The Miami Hurricanes are going to New York City’s famed Yankee Stadium for their bowl game, but what happens next is anybody’s guess.

Miami (7-5) will play Rutgers (6-6) in the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday Dec. 28. Kickoff is set for 2:15 p.m.

That much we know.

What we don’t know is how motivated Miami will be to play a mediocre opponent in a largely meaningless game in unfamiliarly cold weather and with a quarterback who has not taken a snap all season.

Here are 5 five Pinstripe Bowl takeaways:

1.  What can Brown do?

Since Jacurri Brown hasn’t played since his freshman year of 2022, it’s impossible to know if he has improved his passing skill, which were relatively dismal in his debut year. He completed 27 of 45 passes for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was intercepted 3 times.

Where Brown excels is on the ground. It’s not a stretch to say he has the potential to be among the most dynamic running quarterbacks in the nation.

Brown, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound Georgia native, is that strong and fast as a runner. He ran for 1,100 yards as a prep junior, and he rushed for 1,101 yards as a senior.

So, we’ll find out about his passing improvement – if any – on Dec. 28. But the concern is that had he gotten better in practice he would’ve at least beaten out freshman Emory Williams for the backup job.

But that didn’t happen, and Brown is only playing now because Williams is injured, and Tyler Van Dyke has entered the transfer portal.

2. Definition of mediocre

As a .500 team, Rutgers probably shouldn’t even get a bowl game, but that’s the system in college football. (Miami’s not much better as has been covered in this space all season.)

But, sticking with Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights actually have a losing record against Football Bowl Subdivision FBS teams since 1 of their victories was a 52-3 rout over Football Championship Subdivision’s Wagner.
Rutgers’ other wins came against 3-9 Indiana; 3-9 Temple; 4-8 Michigan State; 6-6 Virginia Tech; and 7-5 Northwestern.

The Scarlet Knights will enter New York City on a 4-game losing streak, including 3 defeats against Top 25 teams. In those 3 games – against Ohio State, Iowa and Penn State – Rutgers averaged just 7.3 points per contest. Rutgers also scored just 7 points in an earlier loss to top-ranked Michigan.

3. Most motivated man

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has major ties to Miami. He was the Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000.

In his 1st year in Miami, the Hurricanes finished 12th in the nation in fewest points allowed. The next year, Miami was better, ranking 5th.

Schiano, who in those 2 years at Miami coached future NFL All-Pro defensive stars such as Ed Reed, Dan Morgan and Jonathan Vilma, surely would love to beat the Hurricanes.

4. Scouting report

Rutgers’ top 2 offensive playmakers this season have been quarterback Gavin Wimsatt and running back Kyle Monangai.

Wimsatt, a 6-3, 225-pounder from Kentucky, has completed just 47.8% of his passes for 1,651 yards, 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions this season.

In his 3 years and 18 starts at Rutgers, he has passed for 14 TDs, and he has been intercepted 17 times.

However, what makes him dangerous is that he ran for 488 yards and 9 touchdowns this year.

His running skill pairs well with Monangai, who has 6 100-yard games this season. That includes 159 yards and a 6.6 average against mighty Ohio State.

For the season, Monangai has rushed for 1,099 yards, a 5.1 average and 7 touchdowns in this his 4th year at Rutgers.

A 5-9, 210-pounder from New Jersey, Monangai is Rutgers’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Jawan Jamison in 2012.

5. Defense does it

So, Miami will try to run the ball with QB Brown and running backs Mark Fletcher Jr., Henry Parrish Jr. and Ajay Allen. Those 3 running backs have combined for 1,441 rushing yards this season.

Rutgers will try to run the ball with Wimsatt and Monangai.

The key, then, will be which defense can stop the opposing running game.

Defense has been the strength of Miami’s team all season. But the Scarlet Knights are proud of their defense, too.

Defensive players to watch for on the Rutgers squad include cornerbacks Robert Longerbeam and Max Melton and linebackers Deion Jennings and Mohamed Toure.

Longerbeam leads the team in passes defensed (10) and fumbles recovered (2). Melton leads Rutgers in interceptions (3), and he has 8 picks in his career. Jennings leads the team in tackles for the 2nd straight year. And Toure tops the squad in tackles for losses (7.5) and sacks (3.5).

Miami, meanwhile, has 2 NFL prospects at safety in James Williams and Kam Kinchens. It’s possible they will skip the bowl to prepare for the draft, and, if they do, that would have a major impact on the game.

The Hurricanes’ defensive depth already has been impacted by the departures of linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. and 3 linemen – Leonard Taylor, Chantz Williams and Jahfari Harvey.

Miami still has 1 of the best linebackers in the country in Francisco Mauigoa, who leads the team with 17 tackles for loss. The Hurricanes also have ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year Rueben Bain Jr., who tied Mauigoa for the team lead with 7.5 sacks.