By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — ‘Tis the college football bowl season, which typically means a new opponent in a new venue.
The University of Iowa will take it a step further with a new offensive coordinator who is coming off a game where the Hawkeyes gained 505 yards and scored 56 points.
This is the fifth consecutive bowl game for Iowa; its last four were in January. The Hawkeyes (7-5) play Boston College (7-5) in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27.
“A bowl game is a bowl game,” Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz said Monday at a news conference in the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center. “We have played games on as short of notice as five days. There isn’t any time challenge. We’re going to a new venue, it’s an unfamiliar venue, but that is exciting. This is another part of playing football. The unique challenge is getting ready for a team you don’t have a lot of history with and that’s true of any bowl game. In that way, it’s what we do every year. Just in a new venue that we’re excited about.”
Boston College finished the season with five wins in the last six games, scoring 45, 41, 35, 14, 39, and 42 points. The defensive coordinator for the Eagles is Jim Reid, who spent three seasons with the Hawkeyes.
“Coach Reid knows a little about us; he is familiar with our program and he is familiar with us offensively, at least philosophically,” Ferentz said. “He is going to have some answers for us. When you look at them the last four or five games, some of the teams and players they have been able to contain is impressive.”
Ferentz will spend the remaining eight days before kickoff looking for matchups to exploit. Boston College allowed an average of 398.1 yards per game.
“Where the matchups are? I haven’t found them yet,” Ferentz said. “We’re still looking and I hope we can find some before we play them.”
Ferentz calls Eagle senior defensive end Harold Landry a “difference-maker up front” and he has been impressed with junior defensive back Will Harris, who leads a talented and experienced secondary.
“They have big (linebackers) who do a nice job in the run game,” Ferentz said.
Of the nine Eagles named All-Atlantic Coast Conference, four played defense: Lukas Denis (safety, second team), Landy (third team), Ty Schwab (linebacker, third team), Zach Allen (defensive end, honorable mention).
“We’re excited about the challenge of playing Boston College, a really good football team,” Ferentz said. “(They) remind me a lot of our program on how they are built and structured, so that will be an interesting challenge for us. They see an offense like ours every day in practice, so they won’t be caught off guard by that.”
The Hawkeyes have completed 10 pre-bowl workouts and since Saturday, the focus has been all football.
“We’re out of school, out of finals, out of class, so it is about football,” Ferentz said. “It’s about taking young guys and pushing them forward and with the older guys, we want to sharpen those skills as we move ahead.”
Tickets are available to the 2017 New Era Pinstripe Bowl by visiting Iowa’s Athletic Ticket Office at www.hawkeyesports.com/tickets. The game will be televised on ESPN at 4:15 p.m. (CT) on Dec. 27 with Kevin Negandhi, Mack Brown, Booker McFarland, and Jen Lada on the call.