The Hawkeyes Mic picks are in for the Iowa – Southern Cal game. It’s unanimous again – perhaps somewhat surprisingly. Check them out – see if you agree or disagree.
Luke Meredith – Iowa 38-17:
It’ll be a close game for a half, maybe even through the middle of the third quarter. But USC is a dumpster fire _ at least by their standards _ and the players know it. What motivation will they have playing in a decrepit, half-empty stadium for the third time since 2014 for a coach, Clay Helton, who just brought in the worst recruiting class in the Pac-12 and is on super borrowed time? Iowa will make a play in the third quarter _ let’s go with Geno Stone on a pick-six _ and the Hawkeyes will roll. A 10-10 game at halftime becomes a 38-17 Iowa win.
@LukeMeredithAP on Twitter
Scott Dochterman – Iowa 27-24:
Iowa won two previous Holiday Bowls with last-second field goals. The Hawkeyes might as well make it three.
@ScottDochterman on Twitter
Steve Batterson – Iowa 24-21:
The difference here is on defense, where the Hawkeyes will be tested by the Trojans’ high-octane attack, but Iowa has built a wall in front of the end zone throughout the season. With the collective work of a disruptive front, I don’t see that changing in the season finale. If the Hawkeyes can generate some momentum on the ground, expect Iowa to reach its goal of a 10-win season with a little help from the foot of Keith Duncan.
@sbatt79 on Twitter
John Bohnenkamp – Iowa 34-17:
USC’s passing game could give the Iowa defense some problems, but I think the Hawkeyes have the emotional edge in this game.
@JohnBohnenkamp on Twitter
Brendan Stiles – Iowa 24-20:
I like the Hawkeyes to win their third straight bowl because I believe this game comes down to how disciplined Iowa is on both sides of the football. USC has the talent of a Michigan or Penn State, but the Trojans are the seventh most penalized team in the nation. If Iowa is able to play a clean football game Friday night, I think USC eventually unravels with penalties and turnovers, and this could wind up being a similar contest to the one Iowa won over Minnesota last month, where the Hawkeyes allowed yards and big plays, but didn’t allow most of those drives to end in 7 points.
@TheBStiles on Twitter
John Patchett – Iowa 34-21:
Iowa’s D vs. USC’s O. That looks to be the key matchup – or so most think – and for good reason. However, I have a feeling about this game – and I think the Hawkeyes Offense is going to surprise. Southern Cal’s Defense is not the strength of the Trojans Team this season. So…
You’ll see the Hawks in the 4-2-5 or some iteration almost this entire game (or you should, anyway). I think USC will have some success through the air – it has pretty much all year. But Iowa will contain that and maybe snag a turnover or two (the Trojans are a -7 in that category) – and they get a lot of penalties, too. I expect the Hawkeyes Offense to play with a bit of a chip on its collective shoulder in this one – and score more than you might think.
Iowa wins its third straight bowl game and first in a while in Southern California. Hayden and Bump will be smiling…
@HawkeyesMic on Twitter
Tyler Tjelmeland – Iowa 24-20:
Nate Stanley has quietly had an extremely successful career as Iowa’s QB, especially in the postseason. In the Outback Bowl in 2019, he finished strong with 21/31, 3 scores including a monster 75 yarder, to only one pick. Iowa’s Defense will have its hands full with a strong passing attack led by USC’s Frosh QB Slovis and stud WR Pittman, but it should be able to dictate tempo. Both teams finished the season strong, and it’s a little concerning seeing the Hawks head to California again… we all know what happened last time. Overall, Iowa is the better team, with a Senior QB. Give me the Hawks in a tight one.
@TylerTjemeland on Twitter
Jack Brandsgard – Iowa 23-21:
The Trojans boast a prolific air attack spearheaded by quarterback Kedon Slovis and his favorite target, Michael Pittman Jr. Receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns have outside chances to join Pittman Jr. in the 1,000-yard club this season. Put simply, the matchup to watch is USC’s receiving corps against Iowa’s secondary.
Look for Phil Parker to throw different looks at Slovis, a true freshman who will be playing on one of the biggest stages of his life. I expect AJ Epenesa to go out with a bang in what is almost certainly his last game as a Hawkeye, and I think Nate Stanley does enough to get the Hawkeyes to 10 wins.
@JackBrandsgard on Twitter
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