Blog Entry

Keys to the Game: Pinstripe Bowl

Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:59 pm
 
Posted by Chip Patterson

RUTGERS WILL WIN IF: They can limit turnovers and establish the run early. The Scarlet Knights have been their own worst enemy at times this season, turning the ball over more times (28) than any team in the Big East. The impact on the game's result has been clear, with Rutgers averaging 3.25 turnovers per game in their four losses while the average in their eight wins was 1.875. Head coach Greg Schiano has stressed a desire to let the run setup the pass in this matchup, and that will require a strong showing from sophomore running back Jawan Jamison. Jamison has been up and down during the regular season, and the Pinstripe Bowl will be his first healthy opportunity to follow up on his 200 yard, two touchdown effort in a win over Cincinnati on Nov. 19. Jamison suffered an ankle injury early in the regular season finale against Connecticut, and the offense sputtered down the stretch in a 40-22 loss.

IOWA STATE WILL WIN IF: They can get a big performance from Jared Barnett. The freshman quarterback took over the starting job midway through the season, finishing with a 3-2 record as a starter. Barnett was a huge part of Iowa State's upset of Oklahoma State, throwing for 376 yards and adding 84 rushing yards in the overtime win. The rookie sensation was not given an easy task for an encore, having to finish the season on the road against Oklahoma and Kansas State. But with extra time to prepare, expect the Cyclones to utilize Barnett along with running backs James White (701 yards, eight touchdowns) and Jeff Woody (360 yards, five touchdowns) in a spread zone read attack. If Iowa State can spread that disciplined Rutgers defense and create some gaps, Barnett, White, and Woody should have opportunities to create big plays for the Cyclones.

X-FACTOR: Iowa State's offensive preparation. Head coach Paul Rhodes holds no ill-will towards offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who has accepted the same position on Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State. But before making the final move to Columbus, Herman has pledged his dedication to preparation and execution of a game plan for the Pinstripe Bowl. Herman's creativity and talent as a play-caller has been obvious in Iowa State's surprising success during the 2011 season, and freshman quarterback Jared Barnett will need as much guidance as he can get heading into his first career bowl start. It's only natural to wonder if Tom Herman's focus over the holiday season has been split between the two positions, and question if that will have an effect in Iowa State's preparation for Rutgers.

Keep up with all the latest on Rutgers and Iowa State at the Pinstripe Bowl Pregame

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