Iowa's Kevin Ward (26) holds up the New Era Pinstripe Bowl trophy after the Hawkeyes beat Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa snaps bowl-game losing streak, beats Boston College, 27-20, in Pinstripe Bowl

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By Courtney Baumann

courtney-baumann@uiowa.edu

 

NEW YORK — After six years and 364 days, Iowa finally broke its bowl-game curse.

For the first time since Dec. 28, 2010, the Hawkeyes put a “W” next to a postseason game. Iowa will take home a 2017 Pinstripe Bowl victory over Boston College, 27-20.

It didn’t start out so well for the Hawkeyes. In fact, it was pretty bad. Through the first two quarters, Iowa put up just 56 yards of total offense. But the Hawkeyes managed to put together nearly triple that number in the second half to end the game with 200 yards of total offense.

There was a huge improvement defensively in the second half, too. After giving up 17 points in the first half, Iowa almost shut out the Eagles in the final 30 minutes, allowing just a field goal in the fourth quarter.

“For our team to come out the way that they did in that second half and push through it, to me, it was a breakthrough moment for us,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Just really happy for our football team, very, very proud of them.”

Iowa’s play depended almost entirely on the momentum shifters throughout the game. The first was on Boston College’s first drive, when Jake Gervase grabbed a tipped pass and ran it back to the Eagles’ 6-yard line to set the Hawkeyes up for their first score of the game.

The next came in the third quarter, when Nate Stanley connected with Nick Easley — his only catch of the game — for 32 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Akrum Wadley cakewalked into the end zone to tie the game at 17.

Anthony Nelson’s strip sack in the fourth quarter led to Iowa’s winning score. The defensive end knocked the ball loose from BC quarterback Darius Wade, which was then picked up by Parker Hesse. Iowa trooped 45 yards down the field and capped off the drive with a Drake Kulick rushing touchdown, the first of his career.

Boston College’s next drive gave Josh Jackson his eighth interception of the season, tying him for the single-season record with Desmond King, Lou King, and Nile Kinnick. It also allowed for the Hawks to chew up nearly half a minute from the clock before giving the ball back to the Eagles at their own 18-yard line with 54 seconds left and no timeouts.

“It was a good Christmas gift, I guess,” Jackson said. “It landed right in my hands; it was an easy pick. I’m glad we got it.”

Wadley was named the Pinstripe Bowl MVP after posting a career-high 283 all-purpose yards.

Finally given the opportunity to return kickoffs (again), he made the most of it. He ran for 171 yards after receiving the kicks, an Iowa bowl record.

The senior was just one touchdown shy of tying Iowa’s all-time touchdown record. His 2-yard run into the end zone in the first quarter put him at second, tying Sedrick Shaw with 35.

“We got in, and that’s the most important thing, so it doesn’t really matter,” Wadley said about the record. The MVP was a consolation, though. “It was wild, man. You can’t pay for moments like that.”

The win was a good sendoff for the senior class. Many have been with the team for five years now and had yet to see a bowl game win.

Luckily for them, they don’t leave the program without one

“It means a lot, ending a senior season like that,” Josey Jewell said. “Hopefully, it’s putting a little step there for the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, to have a better understanding of what it takes to win a bowl game.”

Another record was tied Dec. 27, this one by Ferentz. At 143 wins, he is now even with Hayden Fry for Hawkeye football victories.

“Probably one of the best decisions I’ve made, outside of asking my wife to marry me, was coming to Iowa in 1981,” Ferentz said. “In 1981, I had no clue, and however many years that is later, I feel very fortunate.”

Click below for more photos

Steam pours out of a heater during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Hawkeyes walk onto the field to warmup before kickoff of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. Ihmir Smith-Marsette (right) is seen walking off the field. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Hawkeyes huddle before kickoff of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Hawkeyes prepare to walk onto the field before the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) catches a touchdown pass during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) celebrates a touchdown reception during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Noah Fant (87) and Boston College's Will Harris (8) exchange words during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa tight end Shaun Beyer (42) misses a pass in the end zone during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College defensive end Zach Allen (2) celebrates a blocked pass during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's T.J. Hockenson (38) fixes quarterback Nate Stanley's (4) jersey after he's sacked during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College's Tommy Sweeney (89) and Korab Idrizi (85) celebrate a touchdown during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz exchanges words with the referee during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College running back AJ Dillon (2) celebrates a touchdown during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College assistant head coach Frank Leonard yells to his players after they score during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College Ray Marten (86) blocks the Iowa defense during a field goal during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

A young fan stares onto the field from the stands during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Staff on the field warm their hands next to a heater during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell (43) walks away after Boston College scores a touchdown during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa running back James Butler (20) attempts to shed tackles during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley (25) sheds tackles during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley (25) attempts to break tackles during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley (25) is tackled by the Boston College defense during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa quarter back Nate Stanley (4) punts the ball away on fourth down during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College quarterback Darius Wade (4) is sacked in the final minutes of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell (43) tackles Boston College running back Travis Levy (35) during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College wide receiver Kobay White (9) catches the ball over Iowa's Jake Gervase (30) during the first half of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The score going into the second half is 17-10. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Matt Hankins (8) blocks a pass during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson (15) celebrates an interception in the second half of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley (4) throws a pass to wide receiver Nick Easley (84) during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa wide receiver Nick Easley (84) catches a pass for a first down during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa wide reciever Nick Easley (84) celebrates a caught first down pass during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley (25) scores a touchdown during the second half of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley (25) celebrates a touchdown in the second half of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa defensive back Josh Turner (4) takes off his helmet after the Hawkeyes victory over Boston College in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Hawkeyes celebrate a victory over Boston College in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

A fan looks on the field during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Boston College defensive lineman Bryce Morais (90) walks to the locker rooms during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Hawkeyes celebrate a victory over Boston College in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Kevin Ward (26) holds up the New Era Pinstripe Bowl trophy after the Hawkeyes beat Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

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