Jan 5

Orange Bowl Preview

Posted By:Herky TheHawk - Iowa City, Iowa  Tags:

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ACC Champion Georgia Tech (11-2, 7-1) squares off with the Big-Ten's 2nd best team, Iowa (10-2, 6-2).

The Hawkeyes started the year 9-0, their best start since 1985. They lost to the Northwestern Wildcats after starting QB Ricky Stanzi went down with a severe ankle sprain. They lost again to Ohio State by 3 in OT with a freshman QB making his first career start. This is Iowa's 2nd Orange Bowl appearance - their first was in 2003 in a loss to USC, a game that I attended. Hawkeyes will have everybody back for this game including QB Rick Stanzi who is 17-4 as a starter in his career. But the Hawkeyes are anchored by their #11 in the nation defense lead by all Big-Ten performers Pat Angerer, Adrian Clayborn and Tyler Sash. Iowa has been stout against the run this year, but even more so against the pass ranked 4th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

For the Yellow Jackets, this is probably their best season in years, led by QB Josh Nesbitt and H-Back Jonathan Dwyer, they have an explosive option based offense that is ranked 2nd in the nation in rushing and 11th in total offense, they also have a big play making WR name Demaryius Thomas hes 6'3" 220 and and is very fast, Ga Tech does not throw the ball often but when they do its almost always to thomas and for big gains, he has 46 of Tech's 76 receptions this year and is averaging 25 yards per catch. Defensively, Ga Tech is near the bottom of the barrel in the ACC, they struggle mightily against the pass and the run, with one exception DE Derrick Morgan who may be the best defensive lineman in the entire country not named Suh.

This game sets up to be a slug fest with Ga Tech's run first option offense and Iowa's stout defense, but I think the real matchup is Iowa's Offense vs Ga Tech's Defense. Iowa's much maligned offense hasnt come up with many big plays this season but they have made the plays when they absolutely had to and they will look to do the same against a Ga Tech defense that gives up big plays on a regular basis, and with a month to prepare Coach Kirk Ferentz and Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker have no doubt put together a great gameplan to attack Ga Tech.

Im so pumped for this game I already have my Brad Banks Orange Bowl jersey on from 2003, Good Luck Yellow Jackets and GO HAWKEYES.

Im not going to make a prediction because thats not how I roll....

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