It might have been cold, but it was a terrific game finished up by a big late Hawkeye drive. Here are five things that matter.
2017 Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa 27, Boston College 20
5. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
This was supposed to be a close, tight game in the cold weather between two teams that care about defense and the ground game. In the end, it was all about the turnovers, Boston College had three of them, Iowa didn’t have any.
The first turned into an Iowa field goal to start things out, and the last gave the Hawkeyes the ball with great field position which led to the game-winning touchdown.
For an Iowa team that couldn’t move the ball, the defense came through to save the day.
4. Iowa won a bowl game? REALLY?!
No, that can’t be.
The Iowa program that lost five straight bowl games since 2010, and got its doors blown off in the last three?
Tennessee in the 2015 TaxSlayer, Stanford in the 2016 Rose, and Florida in the 2017 Outback – they were all ugly. Iowa needed a good bowl game performance, and it came up with the win.
Yes, the offense couldn’t get going, and yes, it was ugly at times trying to get things moving, but when the Hawkeyes had to get going, they did.
And they won a bowl game. Finally.
3. AJ Dillon was AJ Dillon
Iowa had a whole month to figure out the Boston College running game, and Dillon still came up with 157 yards and a score.
Granted, it took him 32 carries to get there, and 66 yards came on one big dash, but he still was able to control the game – for the most part – for stretches.
QB Darius Wade threw two picks, but he was okay. It was Dillon who almost carried the Eagles to the win, and now he’ll be one of the hottest players this offseason as a potential 2,000-yard back for 2018.
2. Akrum Wadley
Dillon was better, but Wadley did what he needed to do for a mediocre offense that couldn’t get things moving.
The veteran back ran 22 times for 88 yards and a score, and caught two passes for 24 yards. It was a strong way to close out a nice career and a second straight 1,000-yard season.
It might not have been the season he and most Hawkeye fans were hoping for, but with his massive three-score performance against Nebraska, and then this, he was more than good enough.
1. Iowa’s defensive performance
Considering the offense came up with those 200 yards, the Iowa defense needed to be outstanding.
It might have allowed close to double the yards – 383 – and it struggled on third downs, but when it needed to come up with something large late in the game, it did.
All BC had to do was grind down the clock on a decent march, kick a field goal, and win. But the Hawkeye D forced the turnover it needed, and that was it.
Josey Jewell came up with 11 tackles, safety Amani Hooker led the game with 12 stops, Josh Jackson was Josh Jackson with a pick, and Anthony Nelson rocked with six stops and 1.5 sacks.
It doesn’t matter how it all looked, the Hawkeyes won. The D made it happen.