Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

I'm really stoked to be leaving for this trip in less than 24 hours.  The chance to see Iowa State play football one more time this season is the biggest reason.  The product Rhoads puts out is one that is fun to watch and makes  you SO PROUD to watch.  I think ISU matches up well with Rutgers.  I think its a pretty even match-up.  Rutgers will have a home field advantage.  I think Iowa State will have a motivation advantage.  Everyone wrote off ISU making a bowl game at the start of the year.  Vegas had the over/under on wins at 2.5.  They were favored in only two games.  You know the story. 

The Cyclones are playing their best football of the season right now.  Rhoads is giving the team a chance to enjoy themselves this week and I think that is awesome.  This game is really just an exhibition.  Its great for these students to get a chance to experience New York and play in Yankee Stadium.  The benefits of playing in a bowl game have little to do with what happens on the game field.  Its about the extra practices, the traveling with the team, the increased fan excitement and the national exposure.  With that being said I can't see this team being unprepared.  Giving Wally and Paul a couple weeks to come up with a defensive game plan for struggling offense is the key.  I can't see ISU giving up more than 20 points to this Rutgers team.

Offensively I'm excited to see the progress this group has made in the last month.  They are extremely young and this game is a chance to showcase the future on that side of the ball.  It will be interesting to see how Herman calls this game knowing that all of Buckeye Nation is watching (even though Meyer will call plays).  I predict there will be at least one flea flicker, one wide receiver reverse and someone other than Jared Barnett will throw a pass.  I also look for Jeff Woody to get a lot of carries and go over the 100 yard rushing mark.  I think James White will pitch in with another 60 or so yards and ISU has a chance to rush for over 200 yards.

I think the first team to get past 24 points will win this game.  I think that team will be Iowa State.  It will be a struggle offensively at first.  The defense may get a turnover or two to set up the offense with good field position and an early score.  At the end of the game Cyclone Nation will be SO PROUD of this team and this experience.

Iowa State 27  Rutgers 20

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