1. Iowa showed up huge
Iowa scored 48 points in a blowout win over Middle Tennessee, but it failed to score more than 27 in each of its last eight games in in nine of its last ten.
It scored 28 in the first half against USC.
Granted, there was a kick six from Ihmir Smith-Marsette to help the scoring, and there was a pick six late make the final look ugly, but 49 points are 49 points.
To come up with a season-high in scoring with just four penalties, no turnovers, and a dominant all-around effort – even with just 328 total yards – in the final game of the season, this is a big deal for the program.
With the win, this is now a ten-win season for the Hawkeyes with a third straight bowl victory. It wasn’t all that long ago that Iowa lost five straight bowls and didn’t go to on in the midst of all of that.
Now, this becomes a fantastic season with – arguably – three plays being the difference in the losses to Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin by a combined 14 points.