FedEx Orange Bowl: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech Preview and Predictions

Jeff SmithCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2010

January 5, 2010 | 8:00 PM EST, Miami, FL, on FOX

FedEx Orange Bowl

Iowa Hawkeyes  (10-2) vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  (11-2)

Opening Line:  Georgia Tech -2.5  (current GT -5 )

Game Preview:
Iowa…really?  It's amazing what a win over Penn State can do.  I think this game has many mismatches which favour Georgia Tech.  Yes, Iowa has good defensive numbers, but it is not like there are many offensive juggernauts in the Big Ten. 

They haven’t seen a dynamic offense like the Yellow Jackets all season, and no matter how much time you have to prepare, the triple option can be a nightmare.  What helps GT is that Iowa has trouble scoring.

This means they are unlikely to get down much, if at all, and they can stick with what got them there even if they have a slow start.  Georgia Tech might blow these guys out, but I think the reverse is very unlikely.

Iowa Preview:
 This Iowa team won games, plain and simple.  It wasn’t pretty watching their vanilla offense, but in all but two contests they made enough plays when it mattered to grab victory.  They were only 11 points away from a perfect season.  However, it has to be said that this team is boring. 

Sure their defense is stout, but even though it is the dominant unit on the team, it is not loaded with big time play-makers.  Iowa is going to have to rely on its defense to keep it close in this one. 

Sure Georgia Tech is one dimensional, but that one dimension can both wear you down and be explosive all at the same time.  It would be great if the Hawkeyes could jump out to an early lead, but that has happened rarely this season, and with starting QB Ricky Stanzi iffy and leading rusher Adam Robinson out for the season, it is even more unlikely.

Georgia Tech Preview:
  I think it is safe to say that Georgia Tech has proven you can win in a major conference running the triple option.  They are ranked second in the nation in rushing, and even though their total passing yards are not impressive, unlike other option teams, they have the ability to crack big plays in the air with their amazing mismatch at WR.

Demaryius Thomas is a beat who averages 25 ypc.  The way they shorten the game on offense and pressure the QB on defense can be a dangerous combination, one that only Miami and Georgia were able to thwart, two teams with vastly superior athleticism to Iowa.

You have to love watching the Yellow Jackets play.  For every dive into the line there is a 50-yard play around the corner.  It is just a matter of time.  Very exciting.

Game Prediction:
 Things look very good for these teams next year, but I think Iowa’s luck has run out for this one.  The Big Ten has been very good this bowl season, but Georgia Tech is a tough opponent talent style wise.

They will grab an early lead and then squeeze out the game.  Look for over 200 yards on the ground at least and a couple of big plays in the air.

Score Prediction:

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  – 30
Iowa Hawkeyes  – 17

Pick:  I love a blowout in this one, so I am comfortable sticking with Georgia Tech all the way up to -7.  After that I am on the sidelines for this one.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football Betting Trends
Georgia Tech is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games.
Georgia Tech is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games.
    Iowa Hawkeyes Football Betting Trends
    Iowa is 4-2 ATS in its last six games.
    Iowa is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games.
    The total has gone UNDER in four of Iowa’s last six games.