The University of Notre Dame today accepted an invitation to play in the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, December 28. The Irish will face off against a yet to be determined opponent, with kickoff expected to be at noon. A press conference with New Era Pinstripe Bowl participants and officials will be held on Tuesday, December 10 at 11:00 a.m. at Yankee Stadium. Further details will be provided in the near future.
Led by head coach Brian Kelly, Notre Dame finished the regular season with an 8-4 record and has combined to amass a 20-5 record over its last two seasons of play. Notable wins this year included a 17-13 victory over Michigan State on September 21, and a 14-10 win over USC on October 19. Wide receiver T.J. Jones led the offense with a team-high 1,042 receiving yards, including 9 touchdown receptions. Linebacker Dan Fox led the defense with a team-high 90 tackles.
Kelly owns a 36-15 (.706) overall record in his four years with the Irish, one of only two head coaches in school history to win eight or more games in each of their first four seasons (also Dan Devine).
For the Irish, it will mark the second time that the school has played at the current Yankee Stadium. On November 20, 2010, Notre Dame defeated Army, 27-3, in the first football game ever played at the venue. Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Lujack and Pete Dawkins served as honorary captains in what was the 50th all-time meeting between the two teams.
"Quite simply, we are thrilled to bring our football program to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl," said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. "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."
Notre Dame holds an all-time mark of 16-6-3 in Yankee Stadium games. In the 1940s alone, while playing at the original Yankee Stadium, Notre Dame claimed consensus national titles in 1943, '46, '47 and '49. In that same decade of the 1940s, the Irish produced three Heisman Trophy winners in Angelo Bertelli (1943), Lujack (1947) and Leon Hart (1949).
The original Yankee Stadium also played host to the 1928 Notre Dame-Army matchup which resulted in a 12-6 Irish victory. The game was scoreless at halftime, when Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne gave his now-famous "win one for the Gipper" speech in the locker room.
"We are thrilled to welcome Notre Dame and its student-athletes, alumni and devoted fan base back to New York City and Yankee Stadium to play in the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl," said Mark Holtzman, Executive Director of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. "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."
Established in 2010, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has featured some of the most memorable moments of bowl seasons in just three short years, including the exciting finish in the inaugural 2010 game in which Kansas State missed a game-tying two-point conversion in the final minute. The 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which saw Syracuse defeat West Virginia 38-14, included a record-setting 213-yard rushing performance by the Orange's Prince-Tyson Gulley.
Last year's game also featured six 2013 NFL draft picks, including each of the game's starting quarterbacks - Syracuse's Ryan Nassib (Giants) and West Virginia's Geno Smith (Jets).
Additionally, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has seen increased attendance in each of its first three years of existence, including a record 41,203 in 2012. This year's game will be nationally televised by ESPN, which has also secured national and local radio rights for ESPN Radio.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl week will see players, coaches and university staff taking part in a variety of events in the days leading up to the game, showcasing their respective universities to the New York metropolitan area. Special events, promotions and community outreach will take place throughout New York City during the week of the bowl game to once again create an unforgettable experience for fans, families, players and staffs of the two teams.
Tickets for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will be on-sale on Saturday, December 7 at 2:30 p.m. ET at www.pinstripebowl.com, the official Web site of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, and www.ticketmaster.com. For up-to-the-moment information regarding the game, fans are also encouraged to follow the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's official Twitter account - @PinstripeBowl.