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Iowa vs. Tennessee Taxslayer Bowl - 1/2/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) at Tennessee Volunteers (6-6)

College Football: Friday, January 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm (EverBank Field)

The Line: Tennessee Volunteers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 52.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Tennessee Volunteers visit EverBank Field to tangle with the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Taxslayer Bowl.

The Iowa Hawkeyes had their sights set on a much better recor before struggling down the stretch with losses in three of four. The Hawkeyes did not excel at too much offensively so the defensive side of the football was asked to keep the scoreboard managable which they generally did well with 335 yards and 24 points scored. At 398 yards and 28 points the team needed to avoid shootouts which they also did. With Jake Ruddock under center Iowa was a controlled attack as he avoided costly mistakes with 2,404 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Tevaun Smith was the top receiver with 559 yards with Kevonte Martin-Manley posting almost 500 yards. Mark Weisman led the grinding rushing attack with 802 yards but this team struggled to gain more then four yards per touch.

Iowa vs. Tennessee Taxslayer Bowl - 1/2/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers closed the regular season as winners in three of four to finish 6-6 and barely qualify for the postseason. Scoring and Tennessee were seldom mentioned in the same sentence which meant a heavy reliance on defense to keep the scoreboard within reason. That was mission accomplished with 360 yards and 23 points given up that kept an offense that totaled 363 yards and 27+ points competitive. That became even more important when QB Justin Worley took over 1,500 yards to the injury list. Joshua Dobbs filled in nicely with 1,077 passing yards with nearly 400 more coming on the ground. Pig Howard led the receivers with 589 yards with Marquez North and Von Pearson addin almost 650 yards.

Jalen Hurd was option number one on the ground with 777 yards but the averaged a little over four yards and needed more explosiveness.
The Under is 7-1 in Hawkeyes last 8 neutral site games with the Hawkeyes going 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Bowl games. For Tennessee the under is 5-0-1 in Volunteers last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game and is 4-0 in Volunteers last 4 non-conference games while going 4-0-1 in Volunteers last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. Neither offense looks imposing to me so I suppose you can make an argument for either side but for me I'll take the points...

 

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Iowa +3.5

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