Pinstripe Bowl 2013 Rutgers vs. Notre Dame: Live Game Grades, Analysis for Irish

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIDecember 28, 2013

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 30: DaVaris Daniels #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches a fourteen yard touchdown pass over Wayne Lyons #2 of the Stanford Cardinal during the third quarter at Stanford Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Palo Alto, California. Stanford won the game 27-20.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Notre Dame had a strong second-half showing on the ground and was able to come out on top against Rutgers in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

Final: Notre Dame 29, Rutgers 16

For full stats, check out

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Game Grades
Position Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseB-A-
Rush OffenseD+B+
Pass DefenseA-A+
Rush DefenseB+B+
Special TeamsB-A-
vs. Rutgers

Final Analysis for Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Pass Offense: Tommy Rees had one of the better games of his career, going 27-of-47 for 319 yards. Most importantly, he threw no interceptions. Troy Niklas led all receivers with four catches for 76 yards.

Rush Offense: The Irish rushed for 175 yards on 43 carries, sticking to the run in the second half. Cam McDanial ran strong downhill, rushing for 80 yards on 17 carries. Tarean Folston also rushed for 73 yards and one touchdown.

Pass Defense: Notre Dame played the pass very well in the game, snatching four interceptions. The Irish limited Rutgers to 10 completions for 156 yards, never allowing them to get much on any drive.

Rush Defense: The Irish held the Scarlet Knights to 80 yards on 26 carries, only allowing 16 yards in the second half. The defensive front took over in the second half and forced Rutgers into a lot of mistakes.

Special Teams: Kyle Brindza converted five of six field goals. When the offense struggled to get the ball in the end zone, Brindza ensured they still came away with points.

Coaching: The Irish played much better in the second half, sticking to the ground game and throwing when Rutgers least expected it.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 28: DUPLICATE***Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Yankee Stadium on December 28, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by J
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Pass Offense: Tommy Rees is 15-of-29 for 172 yards. While it's not a bad total, Rees has missed wide-open receivers, throwing behind them or short on multiple occasions. TJ Jones has a shoulder injury which could hurt the passing offense in the second half.

Rush Offense: The Irish are struggling on the ground, scrounging only 63 yards on 20 carries. Cam McDaniel leads the team with 24 yards on the ground. It's obvious George Atkinson III's suspension is hurting the Irish.

Pass Defense: Notre Dame has intercepted two passes, including one by KeiVarae Russell on the 1-yard line. It was a huge play for the Irish as it kept the score tied at 13-13, keeping Rutgers from taking a one-touchdown lead.

Rush Defense: Rutgers has 14 rushes for 71 yards for 5.1 yards per attempt. The Scarlet Knights have run 20 fewer plays than the Irish, which is a credit to the Notre Dame defense getting off the field.

Special Teams: Kyle Brindza has gone 2-of-3 on field-goal attempts, making kicks from 21 and 38 yards. Hopefully, his missed 44-yard field goal won't come back to hurt the Irish.

Coaching: Defensively, the coaching staff is making the right calls as players are in the right place. Offensively, the Irish have a lot of adjustments to make.