Why Iowa Will Win The Outback Bowl
– The Iowa secondary has been fantastic at taking the ball away. It’s been solid all season long, but it turned into something special after September, picking off 16 passes in the last eight games. MSU’s Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t throw picks, but Iowa’s defense has found ways to screw up just about everyone’s quarterback.
– Overall, the Iowa defense doesn’t get gouged. The secondary – helped by all of the interceptions – is great on third downs. The run defense is dominant – with the linebackers to keep Fitzgerald from going off – and with a style of overall play that controls the clock and games from getting into scoring shootouts. Iowa was second in the Big Ten in scoring D, allowing more than 28 points just three times, and allowing 16 or fewer in seven games.
– Yeah, the Iowa run defense is just that good. The veteran line is just disruptive enough to get into the backfield on a regular basis, and it doesn’t allow anyone to plow away. Wisconsin was the only team to come up with over 200 yards, and Northwestern was the only other offense to generate more than 140 – that includes games against Maryland, Penn State, and Iowa State.
Considering the Mississippi State passing game was the second-worst in the SEC, stop the Bulldog ground game, in general, stop Mississippi State.