It's the 2015 Taxslayer and the Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Tennessee Volunteers at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The game has a start time of 3:20 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have Tennessee listed as 3.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 52.
Analysis: The Iowa Hawkeyes lost their last 2 games of the year by a combined 5 points, but still had a decent 7-5 season overall, which includes a 4-4 mark in the Big 10. The Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 bowl games and 41-19-1 ATS in their last 61 games following a S.U. loss. Iowa has been average offensive team this year, ranking 68th in total yards, 54th in passing, 75th in rushing and 70th in scoring (28.2 ppg). The defense for the Hawkeyes has been solid this year, ranking 18th in yards allowed, 7th vs the pass, 56th vs the run and 35th in points allowed (24.0 ppg).
The Tennessee Volunteers were sitting at 3-5 on the year at one point, but a solid 3-1 finish to the regular season put them at 6-6 and into a bowl game. Tennessee is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass, but just 8-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. The Vols have not been a very good offensive team this year, ranking 103rd in total yards, 67th in passing, 103rd in rushing and 76th in scoring (27.6 ppg). The defense for Tennessee has been solid this year, ranking 35th in yards allowed, 27th vs the pass, 62nd vs the run and 34th in points allowed (23.9 ppg).
Pick: The SEC East has done well in these bowl games this year and I expect that to continue here. The Vols are back in a bowl game after missing the last 3 post season parties and I really like the way that Butch Jones has changed the culture of this squad. They Will be a player in the SEC very soon. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season on a 2 game slide and have really been an inconsistent team all year long. Ferentz is excellent as a bowl dog, but I just feel the Vols have the momentum right now and with an improving defense and offense they should win this one by at least a TD.
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