The Hawkeyes Mic picks are in for the Iowa – Mississippi State Outback Bowl Game. It’s not unanimous though there is a heavy MSU tilt – but everyone thinks it will be a close lower-scoring game with these two defenses. Check them out – see if you agree or disagree.
John Patchett – Iowa 20-10:
Here’s the deal. Unlike my compadres here (below) - and I dearly love and respect them all – I’m going to predict exactly how Iowa is going to win this game. MSU has an outstanding D. Let’s just get that out of the way. But it’s Offense tends to be very one-dimensional, especially against good Defenses. It is averaging just four points per game in its losses — all against good Ds. Trace McSorley ain’t on the Bulldogs sidelines this time for Joe Moorhead.
So. The Hawkeyes are going to score one Offensive TD plus two field goals. The Iowa Defense is going to get one TD — either a scoop and score or a pick-six. That’s how Iowa is going to get the 2019 Outback Bowl upset and finish the season 9–4.
Scott Dochterman – Mississippi State 16-10:
In its three November victories, Mississippi State allowed 12 combined points. With Jeffery Simmons manning the middle and pass-rusher specialist Montez Sweat (11 sacks) crashing from the outside, Iowa will need to battle for every inch. The Hawkeyes’ inconsistent running game should require multiple big plays in order to win. Without tight end Noah Fant, that’s awfully difficult to project.
Steve Batterson – Iowa 21-18:
America does not need more cowbell, but Iowa will need its defense to put a difference-making touchdown on the board if it hopes to earn a win in the Outback Bowl.
Yards and points will be hard to come by in a match-up where both teams will attempt to get it going on the ground first. The Hawkeyes’ ability to reach the 100-yard rushing mark will be big in getting the new year off to a good start. Mekhi Sargent, the ball is your hands.
Brendan Stiles – Mississippi State 19-10
I just get the feeling it’s going to be a rough afternoon for Iowa’s offense, between not having Noah Fant, and Mississippi State having one of the top defenses in the entire country, certainly one of the best defensive lines. In order for the Hawkeyes to prove me wrong, I believe they are going to need a stellar performance from Phil Parker’s defense and will probably need either that defense or for the special teams to contribute to the scoring with a touchdown of some sorts. But given Iowa’s recent history in bowl games against SEC teams, I just don’t see it here, especially when this is the biggest underdog Iowa has been in any game all season.
@TheBStiles on Twitter
Tyler Tjelmeland – Mississippi State 23-17:
The intrigue in this game early will be how Iowa adapts to not having superstar Tight End Noah Fant available as he sits to prep for the draft. If Hockenson can step up and the receiving core contributes with the solid run game excelling, Iowa has a good chance in this game. The Hawkeyes have been able to get better as a game goes on, but Mississippi State is as talented as any team it’s seen this year. The Bulldogs are a top defensive unit and have only allowed 36 points in its past four games. 24 of those points were to Alabama. Both teams knock you out on defense and it could turn into a slug fest in Tampa. It will be close because of the defense prowess element, but ultimately Iowa falls to 2-4 in Outback Bowls under Ferentz. I prefer bloomin’ onions anyway.
Jack Brandsgard – Mississippi State 17-10:
This feels like a low-scoring, grind-it-out game reminiscent of the 2015 Big Ten Championship.
Mississippi State has the nation’s stingiest scoring defense (12.0 points per game), and Iowa is without Noah Fant. That’s not a good recipe for a Hawkeyes offense that has a tendency to disappear for stretches.
More bad news for Iowa: The Bulldogs haven’t allowed a touchdown in more than 10 quarters. Mississippi State’s run defense is physical and mean, which will make it difficult for Iowa to gain any traction on the ground – something it needs to do to win.
Iowa will fight valiantly, but Mississippi State’s defense is too much.
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