This game will be a homecoming of sorts for Bob Stoops.
The former Iowa Hawkeye football player will be on the same field as his alma mater when he takes his Oklahoma Sooners to the Insight Bowl to face the Hawkeyes. Although Stoops has coached the Sooners for 13 seasons, he has never faced his former school.
In fact, the only time these two schools hooked up came in the 1979 season opener, when Barry Switzer’s Sooners beat Hayden Fry’s Hawkeyes 21-6 in Norman.
Our latest Insight Bowl line list Oklahoma as 14-point favorites, while the over/under has been posted at 58 points.
Iowa started 3-1, then 5-2, but has alternated wins and losses in each of the last six games, finishing the regular season with a 20-7 defeat at Nebraska. The Hawkeyes have been 1-4 as a visitor, with two of the losses by a combined four points.
The Hawkeyes rate 42nd in the nation in defense (23 points per game), surrendering 388 yards per game (228 via the pass, 160 on the ground) while recording 20 sacks and forcing 18 turnovers with two being returned to touchdowns (Tanner Miller and Shaun Prater, picks).
James Morris paces the defense with 105 tackles (adding an interception), while Christian Kirksey has 103 stops (two forced fumbles, sack, interception, fumble recovery). Mike Daniels has seven sacks with 62 stops, while Miller has three interceptions, 71 tackles and a forced fumble and Prater has four forced fumbles to go with 46 stops.
Iowa rates 53rd in the country in points scored (29 ppg) while compiling 379 yards per contest (236 passing, 143 on the ground). James Vandenberg has connected on 59 % of his throws for 2,806 yards with 23 scores and six picks. The offensive line has allowed 26 sacks.
Marvin McNutt is the top pass catcher with 78 catches (33 more than anyone else) for 1,269 yards and 12 TDs, while Marcus Coker anchors the running game with 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns on 4.9 yards per carry.
After a 6-0 start, the Sooners are just 3-3 in their final six games and are coming off a 44-10 loss to their in-state rivals Oklahoma State. OU is 4-2 as a visitor, but has dropped the last two games to ranked teams (Baylor, OSU).
Oklahoma ranks 10th in the country in scoring offense (40 ppg) while totaling 532 yards per contest (365 through the air, 167 on the ground). Landry Jones has completed 63 % of his passes for 4,302 yards and 28 scores with 14 picks. The offensive line has given up nine sacks.
Ryan Broyles (out for the season: knee injury) was the top receiving target with 83 grabs (25 more than anyone else) for 1,157 yards and 10 scores, while Roy Finch and Dominique Whaley (out for the season: ankle injury) paced the rushing attack with a combined 1,228 yards and 12 TDs on 5.6 yards per tote.
On defense, the Sooners rank 37th nationally in points allowed (23 ppg), allowing 384 yards per contest (244 passing, 140 on the ground) while recording 37 sacks and generating 25 turnovers four of which have been returned for scores (Jamell Fleming, Tom Wort and David King, fumbles; Demontre Hurst, pick).
Aaron Colvin and Travis Lewis lead the defense with 80 and 79 tackles, respectively, adding two forced fumbles, two recoveries and a pick combined. Frank Alexander has 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, adding 51 stops, a pick and a fumble recovery, while Tony Jefferson has four picks, 67 stops, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.