No. 1 in the ACC will take on No. 2 in the Big Ten when No. 9 Georgia Tech battles No. 10 Iowa in the Orange Bowl on January 5. As part of our 2010 BCS Bowl Preview, here are five things to watch for in the 2010 Orange Bowl.
1. GA Tech’s spread option attack vs. Iowa’s stiff run defense
Thanks to a three-headed monster in Jonathan Dwyer, Josh Nesbitt and Anthony Allen, the Yellow Jackets had the second best rushing attack in the nation this season. They averaged 307.15 yards per game, 35.31 points per game and 442.69 total yards of offense per game. There was only one time this season where Tech didn’t rush for over 200 yards on the ground, which came in a 33-17 loss to Miami in mid September. There’s no doubt Iowa has watched countless film on how the Hurricanes attacked the Jackets’ triple-option, remarkably holding them to just 97 yards on the ground. The Hawkeyes rank 11th in the nation in total defense and eighth in pass defense, but it’ll be their run defense (ranked 33rd in the country) that will be tested in the Orange Bowl. Miami succeed because it had the athletes in the front seven to penetrate the gaps and consistently wreck havoc in Tech’s backfield. Led by linebackers Pat Angerer and Jeremiha Hunter, the Hawkeyes have the tools to slow down Tech’s rushing attack. But will they execute come January 5?
2. Does Iowa have any late season magic?
Even though they would have rather won in less dramatic fashion, the Hawkeyes were kings of the comeback early in the season. They needed two blocked field goals to beat Northern Iowa in Week 1, a 16-point forth quarter to beat Penn State on the road, an interception in the final minutes to defeat Michigan at home, a come-from-behind second half win over Wisconsin and a last-second, fourth-down miracle to beat Michigan State in East Lansing. While some may point out that Iowa had a little luck running through its veins this season, there’s no doubt the Hawkeyes had some magic sprinkled in there too. It wasn’t until quarterback Ricky Stanzi got knocked out of a game against Northwestern in early November that things started to go wrong. Back to back losses against Northwestern and Ohio State knocked Iowa out of national title contention, but a 12-0 win over Minnesota in their final game of the season helped the Hawkeyes reach a BCS bowl. Did they save any magic for Georgia Tech?
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Posted in: College Football
Tags: 2009-2010 College Football Bowl Games, 2010 BCS Bowl Preview, 2010 Orange Bowl, 2010 Orange Bowl start time, Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech Iowa odds, Georgia Tech Iowa start time, Georgia Tech vs. Iowa, Georgia Tech vs. Iowa preview, Georgia Tech vs. Iowa smack talk, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Headlines, Iowa Hawkeyes, Jonathan Dwyer, Josh Nesbitt, Ricky Stanzi