Vegas Kyle's write up on the Hawkeyes putting a licking on the Cocks.
Iowa -4 over south carolina
This is the story of two teams with opposite perception from not just the betting public but the college football public in general. Iowa is an under the radar covering machine that I have been backing since the early part of the year. They do everything that we handicappers love to see in order to make money. They pound you with arguably the best RB in the nation in Shonn Greene , they stuff the run , they are well coached and they tackle. I had stated weeks prior to the penn state game that Iowa was going to trip them up and end their chance at a national title game. But it isn’t the fact that Iowa is as good a team as there is coming out of that conference that I like , it’s that no one seems to recognize it. That’s where we make our money... betting on teams that are undervalued and fading teams that are overvalued. In addition , Iowa seems to play with something to prove every week because they are not respected and talked about. Again they are right there with Ohio State and Penn state as the best team in the Big TEN but you actually hear more about Michigan state , Wisconsin and even a bad Illinois team than you ever hear about little old Iowa. What is even more appealing is the fact that Spurrier and company have been over rated most of the year and have expectations that far exceed their ability. Perception.
Whenever you examine a bowl g ame , it is important to figure out motivation as much as X’s and O’s. This is especially true when you are going to lay points as we are about to with the hawkeyes here. Does the favorite want to win the game? The answer should be a big YES in this spot. So unlike some other situations this year like Missouri , we have a favorite that WANTS to win. Then there is the conference mantle issue. The Big Ten conference desperately wants to beat the SEC after the ohio state title games the last couple of years.South Carolina really struggled down the stretch each of the last two years . Spurrier has had a tough time settling on a QB , and one would have to think that multiple quarterbacks see action again in this game . The gamecocks just turn the ball over too much and the grind it out style that iowa uses will punish those types of mistakes. Why does south carolina show up and play a more inspired game here than they did vs. rival Clemson to end the year ?
South Carolina has lost some players heading into this game including their leading tackler Emanuel Cook to academics which tells me that a lot of the guys have sort of given up on the year as well. Also, you have a situation where because of depth issues South Carolina is actually changing defensive schemes heading into the bowl. They ran a 4-2-5 scheme all year but the losses in the secondary have forced their hand to a 4-3 scheme for the=2 0bowl. Hard to expect superior execution when that happens. Yes . The injuries are in the secondary where iowa does less to exploit you as they like to slam you with the power run and yes , a 4-3 look is a better run stopping defense than a 4-2-5 but asking a new defensive scheme to stop iowa here consistently seems tough in my opinion … it only takes a few missed assignments for this to get away.
Iowa defense rates to shut down the usc rushing game almost completely and given enough opportunities the gamecock QB's tend to make big mistakes.
The biggest concern of the game for me would be FG kicking where USC has a decided edge.
Not going to over-analyze this one. The writing on the wall looks pretty clear and I am going to believe what I am reading.Iowa by 13