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The game is played in the Bronx at the New Yankee’s Stadium, home Evil Empire, and is one of two bowl games played in the Northeast, the Military Bowl being the other. The New Era Pinstripe Bowl is also one of a few outdoor games played in traditionally cold-weather cities. Despite being a relatively new bowl, the cold weather gives the game an old-school vibe that’s tough to replicate in warmer weather climates.
The eighth edition of the contest is scheduled to be played on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 5:15 p.m. ET. ESPN will air the game live.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Odds at BookMaker.eu
Iowa Hawkeyes -3
Boston College Eagles +3
The Hawkeyes come into the game as the favorites by a field goal, but the Eagles shouldn’t be overlooked. Boston College has had a monster season for bettors, covering the spread eight times, going 8-3-1.
Boston College’s ability to cover can largely be attributed to a strong defense ranking No.36 overall in scoring defense. The pass defense was particularly strong with solid play out of the secondary, the line, however, was susceptible to the run.
On offense, the Eagles were all about the run. Freshman tailback A.J. Dillon burst onto the scene with 1,099 rushing yards over his final six games. It’s no coincidence that Boston College finished 5-1 after a 2-4 starts. That’s when Dillon took off. Overall, he ended the year with 1,432 yards on the ground and 13 scores. In the air, Anthony Brown completed just over half his passes and the quarterback position ended with only five more touchdowns than interceptions.
The matchup against Iowa isn’t favorable for the Eagles’ offense. The Hawkeyes were a top-20 team in scoring defense and feature one of the nation’s elite linebackers in Josey Jewell. He’ll try and wreak havoc on Brown and Dillion. He’ll need to do so, too, as the Iowa offense leaves plenty to be desired.
While Iowa’s offense is a bit more balanced than BC’s, the unit ranked No. 109 in total yards per game. As far as scoring, Iowa is as inconsistent as they come. If the defense gives them holes, they can take advantage, but good execution can shut them down. For instance, Iowa scored 56 against Nebraska in its last game. That was the team’s fourth game of at least 44 points. Meanwhile, they tallied only 29 combined in the two games prior to the bout against Nebraska and have scored fewer than 18-points in four of their last six games.
Pinstripe Bowl Format
The creation of what was originally called the Yankee Bowl in 2010 brought back a major college football bowl game the New York City area for the first time since the Gotham Bowl was played at the original Yankee Stadium in 1962.
In March of 2010, bowl organizers struck a deal with New Era Cap Company and the game was officially changed to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The bowl is organized by MLB’s New York Yankees and is currently affiliated with the Atlantic Coast Conference through 2019 and the Big Ten Conference through 2021, contingent on each conference having enough bowl-eligible teams.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl initially featured a matchup between the Big 12 and the Big East. Rutgers, the closest FBS school in the New York City area played in the 2011 game after finishing fourth in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights defeated Iowa State 27-13. It was their first of two visits to the bowl, tying them with Syracuse for the most. The current affiliation with the Big Ten will allow for more Rutgers visits after the school moved to the new conference in 2014.
Game organizers have done a much better job than their Gotham Bowl predecessors. The 1960 Gotham Bowl was never played as only Oregon State had accepted an invitation. Two teams agreed to play the following year at the Polo Grounds with Baylor beating Utah State. Miami and Nebraska hooked up in a thriller in 1962, but few people saw it. A cold day kept attendance around 5,000 and the bowl would not return.
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl has been much more successful as the popularity of college football has exploded. Four of the seven games have been decided by a touchdown or less, three by a field goal or less and two games went into overtime.
Pinstripe Bowl Game Results
The inaugural matchup saw Syracuse beat Kansas State 36-34 with the help of a controversial call that changed celebration rules. KSU scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to pull within two points. However, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called when the scoring player saluted the crowd. The Wildcats failed on the potential game-tying two-point conversion. The NCAA changed its rules on celebrations the following season.
Northwestern upset No. 23 Pittsburgh in last season’s game, ending a string of two straight overtime games. Duke edged Indiana 44-41 in the 2015 event after Penn State nipped Boston College 31-30 in 2014. The Eagles missed an extra point in overtime opening the door for the Nittany Lions to grab the victory.
Most All-Time Wins at Pinstripe Bowl
Syracuse and Rutgers are the two teams that have made multiple appearances in the Pinstripe Bowl with the Orange being the only program to notch more than a single win. The ACC and Big Ten affiliations should yield more multi-time winners as the years go by. It won’t happen in 2017, however, as Boston College lost its first appearance and this will be the first appearance for Iowa.
Syracuse won two of the first three instances of this bowl game. From there, it’s featured different teams, but has consistently provided interesting games.
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