Iowa gold in the cold

SUN WIRE SERVICES

, Last Updated: 4:46 AM ET

MIAMI -- Stymied by the Iowa Hawkeyes' swarming defence, Georgia Tech found itself out of options.

No. 10 Iowa solved Tech's explosive triple option and Ricky Stanzi threw two early touchdown passes for a 24-14 victory last night in the coldest Orange Bowl ever.

Temperature at kickoff was 9.5C, and Tech's offence was slow to warm up. The ninth-ranked Yellow Jackets averaged 35 points during the regular season, but their only score in the first three quarters came on Jerrard Tarrant's 40-yard interception return.

"This was Hawkeye weather," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We feel right at home right now."

The Hawkeyes (11-2) earned their first Bowl Championship Series bowl win, matched the school record for victories and could claim their highest final ranking since finishing No. 3 in 1960.

Georgia Tech (11-3) totaled nine first downs and a season-low 155 yards.

The Yellow Jackets were first in U.S. college football in time of possession, second in rushing and 11th in scoring at 35 points per game. But they sputtered against an Iowa defence that held four bowl-bound teams to 10 points or less during the regular season.

End Adrian Clayborn led Iowa's defensive charge. He had two sacks and nine tackles, including two for a loss, and was chosen the game's most valuable player.

The Hawkeyes never had faced the triple option in Ferentz's 11 seasons as coach, but his staff had a month to prepare for Tech, and it showed. The Yellow Jackets had only 14 three-and-outs during the regular season, fewest in the nation, but they failed to pick up a first down on their first four possessions.

"It's just a good thing we had a month to prepare because it was difficult," Clayborn said.

Georgia Tech finally made a first down midway through the second quarter. The Yellow Jackets' first pass completion came 43 minutes into the game with Iowa leading 17-7.

Quarterback Josh Nesbitt went only 2 for 9 for 12 yards for Tech, which had a season-high seven punts.


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