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Iowa Hawkeyes Outsmart Eagles in Pinstripe Bowl

Under the lights of a freezing 21-degree Yankee Stadium, the Iowa Hawkeyes took the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, 27-20, over Boston College. Although the Eagles controlled play with 281 yards in the first half, strong defense behind Big 10 DPOY Josey Jewell paved the Hawkeyes' way to a comeback.

With just three minutes left, Iowa broke out of a 20-20 tie on a controversial touchdown that would end the game. Iowa DE Anthony Nelson sacked Darius Wade to force a fumble, giving the Hawkeyes the ball.

From there, running back Akrum Wadley carried for 28 yards, and not even an overturned touchdown call could stop Iowa from planting the ball firmly in the endzone, giving them the night’s final lead.

BC tight end Tommy Sweeney fumbled early in the game to give Iowa its first points, but he redeemed himself later with seven catches, one which went for a touchdown. On a day where the Yankee Stadium field looked more like an ice rink, BC’s running game was forced to turn into a passing one, a much less reliable approach for the Eagles.

A few nasty spills on the ice cost both teams several rushing yards early on, with several players switching from cleats to sneakers to try to increase traction.

In his fourth start of the season, Darius Wade threw for 208 yards and one touchdown. Although Sweeney was his most reliable target, Wade found six different receivers with 59% accuracy.

The Hawkeyes took the field in the second half determined to mount a comeback, tying the game at 17 thanks to a 32-yard pass from Nate Stanley. The teams then traded field goals to tie things up again at 20, all before the dominant Stanley-Wadley combination sealed the Hawkeyes win.

The strong defensive matchup came to a head late in the fourth quarter as both teams found their footing on the ice. While Iowa dominated play in the second half, stuffing all of BC’s drives, the Eagles managed to hold their own defensively, leading the game with three sacks on the night. 

Jewell proved his unanimous all-American dominance on defense, combining with safety Amani Hooker for 23 of Iowa's 88 tackles. AJ Dillon, who still managed to rush for 157 icy yards, was obviously heavily anticipated by the Iowa defensive line, who stuck to the freshman every possible second he was on the field.

The Eagles, who started the game as 3-point underdogs, were playing without star quarterback Anthony Brown (right leg) and DE Harold Landry (ankle), who led the nation in sacks in 2016.

Despite the loss, BC chalks the 2017 season up to a win overall, ending 7-6. This is Steve Addazio’s fourth 7-6 season in five years at Boston College, and his third bowl loss in four appearances.

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