Rutgers, Pinstripe Bowl
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano celebrates after winning the 2023 Pinstripe Bowl. (Photo by Shaquan Woody - JSN)

The impact of Rutgers' monumental victory over Miami

On Thursday evening, what appeared to be most of New Jersey (35,314 people in attendance) came out in support of Rutgers football in their 12th bowl game appearance. Naturally, the Scarlet Knights didn’t disappoint and left the game not only making history but possibly revamping the future of Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football. The Scarlet Knights (7-6) prevailed against the Miami Hurricanes (7-6), 31-24, therefore making this the first time in program history ever defeated Miami.

“The win today I think is a huge impact,” leading B1G Ten rusher and Rutgers star running back Kyle Monangai expresses. “Being able to go 7-6, is not the goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season, but to finish over .500 is a big step for this program. To win the last game of the season is something positive to build off going into the offseason.”

“Recruiting-wise, as you mentioned, I think that is something to show the high school guys, like, hey, these guys know how to win, they're taking steps in the right direction, so it's somewhere I want to come to play. … It's a huge impact, this win,” Monangai continues.


This victory for the Scarlet Knights has the potential to offset years of previous setbacks. Over the years, Rutgers hasn’t had the most delightful reputation and many found it hard to want to commit to such a “mediocre” university. Contrary to belief, many of these teams around the Big Ten Conference have begun to respect this team much differently as they continue to prove to be far more competitive than they’ve been in the past. 

Key Moments for the Scarlet Knights 

Some key moments that helped allow Rutgers to secure the victory over Miami came in all facets of the game for the Knights. Arguably, the most pivotal moment came on the punt block that helped the Knights regain the lead midway through the third quarter. The Hurricanes attempted to punt from their endzone, however the punt was blocked by defensive back Trevor Yeboah-Kodie and recovered for a touchdown by defensive back Timmy Ward. Yeboah-Kodie recorded his third blocked punt of the season, and Ward recovered his second career blocked punt for a touchdown. 

This play helped secure the lead, 21-17, with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. This appeared to be a full-circle moment for Ward and his peers as he reflected on his trials and tribulations to this point. Schiano explains in great detail how he helps represent everything the Scarlet Knights program is about and is honored to have coached him in his career.

"Timmy Ward, you local guys know the story, but Timmy Ward, a high school kid, gets cancer, beats cancer, comes to Rutgers, and wants to play football at Rutgers,” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano states in the postgame conference. “So he starts as an equipment manager. He has been an equipment manager for like a year and a half. He goes to the walk-on try-outs. …He is the brains of the outfit now. He runs the punt block team. He makes all the checks. For him to recover that and score the touchdown, those two guys are kind of very symbolic of who we are”

Another key moment in the game was whenever Monangai touched the ball. At times, it appeared the offense began struggling to move the ball, yet he would will them to first downs and truly carried this offense through rough patches. For the game, he recorded 25 carries for 163 and a touchdown which ultimately led to him receiving the MVP trophy for the game. Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt accompanied Monangai’s rushing touchdown with two of his own from the one-yard line.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights Put the Country on Notice

Prior to the Pinstripe Bowl, the Hurricanes hadn’t faced anyone in the Big Ten conference this season. The Hurricanes admitted the style of play was much different than they used to in the ACC conference. The Big Ten Conference is a much more gruesome and nastier conference, meaning the battle is often won or lost within the offensive and defensive line up front. That said while both teams have a deep respect for one another, the Hurricanes wasn't prepared for the physicality of Rutgers and it showed in key moments of the game.

“This offense they run the ball hard, honestly I think that was a big difference,” Hurricanes linebacker Francisco Mauigoa states. “These guys came and just kept running the ball and we just couldn’t figure out what was going on. We began fighting back late, but it was too late. Overall credit to them and their physicality upfront and duo-threat quarterback which made a big difference.”

Overall, many teams will study and use this footage to prepare for Rutgers moving forward. Despite the win, the country will see this on a national level and hopefully realize the Scarlet Knights are the real deal and are beginning to turn things around for the better.

… I'm looking forward to relaxing a little tonight, getting back to New Jersey tomorrow, and then setting up everything, recruiting, personnel, everything we have to do. It sure is a lot more fun coming off a bowl championship.”