The buildup is almost over for the exciting Insight Bowl matchup between the Missouri Tigers and the Iowa Hawkeyes. The last time these two teams played was in 1910, and this game has drawn the attention of a lot of fans hoping to get some Midwest bragging rights.
Missouri (10-2) is led by Blaine Gabbert, a dual-threat quarterback who can cause headaches for opposing defensive coordinators with his arm and his legs. "It starts with the quarterback," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said during media day. "He is an excellent college quarterback, and he's deceptively good running the football as well... they can hurt you a lot of different ways."
Iowa (7-5) has an excellent quarterback of their own, senior Ricky Stanzi. "Ricky is a player that I think has done an excellent job of executing the offense," Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel said, complimenting the Hawkeye signal caller. "26 touchdowns, four interceptions. Accuracy, I mean, he just does an absolute outstanding job."
When talking about whether or not his fanbase would show up for the game, Pinkel came back with a quick one: "By the way, it was 8 degrees today in Columbia, Missouri. Pretty intelligent decision to be in Phoenix, Arizona." Pinkel believes that his dedicated fanbase will be at Sun Devil Stadium to cheer the team on to victory.
Pinkel complimented Ferentz on a job well done coaching and recruiting his team, noting their depth and ability to rally back from adverse conditions such as disciplinary actions.
Several Iowa players, including leading rusher Adam Robinson and top WR target Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, have been suspended for the game and will not suit up. Robinson was arrested last night in Des Moines for alleged possession of marijuana. This is yet another distraction for a Hawkeye team that has lost three straight games and needs to focus on beating a very tough Missouri team.
Missouri has the talent and the discipline to run away with this game, and SB Nation Arizona predicts a 42-24 victory for the Tigers. Iowa still has a chance with their talent, but Missouri is gearing up for a championship run in 2011 and will not falter tonight.