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Hawkeyes out to end bowl losing streak

Iowa's 2017 season might be forever remembered for the improbable 55-24 upset win over Ohio State that ultimately kept the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff.

That takes some of the sting out of a somewhat disappointing year that started with three non-conference wins followed by a last-second loss to Penn State and four other Big Ten losses, including a stumble at home against Purdue.

The Hawkeyes (7-5) rebounded to blow out Nebraska 56-14 in their final game of the regular season and hope to carry the momentum into the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College (7-5) on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium in New York.

It wasn't the preferred destination for Iowa fans, who wanted the team to go to the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., but the Pinstripe appears to be a winnable game against an ACC opponent and that's what the Hawkeyes need.

Not only would Iowa like to finish with eight wins, it hopes to end a five-game bowl losing streak.

Coach Kirk Ferentz doesn't think there's any more pressure on his program this year because of the bowl drought than in past years.

"I've got to tell you, I don't feel any different than I have any year," he said Sunday. "There's never been a bowl that we haven't tried to win. I can't think of any games that we haven't tried to win.

"So it's as simple as that. I don't know if we'll be favored, not favored. Typically, we're not favored in bowl games, but we weren't favored against Ohio State either and we were able to win that. So it really gets down to trying to win a football game and navigating with the uniqueness of the month of December. Those are the two really big things."

Ferentz will have a chance to achieve a milestone in the bowl game. A win would be his 143rd and tie him with Hayden Fry for the most victories by a coach in Iowa history.

"I haven't thought about it," Ferentz said. "I'd be really happy to tie, I can tell you that, because that means we're going to win this game, which would be really good. To me, the motivating factor to win this football game is for us to get our eighth win."

But it won't necessarily be easy. Boston College won five of its last six games, and the loss was by three points to North Carolina State on Nov. 11.

"I do know this about Coach (Steve) Addazio's teams: They will be a physical, hard-nosed team, in general, that's kind of how BC has been for a long, long time," Ferentz said.

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley, a 1,000-yard rusher for the second consecutive season, is excited about the game because he's from New Jersey.

"It's back home," the senior said. "I'm in a real good mood right now. Getting an opportunity to play in front of my family, all of my family that couldn't come when I was playing out at Iowa. I know they're all going to be at this game. This is my last game as a Hawkeye and so this is going to be a real good opportunity."





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