Iowa Football 2015 Bowl Capsule

Iowa Hawkeyes
Big Ten


Iowa has gotten a lot of press because of their easy schedule. Such is life in the Big Ten West when your crossover games are Maryland and Indiana. But the Hawkeyes had some very, very tough road games. They played at Wisconsin, Northwestern and Nebraska. And, of course, they won all of those games. And against Northwestern, arguably the best team of the bunch, they absolutely dominated, outscoring the Wildcats 40-10.

2015 Record: 12-1, 8-0
Coach: Kirk Ferentz
Coach Bowl Record: 6-6

Big Wins: 10/3 at Wisconsin (10-6), 10/17 at Northwestern (40-10)
Bad Losses: 12/5 vs Michigan State (13-16)

The Iowa offense has been underappreciated this season. Quarterback C.J. Beathard is not going to consistently put up big numbers, even by Big Ten standards, but he is a smart, efficient quarterback. During the regular season he threw just 14 touchdowns, but he did average nearly 200 yards per game, completed 60.7 percent of his passes and was intercepted a mere three times. In typical Iowa fashion, Beathard targeted his tight ends quite often. Henry Krieger-Coble caught 29 passes, while George Kittle added 18 receptions with six touchdowns. The big play receiver, when healthy, is Tevaun Smith. He averaged over 17 yards per catch. But the team’s top receiver, by far, is Matt VandeBerg, who caught 59 passes for 625 yards during the regular season. Beathard is more than capable of winning games with his arm, but this team wants to run, and they have with Jordan Canzeri, LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley. Canzeri missed a couple games, but still rushed for over 100 yards on five occasions, led by a 256 yard effort against Illinois. When Canzeri got hurt against Northwestern, Wadley stepped in and rushed for 204 yards and four touchdowns.

The Iowa defense has done a couple things very well this season. For one, they have held the opposition to just 110 yards per game on the ground. Players like Nate Meyer, Ben Niemann, Jaleel Johnson and Drew Ott spend a lot of time stuffing the run and putting pressure on the quarterback. This is not a group that will garner too many sacks, but they do get enough pressure to force opposing quarterbacks to make bad decisions. And that is when the secondary steps up and makes big plays. The team has intercepted 17 passes during the 12 regular season games and eight of those have been by Desmond King. He has also broken up 11 more passes and it is always a good idea to avoid King as much as possible. But overall, the numbers are not eye popping. The team ranks eighth in the Big Ten in pass defense, sixth in total defense and fifth in scoring defense. If the defense is not creating turnovers, they will be giving up a few points and that could be a problem, especially against a team that can move the ball through the air.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jordan Canzeri, RB, 976 yards
Passing: C.J. Beathard, QB, 2,570 yards
Receiving: Matt Vandeberg, WR, 639 yards
Tackles: Josey Jewell, LB, 119
Sacks: Nate Meier, DE, 7.0
Interceptions: Desmond King, DB, 8

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 203.7 (32nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 200.6 (92, 11)
Total Offense: 404.3 (63, 4)
Scoring Offense: 33.7 (41, 3)
Rushing Defense: 110.0 (6, 2)
Pass Defense: 221.7 (63, 8)
Total Defense: 331.7 (21, 6)
Scoring Defense: 18.7 (15, 5)
Turnover Margin: 1.17 (4, 1)
Sacks: 2.25 (52, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 1.67 (47, 7)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2014    Taxslayer Bowl    Tennessee (28-45)
2013    Outback Bowl    LSU (14-21)
2011    Insight Bowl    Oklahoma (14-31)
2010    Insight Bowl    Missouri (27-24)
2009    Orange Bowl    Georgia Tech (24-14)
2008    Outback Bowl    South Carolina (31-10)
2006    Alamo Bowl    Texas (24-26)

*all team stats through 11/30


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