Iowa vs. Boston College: Pinstripe Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Iowa vs. Boston College: Pinstripe Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

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Iowa vs. Boston College: Pinstripe Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Three reasons why you should watch the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.

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New Era Pinstripe Bowl


Date: Wednesday, December 27th
Game Time: 5:15 pm
Venue: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Network: ESPN

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness
(1 best-39 worst): 
25 out of 39

2017-2018 Bowl Central: Schedules, Picks, Love
CFN Expert Consensus Confidence Picks

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The New Era Pinstripe Bowl

The last three Pinstripe Bowls have been absolutely fantastic. Last year, Northwestern pulled off a slight stunner to beat Pitt 31-24. In 2015, Duke beat Indiana in overtime, and in 2014, Penn State slipped by Boston College 31-30 in OT. Boston College and Iowa are evenly matched, and they should play like it.

Get ready for the running back talent. Boston College’s A.J. Dillon is one of the nation’s shiny new rushing stars, bringing a terrific combination of power, workhorse ability and quickness to a ground attack that’s among the best in the country. Iowa’s running game hasn’t been all that great, but Akrum Wadley is a special 1,000-yard back in his final game.

The Pinstripe always has a quirky-fun feel. The weather is always a little off from the normal bowl games, Boston College gets to say it played in both Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium in the same season, and there’s always a little bit of an edge to the game. It’s college football in New York City. The teams don’t skip on the swank.

Here’s Why Iowa Will Win The New Era Pinstripe Bowl

If Boston College is going to try throwing, cool. The Eagles have to run well to win, but with starting QB Anthony Brown knocked out of the season in November, Darius Wade struggled to throw the ball until he cranked up 248 yards against the miserable Syracuse secondary. BC has one of the least-efficient passing games in the country, going against one of the best teams in the country in pass efficiency defense.  

Iowa isn’t all that bad against the run, too. The Iowa run defense couldn’t stop Saquon Barkley, and it couldn’t handle Jonathan Taylor and Wisconsin’s ground game. It stuffed just about everyone else, allowing just four yards per carry on the season and a mere nine touchdowns. With a mediocre offense, the D has to pick up the slack led by …

Josey Jewell, just about everyone’s all-star linebacker. The senior tackling machine cranked up 125 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss, making ten tackles or more in eight of the 11 games he played in. One of the lone bright spots in the last three Iowa bowl games, he has 31 tackles in the post-season. He’s a sure thing for at least 12 against the BC ground game.

Here’s Why Boston College Will Win The New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Ohio State game aside, the Iowa offense just isn’t very good. Iowa lives on trying not to screw up, turning things over to the defense – and then hoping for the best. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Hawkeyes cranked up 56 points against Nebraska to close things out, and the 55 kept the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff, but they failed to score more than 19 points in six of their last nine games.

A.J. Dillon really is fantastic. The Boston College ground game has been terrific all year, but it was the emergence of Dillon over the second half of the season that changed up everything. He tore off 272 yards and four scores in the win over Louisville, sparking a run of five wins in the final six games. He was held in check by Virginia and Virginia Tech, but he hit the 100-yard mark six of his last eight games.

Iowa has been next-level awful in bowl games. Not just bad, but totally miserable, losing its last five post-season games going back to 2010, getting rim-rocked by Oklahoma in the 2011 Insight to start the streak, and last year being embarrassed by Florida 30-3 in the Outback. Of course, the Christian McCaffrey Rose Bowl performance in a 45-16 win didn’t help. BC doesn’t have the talent of the last five teams that destroyed the Hawkeyes in bowls, but the pressure is on.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The New Era Pinstripe Bowl

This really has been an amazing run for Boston College. Midway through the season, the Eagles were 2-4 with a whole slew of nasty games to go. But just when it looked like the Steve Addazio era was all but kaput, everything flipped around. Now, the program that couldn’t seem to win an ACC game not all that long ago turned into a player.

There was a time when Boston College was an automatic bowl win. It went 10-1 from the 1994 Carquest to the 2007 Champs Sports, and then it went on a brutal run of five straight bowl losses before beating Maryland in your 2016 Quick Lane. Considering Iowa’s post-season frustration, this will be a really, really big moment for the winner.

This might be Nate Stanley’s moment. The 6-5, 212-pound Iowa sophomore quarterback has the size and a good enough arm, but he’s too streaky. He’s not accurate, hitting just 56% of his passes on the year, but the three times he was over 60%? 44 points in the win over Iowa State, 55 against Ohio State, and 56 against Nebraska.

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The New Era Pinstripe Bowl?

Iowa is so, so, so bad in bowl games, and it’s so, so, so mediocre on offense. Those two things alone – along with Boston College being red hot to close out the season – should be enough to run away screaming from the Hawkeyes.

But expect the Iowa run defense to rise up, watch out for the Hawkeyes offensive front to finally come up with a sharp game, and expect this to be a low-scoring battle that comes down to the kickers.

Iowa’s Migues Recibos hit 9-of-11 field goals on the season. BC’s Colton Lichtenberg hit 10-of-17.

Final Score

Iowa 19, Boston College 16
More Bowl Info & Get Tickets


Iowa -2.5, o/u: 46

ATS Confidence: 3
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar

Must See Rating: 3.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, Defected London NYE
0: New Year’s Eve with Maroon 5, Las Vegas

Pinstripe Bowl History, Results

Dec. 28, 2016 Northwestern 31, Pitt 24
Dec. 26, 2015 Duke 44 Indiana 41 (OT)
Dec. 27, 2014 Penn State 31 Boston College 30 (OT)
Dec. 28, 2013 Notre Dame 29 Rutgers 16
Dec. 29, 2012 Syracuse 38 West Virginia 14
Dec. 30, 2011 Rutgers 27 Iowa State 13
Dec. 30, 2010 Syracuse 36 Kansas State 34

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