Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Iowa State
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 28, 2019
Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
CAMPING WORLD BOWL STORYLINES
- Notre Dame meets Iowa State for the first time Dec. 28 in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fla. after both finished their regular seasons with several highlights, but came up short in key moments. The Fighting Irish, making their ninth bowl appearance in 10 seasons, suffered a heartbreaking 23-17 loss at Georgia early in the season and a baffling blowout loss at Michigan (45-14) before closing with five consecutive victories – averaging 43.8 points. Iowa State (4-10 in bowls) has wins over Texas and TCU, but its five losses came by a total of 18 points – including a 42-41 squeaker against Oklahoma, which made the College Football Playoff.
- The game features two very productive quarterbacks in Notre Dame senior Ian Book and sophomore Brock Purdy of the Cyclones, a pair that combined for 60 touchdown passes and just 15 interceptions. Book struggled at times early on, but threw for 12 scores without an interception in the last three games to become the first Irish signal caller to throw for 2,500 yards, rush for 500 and pass for at least 30 TDs (33) in a single season – and he could elect to come back for a fifth year. Purdy has 3,760 yards passing, completing 66.3 percent of his attempts, and 27 touchdowns to go along with eight rushing scores but did have a season-low 185 yards through the air in the regular-season finale against Kansas State (27-17 loss).
- Both teams have had their moments on defense as the Fighting Irish allowed 20 or fewer points seven times while Iowa State held nationally-ranked Iowa to 17 and Baylor to 21 in a pair of tough losses. Notre Dame (325.8 yards against, 21st in the nation), which totaled eight sacks against Virginia in September, suffered injuries on the defensive line but still has plenty of talent as junior linebacker Drew White leads the way with 75 tackles and freshman defensive back Kyle Hamilton boasts four interceptions. Senior linebacker Marcel Spears Jr. leads the Cyclones (362.2 yards per game against, 43rd nationally) with 85 tackles and junior defensive back Greg Eisworth was named first-team All-Big 12.
TV: Noon ET, ABC. LINE: Notre Dame -3.5
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (10-2): Book’s completion percentage is a bit low (59.3), but he is 213 yards from 3,000 through the air and has thrown just six interceptions – four in two games before none over the last three. The Irish average 4.9 yards per carry and junior Tony Jones Jr. leads the way with 722 yards and five scores on the ground while the team’s defense has allowed just 12 rushing TDs – second-fewest in the nation – despite giving up 162.1 yards per contest, which puts it in the middle of the rankings nationally. Senior Chase Claypool (59 catches) needs 109 yards receiving to reach 1,000 with 12 touchdowns – eight in the past four games – and junior tight end Cole Kmet is also a threat with 41 receptions for 482 yards (12, 155 in the last two contests) and six scores.
ABOUT IOWA STATE (7-5): Purdy has 43 touchdown passes in two seasons at the helm of the offense and threw for 315 yards against Washington State in a 28-26 loss at the Alamo Bowl last season, but had two interceptions. Freshman running back Breece Hall boasts four 100-yard rushing games – including one against Oklahoma – and has 842 yards along with nine touchdowns overall for an offense that was ninth out of 10 teams in the conference on the ground (140.3). Purdy has an abundance of talented pass catchers, led by senior Deshaunte Jones (72 receptions, 832 yards, two TDs), sophomore Tarique Milton (33, 689, three), sophomore tight end Charlie Kolar (48, 675, seven) and senior La’Michael Pettway (51, 622, six).
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 34, Iowa State 24