Iowa’s offense stole the show as they led the way to a victory over USC football in the Holiday Bowl. What did we learn from this showdown?
A wild game in San Diego had everything you could ask for. Big offensive plays, excellent quarterback play, special team touchdowns, and a gutsy onside kick call. These teams left everything on the line and despite the score, put on a great game on the eve of the college football playoff.
Iowa has been a team that has been led all season long by their defense, which ranked 5th in the nation in points allowed per game. This game saw the Iowa offense step up with Nate Stanley playing very well in his final game as a Hawkeye.
USC came into this game winning red hot winning five of their last six games, and with all the drama surrounding the late decision to retain Clay Helton and a poor signing day performance, a win would have definitely relieved some of that pressure.
Both offenses came out hot as each scored a touchdown on their first two possessions. But it was Ihmir Smith-Marsette who gave Iowa the momentum with three total touchdowns: a 6-yard rushing score, a 12-yard receiving touchdown and a 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Iowa went into the half with a 28-17 lead.
On the opposite side USC’s offense was rolling as well and they even recovered a huge onside kick down 28-24 in the 3rd quarter. However, an injury to Kedon Slovis midway through the third quarter ended all momentum as they did not score for the rest of the game, with Iowa taking the victory 49-24.
Here are the bigger takeaways from Iowa’s win in the Holiday Bowl.