Pinstripe Bowl: Blue Devils Defeat Hoosiers • Latino Sports


Pinstripe Bowl: Blue Devils Defeat Hoosiers


Bronx, NY – Despite the spring weather in the northeast, college football was played in Yankee stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In only its sixth year of existence, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has become one of the most respected and popular bowl games. The attendance at these rare college games in the northeast region in December had grown higher each of the first five years.

The legendary venue in the Bronx and spending the holiday season in New York City are strong attractions for college teams to accept an invitation for large crowds to attend. Fans arriving to the game early had the opportunity to dine at the many fine eateries in the neighborhood.

As is the case at all special events scheduled to take place at Yankee Stadium, the visitors to the community were welcomed by the Youth Ambassadors of the 161st Street Business Improvement  District (161 BID) who were distributing free mini-footballs as souvenirs.

On each football were printed the names of the two teams, the date and the words Pinstripe Bowl, Yankee Stadium. Dr. Cary  Goodman, the executive director of the 161 BID offered the following welcome, “We’re delighted that people from Durham or Raleigh and Bloomington or Indianapolis will spend the holidays with us.”

For the second consecutive year, representatives of two major conferences, the Big 10 and the ACC, have met. Unlike their popular basketball teams, the Indiana Hoosiers (6-8) and the Duke Blue Devils (8-5) football squads have not played in New York City for decades. Indiana only played in NYC in 1939 and Duke most recently in 1957.

The two highly rated educational institutions played a very competitive and exciting contest. The score was tied three times and the lead fluctuated often. The score was knotted at 41 at the conclusion of regulation, so for the second straight year the result was decided in overtime.

The focus of the game was on the offense. A record high score and yards gained were just two of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl game records established which indicate the supremacy of the offense of both teams in the game.

Duke’s veteran coach, Davis Cutcliffe, spoke of the high scoring contest being representative of college football today, “That kind of game is what we’re seeing more and more in college football…I wonder what you would do to play defense…I think college football has changed abruptly in that regard over the last three to four years.”

The history of both teams had an effect upon the final result. Duke has qualified for a bowl opportunity in each of the last four seasons, but lost the first three games.

The seniors had a great deal of self-imposed pressure to win on Saturday. Two days before the game, Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk, one of the so-MVPs of the contest, told a small contingent of reporters, “We’re not just happy to be in it. We’re here to win it.”

To add to the motivation of the players, the mist recent bowl win for the Blue Devils was in 1961. It was also the first neutral site win since October 28, 1972.

On the other hand, the Hoosiers have not qualified for a bowl game since 2007.

Kevin Wilson, the Indiana coach discussed the causes for his team’s defeat, “Congratulate Duke. They made a lot of plays to win the game. We had too many errors. We gave up too many big plays, too many turnovers. And you really don’t win games when you miss five scoring opportunities.”

About Howard Goldin

Howard Goldin is a 72-year-old Bronx native whose passion for sports is evidenced by his 15 years of sports writing with Latino Sports. A former English instructor at Monroe College, his love for sports started with baseball and have expanded since. If there's a sport or a community event, Howard will be in attendance covering it.

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