to a ten-point advantage. Brindza later added his final field goal, a 49-yarder, to close out the scoring.

Notre Dame improved to 17-6-3 all-time at Yankee Stadium, and 2-0 at the current incarnation of the park. The Pinstripe Bowl, in its fourth year, saw a record crowd of 47,122 as legions of nearby Rutgers fans and Notre Dame’s famed “subway alumni” descended on the Bronx for clear skies and unseasonably warm weather in the upper 40s.

(Feature photo courtesy of