This was a game that was played as advertised, a ground and pound affair, where the ability to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage was the order of the night. The Iowa Hawkeyes were just a little better at it than Boston College and in the process stopped a five-game bowl losing streak. The final score from Yankee Stadium, Iowa 27 Boston College 20.
Akrum Wadley was the story for the Hawkeye as he finished the game with 287 all purposes yards. On this night he did it all for his team whether it was returning kicks, catching the ball out of the backfield, or doing what he does best running the ball. Wadley wore down a BC defense that was very young at the middle linebacker position. The Iowa coaching staff made the proper adjustments at halftime and it paid off.
The Iowa defense made the game’s first big play of the game picking off Eagles quarterback Darius Wade and setting their offense up deep in BC territory. But, the Eagles defense rose to the occasion and forced Iowa to settle for a successful 24-yard FG. 3-0 Iowa.
BC’s offense finally got rolling toward the end of the first quarter on a 14-play, 62-yard drive that featured a fourth-down try that was successful. It would end with the 14th touchdown of the season by freshman running back A.J. Dillon who would record his ninth 100-yard rushing game of the season. The first quarter ended with the Eagles on top 7-3.
The second quarter began with Iowa taking advantage of a Wadley kick return all the way to the Eagles 16-yard line. From there, the Hawkeyes would cash in. Quarterback Nathan Stanley found tight end Noah Faint in the end zone to retake the lead at 10-7. For Faint, it was his 11th touchdown catch of the season.
Boston College took over the rest of the second quarter on the very next drive after Iowa took the lead. Wade took the Eagles back downfield and the drive would end with the Eagles QB hitting his tight end Tommy Sweeney (career high in receiving yards with 130) for a 39-yard touchdown catch. The ball was tipped, but Sweeney was able to haul it in down the right sideline and went untouched into the end zone. 14-10 BC.
The Eagles ended the half scoring again, this time it was a field goal of 30 yards by placekicker Cotton Lichtenberg. After an Iowa three and out, Lichtenberg would get another chance to extend the Eagles lead. But his 42-yard attempt was very wide right and the half ended with BC up 17-10.
BC’s defense in the first half was very good limiting Iowa to 56 yards of total offense and 0-4 on third down tries. Could the Eagles keep this up for another 30 minutes?
The answer was no! The only scoring of the third quarter belonged to the Hawkeyes as midway through the quarter, they tied the game. The big play on that drive was a 32-yard completion from Stanley to Nick Easley. It would set up Wadley to take into the end zone. The game was now heading into the fourth quarter at 17 apiece.
All season the last quarter was Iowa’s best outscoring their opponents by a 113-57 margin. The teams traded field goals to keep the game tied, now at 20-20. It would be the Hawkeye defense that would make the play that would ultimately give them the victory. Iowa recorded their first sack of the game and got the bonus by striping Wade and recovering the football. With a little more than three minutes left in the game, Iowa was primed to take this one home.
And they did just that with a 27-yard run by Wadley to set up Iowa deep in Eagles end of the field. A pass completion brought the ball to the BC one-yard line, and then Stanley handed the ball off to his fullback who plowed in from a yard out. 27-20 Iowa.
Boston College would get one motor crack at it With one minute left but Wade was intercepted for the second time in the game. This time it was by Josh Jackson his eight of the season, which leads all of FBS. Ballgame, Eagles go down 27-20 at the hands of the Hawkeyes.
Iowa ends their season at 9-4, Boston College finishes at 7-6.