There are plenty of differences between the University of Iowa and Boston College football teams, but the biggest may be their familiarity with Yankee Stadium, the venue of their final game of the season.The two teams are set to face off in the 2017 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at 5:15
There are plenty of differences between the University of Iowa and Boston College football teams, but the biggest may be their familiarity with Yankee Stadium, the venue of their final game of the season.
The two teams are set to face off in the 2017 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at 5:15 p.m. ET on Dec. 27, and they were introduced Tuesday in a news conference at Yankee Stadium.
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Both teams went 7-5 this season, continuing strong runs of bowl eligibility for both head coaches. Iowa, whose season was highlighted by a 31-point thrashing of eventual Big Ten champion Ohio State, will be playing in its 15th bowl under head coach Kirk Ferentz.
With one more game to go, the Hawkeyes will be entering some unfamiliar territory.
"Most of the kids on our team are from the Midwest, so this is a totally different thing for them to be here for the holidays," Ferentz said Tuesday. "I'm really excited for our players. I don't think they have any concept of what they're about to encounter when they have a chance to come here."
By contrast, Boston College will be playing its second Pinstripe Bowl in four seasons. Additionally, more than 25 players on the Eagles' roster hail from the New York area, according to head coach Steve Addazio.
"Our team is thrilled to be here," Addazio said. "When we beat Syracuse in our last game, at Syracuse, in that locker room, our kids were all about, 'We're going to the Pinstripe Bowl.' They didn't know they were going to the Pinstripe Bowl, but that's where they wanted to go."
The Eagles finished the season hot, winning five of their last six games. Freshman running back AJ Dillon won ACC Rookie of the Year for the first time in program history after rushing for 1,432 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns. The Eagles also team tied a school record with nine players earning All-ACC honors in 2017.
Yankee Stadium may not seem like the most traditional venue for a college football bowl, but the stadium's facade hides a structure that was intended for it.
"We're all here because George Steinbrenner, The Boss, when we built this venue, he loved college football," Yankees president Randy Levine said. "It was his passion, and he insisted we build this building to accommodate college football."
That passion will be honored again on Dec. 27 in a game that will be televised by ESPN and broadcast on ESPN Radio. Tickets are currently on sale.
"I just have this vision in my mind. I can see on the 27th, you'll see your breath coming out," Addazio said. "These two teams will clash on that field in what I think brings out the best of college football. It'll be a difficult, hard-fought, tough contest."
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com.