Darius Wade

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Iowa snaps bowl losing streak with Pinstripe Bowl victory over Boston College

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Iowa had not won a bowl game since 2010, but that drought is now over. The Hawkeyes (8-5) scored a go-ahead touchdown moments after a costly Boston College (7-6) fumble and the defense held on for a 27-20 victory in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium Wednesday evening.

Drake Kulick powered his way in from inside the one-yard line for a go-ahead touchdown after an instant replay overturned a touchdown reception for Nate Wieting. Wieting hauled in a pass for a 17-yard gain from Nate Stanley immediately after a 27-yard run from Akrum Wadley as Iowa made quick work off a Boston College fumble. Boston College quarterback Darius Wade had the ball knocked out of his hands by Anthony Nelson at midfield with 4:22 to play. Iowa outscored Boston College 10-3 in the fourth quarter after shutting out Boston College in the third quarter.

Iowa’s standout defensive star, Joshua Jackson, had the ball thrown away from him most of the night, but he picked off a pass from wade in the final 90 seconds of the game to help Iowa put the game on ice. It’s also worth noting the game was played in below-freezing temperatures since kickoff, making for a tough playing surface to gain much traction on for both teams. It took Iowa a while to get warmed up on offense against a stingy defense, but it clicked when it mattered the most.

Boston College out-gained Iowa 387-200 in the game but three turnovers to Iowa’s none was too much to overcome. Iowa scored 10 points off those three turnovers, including a field goal in the opening minutes of the game despite getting the ball at the Boston College six-yard line. Boston College running back AJ Dillon rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

The win moves Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz into a tie for the most wins in program history with Hayden Fry. Iowa also gets the Big Ten off to a 1-0 mark in the postseason, while the ACC takes its first hit and is now 2-1.

Boston College will open the 2018 season at home on Sep. 1, 2018 against in-state opponent UMass. Boston College will face one of Iowa’s division foes, Purdue, on the road next season (Sep. 22). Iowa’s 2018 season will also begin on Sep. 1 with a home game against Northern Illinois, followed by a home game against Iowa State of the Big 12.

Position change for Boston College QB

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Realizing his chances to play may not be in demand at the suddenly crowded quarterback position at Boston College, Josh Bordner is going to try to compete on the other end of the passing game.

“He doesn’t want to carry a clipboard and stand on the sidelines,” Boston College head coach Steve Addazio said in a report by ESPN.com. “He was like, ‘Coach, I want to get on the field, and I want to play ball.'”

It is expected Boston College will give Florida transfer Tyler Murphy every opportunity to start for the Eagles this fall. Murphy transferred to Boston College with one final year of eligibility remaining. Murphy graduated from Florida and will be eligible to play for Boston College this season under NCAA transfer rules. Boston College also have dual-threat quarterback Darius Wade joining the program as an early enrollee this spring, and he is expected to get some looks under center as well. The Eagles also have dual-threat James Walsh coming off a redshirt season, making for a crowded quarterback situation this spring.

Fortunately, Addazio has a team-player in Bordner, who just wants to help the team and get on the field.

“He’s really tough, really smart, he’s got unbelievable ball skills and hands, he can fill that hybrid receiver role a little bit,” Addazio said. “He belongs on the football field. It’s our job to find that right spot for him.”

Boston College has a couple of starting jobs to fill in 2014 among the receivers, but whether or not Bordner gets to fill a starting job will be a tall order. He certainly can bring some size to the wide receiver or tight end position, but this spring he will have to prove he has dependable hands if he wants to make an impact. Having played the quarterback position under Addazio, although mostly in back-up and reserve duty, he should have an understanding of the passing routes from a different perspective. Perhaps that can help him get in the right position on the field and understand the timing needed by the quarterback.