NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL STORYLINES
1. Boston College enters its second straight bowl game and fourth in five years under coach Steve Addazio with loads of momentum as it takes on Iowa in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 27. The Eagles finished the regular season with five wins in their last six games, scoring at least 35 points in each victory, and freshman running back AJ Dillon was the catalyst with 1,432 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. Addazio, whose 1-2 bowl record includes a loss in the Pinstripe Bowl in 2014, is aiming for his first eight-win campaign after finishing with seven victories in three of his first four seasons at the helm.
2. Addazio has a long way to go to match Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, whose 142 victories leaves him one shy of matching Hayden Fry on the all-time list at the school. Ferentz's current unit scored a mammoth victory over then-No. 3 Ohio State with a 55-24 triumph at home Nov. 4, but the Hawkeyes followed that up with back-to-back losses to sink to the middle of the pack in the Big Ten West. Ferentz is 6-8 in bowl games and has dropped five in a row.
3. Iowa has a 1,000-yard rusher of its own in senior Akrum Wadley, a New Jersey native who has reached that plateau in consecutive seasons and owns 34 career touchdowns - 27 on the ground. "Akrum is our marquee player from this area, and he is really excited, and he's had about 120 ticket requests," Ferentz told the media. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Stanley has 25 touchdowns against just six interceptions for the Hawkeyes, while the Eagles will be relying on senior Darius Wade, who took over under center after starter Anthony Brown suffered a season-ending injury Nov. 11 against North Carolina State and had his best game (16-of-20, 248 yards) in a 42-14 victory at Syracuse to end the regular season.
TV: 5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Iowa -3
ABOUT IOWA (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten): The Hawkeyes feature a dynamic duo on defense in senior linebacker Josey Jewell and junior cornerback Josh Jackson, who are piling up the postseason accolades. Jewell, a three-time captain, led the Big Ten in tackles with 123 while Jackson is tied with Boston College's Lukas Denis and one other for the national lead with seven interceptions. Iowa has been outscored 75-19 in its last two bowl games.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (7-5, 4-4 ACC): Although most of the roster has turned over since the Eagles lost 31-30 in overtime to Penn State in the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl, Addazio thinks that result can provide some motivation this time around. "They'll get a chance to enjoy the atmosphere of the city during the holiday season and we come back to the Pinstripe Bowl with a little added motivation," he told reporters. "We were part of one of the most exciting bowl games that season, but it didn't end the way we wanted. We have some unfinished business." Boston College piled up 581 yards of total offense in the win over the Orange and enters bowl season ranked 24th in the nation in rushing with 224.2 yards per game.
PREDICTION: Iowa 28, Boston College 24
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