The Sweep

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Iowa running back Shonn Greene quietly put together one of the most impressive campaigns in the country.
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South Carolina (7-5) vs. Iowa (8-4)
Jan. 1, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN

 
Reason To Watch: Shonn Greene. Iowa's underappreciated running back finished second nationally in rushing with 1,729 yards and was the only running back to go over 100 yards every game this season. Greene rescued a suspect position for the Hawkeyes when he returned to the team after spending a year getting his academics in order at Kirkwood Community College. Greene won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back over more publicized backs such as Georgia's Knowshon Moreno and Michigan State's Javon Ringer. He's worth fighting the hangover to see against a strong South Carolina defense.
 
Keep An Eye On: South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia. The redshirt freshman will get the start in his hometown of Tampa after Steve Spurrier (again) benched Chris Smelley following Smelley's four-interception performance against Clemson. Garcia, who has played in seven games and started two, will be called on to throw the ball against an Iowa defense that will likely shut down South Carolina's 109th-ranked rushing offense. South Carolina QBs have thrown 24 interceptions this year (trailing only SMU), and Spurrier probably won't hesistate to go back to Smelley if Garcia struggles.
 
Did You Know?:
In the 13 years since the Outback Bowl has been pairing the Big Ten and the SEC, the SEC owns an 8-5 edge.
 
Final Analysis: Iowa won its final three games, including the heart-stopping 24-23 win over then-undefeated Penn State and a 55-0 blowout of Minnesota in the season finale. The Hawkeyes' losses were all by five points or less. South Carolina comes in losing three of its last five. The Gamecocks' defense is stout, but the offense is still inconsistent and has the potential to get the team in a hole quickly.
 
The Pick: Iowa 24, South Carolina 13. The Hawkeyes are playing well right now and they have the best player on either team in Greene. South Carolina still has not settled on a quarterback, and while its defense can hold it in the game for a while, eventually Iowa should be able to pull away.

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