Friday, December 30, 2011

College Football Bowl Preview- Pinstripe Bowl- Rutgers vs. Iowa St.

Friday 12/31- 3:20 PM EST- Rutgers (8-4) (-1) vs. Iowa St. (6-6) O/U 44.5- In a weak Big East conference, Rutgers had a relatively impressive season. Three of their four losses can be considered "good" losses, with two 2-point defeats on the road against bowl teams (UNC and L-Ville) and one late 4th quarter loss to West Virginia. At times, Rutgers defense was dominant, holding Cincy to 3 points, Pitt to 10, SFla to 17, and L-Ville to 16. They rank 32nd nationally, allowing 5.0 YPP, which is critical to their success considering their struggles offensively (109th in YPP). Iowa St.'s season was largely defined by two overtime wins against Iowa and Oklahoma St. Take out those two games, their season appears disastrous. They lost convincingly by double digits to 5 of their 6 opponents, managing to lose by only a TD to Kansas St. in the finale. They have struggled both offensively and defensively to establish consistency, ranking 89th and 73rd respectively in YPP. There is a strong home-field advantage in this game for Rutgers, as well, since the game will be played in Yankee Stadium.

Prediction- Rutgers defensive until will be the best on the field. Iowa St. has the potential to move the ball on the ground against this Scarlet Knights, but I don't think that will happen. Rutgers will play a conservative, grind it out game in front of the virtual home crowd and emerge victorious. Score- 23-17 Rutgers.

Gambling Perspective- Plays- 9-3 (2-0 on Big Plays)
Leans- 6-1

Play Rutgers -1. Iowa St. gained credibility from the betting market by winning a fluky overtime game against a highly ranked opponent. Rutgers proved all year to be the more solid squad, and the crowd advantage only adds to the playability of this game. Lean under 44.5. This is only a lean because of the poor nature of Iowa St.'s defense and the potential for Iowa St. to establish a ground game against Rutgers. The best unit on the field is the Rutgers defense, however, so an under play is somewhat acceptable.

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