Previously known as the Gator Bowl, the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl will kick off on the 2nd day of the new year in Jacksonville. Along with a new name, the TaxSlayer Bowl will start a new year tradition with a permanent January the 2nd date.
Started in 1946, the Gator Bowl was the first college bowl televised nationally. It has gone through a litany of sponsors — Mazda, Outback Steakhouse, Toyota and Progressive are among the companies who have seen their names title the bowl — and TaxSlayer.com has owned the naming rights for the game since 2012. Previously the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, the name has been changed this year to simply the TaxSlayer Bowl.
The TaxSalyer Bowl will continue to matchup the Big Ten with the SEC, as it has been since the 2010 season, with Iowa facing off with Tennessee; neither school has played in this game since 1994. Despite winning just six games, the Volunteers enter the TaxSlayer Bowl favored by 3.5 points to beat the Hawkeyes.
Analyzing My Final Score Prediction For The 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl – Iowa Vs Tennessee
Iowa Hawkeyes vs Tennessee Volunteers
Date: Jan. 02, 2015
Start Time: 3:20 p.m. ET
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium: EverBank Field
TV Info: ESPN
Stream Info: WatchESPN.com
Radio: Iowa Vs Tennessee
Point Spread: Volunteers -3.5
Game Total: 51
Iowa will win the Taxslayer Bowl if
They play competent defense and contain Joshua Dobbs!
If the Iowa Hawkeyes want to win the 2015 Taxslayer Bowl, then their first order of business has to be finding a way to stop Tennessee’s blossoming dual-threat quarterback Joshua Dobbs.
— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) January 1, 2015
After taking over for injured starter Justin Worley with five games remaining, Dobbs was impressive in throwing for 1,077 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 393 yards and an additional six scores.
The Hawkeyes also need to play some competent defense in this affair after giving up an average of 38.0 point per game over their final four regular season losses and allowing at least 37 points in three of those contests, including their 51-14 beat-down loss at Minnesota on Nov. 8.
Tennessee will win the Taxslayer Bowl if
They rattle Jake Rudock and put some points on the board in the second half!
If the Tennessee Volunteers want to win the 2015 Taxslayer Bowl, then they need to get in the face of Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock and force him to make one or two mistakes. While Rudock threw just five interceptions all season against 16 touchdown passes, Iowa’s junior signal-caller has tossed one pick in two of his last four starts, with both games ironically turning into losses for the Hawkeyes.
Rudock also failed to complete at least 60 percent of his passes in four games this season and comes into this contest off a mediocre performance (19-for-38, one interception) against Nebraska in his team’s regular season finale.
Tennessee also needs to put some points on the board in the second half against Iowa, seeing as how they averaged just 11.6 points pr game after halftime as compared to the 13.3 points per game the Hawkeyes averaged after the halftime break.
Who will win the Taxslayer Bowl?
With the point spread at a manageable 3.5 points, I really like Tennessee to win this game and narrowly cover the Taxslayer Bowl game betting odds.
I’m also a bit surprised that 46 percent of the betting public likes Iowa to cover the spread seeing as how they lost three of their last four games while Tennessee went a polar-opposite 3-1 over its last four regular season games.
Tennessee has scored at least 24 points in each of their last three victories while hanging 45 points on South Carolina on Nov. 1 before putting up a whopping 50 points the following week against Kentucky.
I love the enthusiasm that head coach Butch Jones has brought to the program, even if the Volunteers’ 6-6 record looks modest at best.
"Tennessee football is not supposed to be home for the holidays," Jones recently told reporters. "We’re embarking on our 50th bowl appearance as a proud football program."
I also really like what Joshua Dobbs has brought to the table for the Volunteers as a dual-threat quarterback and I believe he is going to make just enough plays for the Vols to give them the narrow win and ATS cover.
The Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 bowl games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games. The Volunteers are 8-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.