This One’s for Big E

December 30, 2011 – Last year’s Pinstripe Bowl ended in dramatic fashion with Syracuse holding on to a two-point win despite a mad-dash comeback by Kansas State in the final minutes of the contest.

Well, I guess this bowl is meant to have exciting finishes because the fourth quarter of the 2011 game was almost as thrilling.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Rutgers held a 20-6 lead. Iowa State capped a long drive when running back Jeff Woody dashed 20 yards for a touchdown with 10 minutes to play. Woody’s run brought Iowa State to within a touchdown of Rutgers at 20-13.

Rutgers quarterback Chas Dodd connected with Brandon Coleman on an 86-yard pass that expanded Rutgers’ lead to 27-13, before Iowa State put together a drive that led them Rutgers’ 10-yard line. Iowa State couldn’t convert on a fourth down pass attempt with five minutes left to play, and they would not score again.

The noise level seemed to be twice as loud in the second half, as Rutgers took the well-earned New Era Pinstripe Bowl trophy from the Bronx to it’s new home in Piscataway, New Jersey.

A few seconds after Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano hoisted the Pinstripe Bowl trophy above his head, he delivered what may have been the quickest celebration speech in college football history.

“Big E,” Schiano shouted as he pointed to the suite where Eric LeGrand (who was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2010 game) watched the game from. “This one’s for you.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

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