Game Predictions – Pinstripe Bowl vs. Iowa
Here are our picks from the WZBC Sports board for the Pinstripe Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
TJ Hartnett: It all comes full circle. Just three years ago, I was sitting in this exact spot as a wide eyed BC freshman anticipating BC’s first bowl opportunity against Penn St. I think we all know how that one ended. Fast forward to senior year, lucky enough to broadcast my final game at Yankee Stadium, my excitement is through the roof. The future of this team is bright and I cannot wait to support as an alumni. But for now, the Hawkeyes stand in the way of BC’s best season in my tenure. Iowa is no joke with close losses to MSU and PSU and big wins over Iowa State and Ohio State. They had the 6th hardest schedule in the country and, with the exception of the Wisconsin game, didn’t get their doors blown off once. Josh Jackson is a FREAK earning Big 10 DB of the year with 7 INT’s (sup Lukas Denis) and a swagger that can’t be quantified. He will be a huge problem if Wade is inconsistent, could eliminate an entire side of the field. On the offensive side, Akrum Wadley is a solid back and also an NJ kid playing in front of his family for only the second time. Sometimes little things like that go a long way and I expect him to have a good day. For BC to win this game, a few things need to happen. First, the RB’s, in particular AJ Dillon, need to go off. Iowa’s run defense is one of the best in the country, whoever wins this battle up front will control the game. Second, the D needs to contain Noah Fant. He leads the country in TD’s for a TE and is a bear to cover, similar to Sweeney. Don’t allow him the chance to go out one-on-one with a smaller DB. Third, STAY CONFIDENT. This team has won 5 of its last 6 and has had a confident that I’ve never seen throughout my four years. Keep that confidence rolling and walk out of NYC with that coveted 8th win. Iowa has struggled in bowl games recently, hoping that trends continues. Overall, this game is going to be a great test for BC, and I’m excited to watch this ground and pound game in the cold of the House that Steinbrenner built. I’ve got the Eagles taking home the Pinstripe Bowl Trophy, 21-17.
Steve McAlee: We couldn’t have gotten a better bowl placement – the Pinstripe Bowl is arguably the best of the lower-tier bowls, it’s in a great city at a great time of year with a lot of BC alums and offers great visibility to BC, and Iowa is just an excellent opponent. If BC were to pull this one off, Steve Addazio has proven himself to be one of the more competent coaches in D1, a guy to actually (not kidding) be excited about for what’s to come. However, I don’t think BC wins against the Hawkeyes. Iowa is a talented, fundamental, and battle-tested team that will exploit Darius Wade’s vulnerabilities. I think Addazio and Loeffler will produce a gameplan that gets all they can out of Wade, but he simply cannot do what Brown can. That said, I think the bowl placement and game will still be a success in the end – losing your starting QB is an excuse when playing a team as talented as Iowa. Barring an absolute blowout from Yankee Stadium, Addazio has proven to me he is capable of bringing BC to the heights on an 8-win season, even if it doesn’t happen this year. Iowa 28 – Boston College 17
Landon Komishane: Steve Addazio was granted his wish as it was well noted that he wanted to be in the Pinstripe Bowl. Iowa always has a flare for the dramatic, losing a close one to Penn State but crushing Ohio State at home. It seems that Iowa fans do not have as much enthusiasm for this game as BC fans do, so that could provide an advantage. The key to this game and most BC games is AJ Dillon. Can Iowa contain him and force Wade to beat them. BC finished their season winning 5 of 6 games, and they were more successful when AJ Dillon was more involved. BC should establish the run early and often, and that will put them in good position to win. Ultimately, BC will avenge their painful loss at Yankee Stadium three years ago with a close win over a good Iowa team. BC 24, Iowa 21
