Iowa snapped a five-game bowl losing streak against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl, and did so in comeback fashion.
Playing on a freezing cold evening at Yankee Stadium, Iowa overcame a 17-10 halftime deficit to beat the Eagles 27-20. Behind a big effort from senior running back Akrum Wadley, the Hawkeyes tied the game at 17-17 at the 7:11 mark of the third quarter and took the lead, 20-17, early in the fourth.
After a big throw from Darius Wade to tight end Tommy Sweeney, who led all receivers with seven catches for 137 yards, tied the game at 20 apiece with a 24-yard field goal with 8:09 to play.
Boston College, led by 157 yards from freshman running back A.J. Dillon, then quickly forced an Iowa three-and-out and looked to retake the lead. Iowa’s defense had other ideas. On a third down play from midfield, Iowa’s Anthony Nelson swooped around the edge and strip-sacked Wade. Parker Hesse recovered the fumble to give the Hawkeyes great field position at the BC 45.
Three plays later, the Hawkeyes had the winning score. First, Wadley reeled off a 27-yard run before Nathan Stanley found a wide open Nate Wieting down to the one-yard line. In classic Iowa fashion, fullback Drake Kulick plunged in on the next play for what proved to be the winning score with 3:09 remaining.
Boston College’s attempt to tie things up ended when Wade delivered a pass high and the ball deflected right into the arms of All-American cornerback Josh Jackson for an interception.
The win marks Iowa’s first bowl win since 2010, when the Hawkeyes beat Missouri 27-24 in the Insight Bowl (which hasn’t held that sponsor since 2011 and is now the Cactus Bowl). Since then, Iowa had lost five straight, including a 45-16 blowout at the hands of Stanford in the 2015 Rose Bowl.
There were some significant ramifications for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz in this one, too. As we noted earlier in the year, Ferentz gets a $500,000 bonus for reaching eight wins in a season. On top of that, Ferentz gets $650,000 if he’s still Iowa’s coach on Jan. 31. Yes, really.
Ferentz also tied Iowa legend Hayden Fry for the most wins — 143 — in program history. In his 19 seasons as head coach, Ferentz has a 143-97 record, including a 7-8 mark in bowl play. Fry had a 143-89-6 record from 1979-1998. Ferentz succeed Fry, who retired, in 1999.
With the loss, Boston College finished 7-6 for the fourth time in Steve Addazio’s five years as head coach. Addazio is 1-3 in bowl games.
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