Boston College Eagles vs Iowa Hawkeyes: Pinstripe Bowl live preview

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 18: Boston College Eagles celebrate after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 39-16 at Fenway Park on November 18, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 18: Boston College Eagles celebrate after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 39-16 at Fenway Park on November 18, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Capping off a surprising 2017 with a bowl victory will give the Boston College Eagles football team a lot to look forward to in 2018.

Bowl season for college football can sometimes offer a team a lesson in patience. Two to three weeks between a regular season finale and bowl game is a normal window, one giving teams plenty of time to prep. By the time the Boston College Eagles take the field on Dec. 27, over a month will have passed since their last game.

The Eagles (7-5) will look to end the year in style when they take the field against the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) at Yankee Stadium for the New ERA Pinstripe Bowl.

This bowl game is a match-up between two old school style football teams. Both teams rely on the run game on offense, countered with hard-hitting, ball-hawking defenses.

The two programs have never met on the gridiron and each team carries with them similar stats across the board. Boston College scores 26.2 points per game to Iowa’s 28.3 Iowa holds the slight edge in passing yards while the Eagles gain more yards on the ground.

Both teams finished in third in their respective conference divisions. Boston College picked up wins over Florida State and Louisville while the Hawkeyes’ throttling of Ohio State (55-24) likely kept the Buckeyes out of the playoffs.

Time, location and where to watch

  • Location: Yankee Stadium
  • Time: 5:15 (EDT)
  • TV: ESPN

Boston College Eagles

The success of the Eagles on offense for this bowl game — and likely the next two seasons — will depend on AJ Dillon.

Dillon has been a mainstay on many end-of-the-year award lists, with good reason. The freshman ran for 1,432 yards and 13 touchdowns, running through, over and sprinting past opponents with vigor. He will get a good test in the Pinstripe Bowl, as Iowa boasts one of the best linebacker units in the country.

Boston College is not the greatest passing team, but have had moments of excellence all season. Much of that was with freshman Anthony Brown under center, but Brown’s injury late in the season paved the way for Darius Wade.

Boston College Eagles

Wade completed 46-75 for 528 yards and has quality receivers to throw to. Freshman Kobay White led the team with 32 catches for 396 yards and two scores. Tight end Tommy Sweeney has been reliable as well, pulling down 29 receptions for 375 yards and three scores.

The usual crew will be ready on the defensive side, plus the hopeful return of Harold Landry. Landry, the star senior defensive end, missed much of the last quarter of the season and had five sacks in 2017.

Even if Landry doesn’t go, Boston College proved they have the talent to give other team’s offenses fits. Ty Schwab notched 103 tackles (including 8.5 for loss) and defensive lineman Zach Allen had 93. Allen led the team with 14.5 TFL to go along with five sacks.

Don’t sleep on the secondary, either, as Boston College had 18 interceptions on the year. They were led by Lukas Denis, who had seven.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa was pretty stellar on the defensive side of the ball as well. They collected 19 interceptions and held opponents to 19.9 points per game.

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A lot of their success was thanks to a trio of linebackers, led by All-American Josey Jewell. Jewell has 426 career tackles coming into the game, with 125 of those coming in 2017.

Joining him are Ben Niemann and Bo Bower. The three of them have combined for 119 career starts.

On the offensive side, Iowa will be powered by senior running back Akrum Wadley. Wadley has 1,021 yards and 9 touchdowns this season and 34 for his career, needing only two more to set the Iowa record.

Senior quarterback Nathan Stanley takes care of the ball, with only six interceptions in 2017 to go with 25 touchdown passes and 2,338 yards.


Chances are there might not be a lot of offense in this one, but I believe Boston College has the edge with Dillon: BC 24-Iowa 21

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It’s been a good, surprising season for the Eagles. Here’s to Boston College winning and building momentum to a (possible) ACC title run in 2018.