Iowa’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette took his second kickoff return of the season to the house and scored touchdowns three different ways in the team’s 49-24 victory over the USC Trojans in the 2019 SDCCU Holiday Bowl. Along with Holiday Bowl Defensive MVP A.J. Epenesa’s 2.5 quarterback sacks, the Hawkeyes went on a 21-0 run to end the contest.
4 Stanley at the top of his release point
Iowa's Nathan Stanley completed 18-of-27 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the team's victory. Stanley, 6'5 240, passed for 68 touchdowns in his Hawkeyes career.
6 Smith-Marsette BEST SHOT of him spinning vs USC KO coverage
Iowa's Ihmir Smith-Marsette (No. 6 seen spinning on USC's Isaiah Pola-Mao) finished fifth nationally in kickoff returns this past season (29.6 yd/avg, 2 TDs). His 2019 Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP performance featured three touchdowns (KR, REC, RUSH) and nearly a fourth on a near touchdown pass.
73 Jackson attempting to turn his hips vs 94 Epenesa on turn-out block
USC's Austin Jackson (No. 73 pictured) gave up a sack and some quarterback pressures versus Iowa's A.J. Epenesa (No. 94 pictured), but he used his immense athleticism and strength to thwart him on occasion.
94 Epenesa uses outside arm-over after pull-through maneuver
It was Epenesa's superior technique, however, that ultimately proved to be the difference in the much-anticipated matchup between the two all-conference performers. On this repetition, Epenesa uses an outside arm over and pull-through maneuver to cross Jackson's feet.
74 Wirfs bends back 26 Mauga
The Iowa Hawkeyes also have two offensive tackle prospects that will be playing on Sundays. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs' (No. 74 seen pictured blocking USC sophomore linebacker Kana'i Mauga, No. 26 pictured) power was evident for much of the night. He was effective pulling in space and displayed agility on outside reach blocks in their variety of offensive run schemes.