Matt Seelig: The Eagles take on Iowa, the team largely responsible for Alabama’s CFB Playoff appearance with their 55-24 thrashing of Ohio State in early November. On the surface, the Hawkeyes are not that different from Steve Addazio’s Eagles, with a run heavy offense and a strong defense. Iowa falls within the top 25% to top 30% in both pass and rushing defense, so they will be a tough wall to get around. I feel confident about our offense. Darius Wade looked good against UConn and Syracuse. Admittedly, that was against UConn and a weak Syracuse team, but he looked like a confident quarterback who could take on bigger and better competition. Tommy Sweeney had been a frequent target in these past games, so expect him to be a source of short, yet reliable yardage. And of course, we still have our ace in the hole, AJ Dillon who will always be tough to shut down. My bigger worry is BC’s defense. They did not great against either UConn or Syracuse. While neither of those teams managed to rack up a large number of points against us, they exposed gaps in the offense that did not seem to be their earlier in the season. Injuries, such as Harold Landry, explain part of this, but BC’s defense does not feel like the same team that kept Clemson to 7 at the half. I do not underestimate Iowa’s ability to find the weaknesses in our defense and exploit them. At that same time, Steve Addazio and Jim Reid have had nearly a month to build up our defense back up to snuff, and I put my trust them that they will have a defense that can hold out Iowa long enough Wade and the offense to secure a lead, even if its tight. Final score: BC 24-Iowa 21
Kyle Maslan: Iowa had some high profile wins, and some not-so high proflile losses. One common theme among their good games vs good teams is that they occur at home. Iowa almost beat Penn State and demolished Ohio State infrom of their home fans. This is in large part due to their strong home field advantage. That home field will be missing for the Bowl Game as the fans will not be as close to the field, and it will likely be a pro-BC crowd. Look for a cold day in New York and for that to work in the favor of AJ Dillon and the BC run heavy offense. Hopefully the Boston College offense will have some tricks up their sleeves like last year, and they feed the beast in Dillon. Addazzio will pick up that illusive 8th win. BC 21- Iowa 13
Al Preziosi: BC and Iowa sport similar profiles: offenses that lean on their running backs and tough, physical defenses. Expect a low-scoring, old-school type game. A.J. Dillon propels the Eagles to a gritty bowl win. BC 20 – Iowa 17
Sam Parsons: Iowa has proven capable of beating good teams this season (notably besting Ohio State in November); however, they have also proven capable of losing to lesser teams such as Purdue. Still, they figure to be a formidable opponent, and should BC win, I would argue that it would be their best win of the season. The Eagles will, of course, be without their starting QB, Anthony Brown, but the offense hasn’t missed a beat without him so far. It’s also worth wondering if Harold Landry will suit up, as he is questionable with a nagging ankle injury. I think that the key to this game (sans AJ Dillon) lies in the BC secondary. Iowa lacks a go-to guy in the passing game, so they will be spreading the ball around. Everyone will need to be on their A-game here. I think they’ll put forth a great effort, but I also think BC will come up just short, with the hope that they prove me wrong, as they have a couple of times this season. Iowa 31, BC 24
Matt Sottile: BC has seen their young team grow over the past few months into a ground and pound exciting team that has the ability to compete with the highest level of competition in the ACC. They head to Yankee Stadium to face another cold weather Power 5 team, in Iowa. Iowa handedly beat Ohio State by over 30 at home this year, essentially knocking the Buckeyes out of the CFP. BC has the weapons to compete this game, but Iowa’s offense is the one able to find their rhythm early and hold off BC. Iowa 24, BC 19
Andrew Linnehan: At the beginning of the year, a bowl appearance for BC seemed unlikely. A freshman QB and a tough schedule looked to doom BC’s season as they prepared for a schedule featuring Clemson, Louisville, and Florida Stat. Yet, here we are in December, BC playing after Christmas, at 7-5, beating 2 of the 3 premiere match ups going into the season. As for he Iowa match up, I expect Iowa to focus their attention on maintaining AJ Dillon in the run game and force Darrius Wade to beat them. If Dillon is limited to under 100 yards, the BC is going to have a rough ride in the Bronx. As impressed as I have been with BC this year, I expect Iowa to game plan well against BC’s run-reliant offense. Iowa 28 BC 14