The Orange Bowl Match-Up

A closer look at Tuesday's Orange Bowl match-up between Iowa and Georgia Tech.

MIAMI - A look at Tuesday's Orange Bowl:

MATCH-UP - Big Ten representative Iowa will face Georgia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hawkeyes come into the game with a 10-2 mark as a BCS at-large. The 11-2 Yellow Jackets won the ACC Championship.

THE LINE - Most sports books show Georgia Tech as a 5-5.5 point favorite as of Monday afternoon, Jan. 4.

TV/RADIO - Fox (Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, Laura Okmin); ESPN Radio; Iowa Network (Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak).

SERIES - First ever meeting between the two schools.

IOWA KEY PLAYERS - QB Rick Stanzi, TE Tony Moeaki, DE Adrian Clayborn, MLB Pat Angerer, LT Bryan Bulaga, CB Amari Spievey, SS Tyler Sash.

GEORGIA TECH KEY PLAYERS - QB Josh Nesbitt, RB Jonathan Hayes, WR Demaryius Thomas, S Morgan Burnett, DE Derrick Morgan, C Sean Bedford.

KEEP AN EYE ON (IOWA OFFENSE) - Running backs Adam Robinson and Brandon Wegher. There has been some speculation that those two are not at full strength heading into the game. Both have suffered through injuries this season.

Maybe Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz is blowing smoke with his vague comments about the duo when asked about their health. The Hawkeyes need a productive ground game to help its defense against a clock-chomping Georgia Tech offense.

KEEP AN EYE ON (IOWA DEFENSE) - Strong safety Tyler Sash. The Yellow Jacket triple option puts a lot of pressure on the opposition's safeties. Sash will play a key role in run support but must be careful not to get caught with misdirection or getting too far out of position when Tech goes up top.

KEEP AN EYE ON (GT OFFENSE) - RG Cord Howard. The mammoth senior from Alabama lines up across from tackle Christian Ballard, who really came on as a playmaker late in the season. It's a classic match-up of power vs. speed.

KEEP AN EYE ON (GT DEFENSE) - DE Derrick Morgan. It goes without saying that the junior from Pennsylvania is the most disruptive force on the Tech defense. Adding to the intrigue is that he'll face off against LT Bryan Bulaga. These are two guys considering a pass on their final years of college eligibility for the NFL after the game.

POSITIVE STATISTICS (IOWA) - The Hawkeyes rank ninth nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 15.50 points. They also come in at 28th in net punting at 37.37 per kick.

POSITIVE STATISTICS (GT) - The Jackets rank 13th in scoring offense at 35.31 PPG. They're second in rushing offense at 307.15 YPG.

NEGATIVE STATISTICS (IOWA) - Iowa stumbles into the action ranking 103rd in rushing offense. Iowa's 330.75 yards per contest place it at 93rd.

NEGATIVE STATISTICS (GT) - Tech's pass efficiency offense sits at 85th. They rank 98th in tackles for loss.

DID YOU KNOW? - Georgia Tech will be appearing in its 13th consecutive bowl game. Iowa will be participating in the postseason for the eighth time in nine years.

DID YOU ALSO KNOW? - Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and Paul Johnson of Georgia Tech each captured coach of the year honors in their respective conferences this season.


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