(Miami)-The much-anticipated Orange Bowl match up between Iowa and USC is finally ready to kick off tonight. After a week of prepartion in South Florida, the battle by the beach, or the Rose Bowl east as some are calling it should actually end up being an outstanding football game. Third-ranked Iowa comes in at 11-1 against fifth-rated Southern Cal at 10-2. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is ready to take the field at Pro Player Stadium. Kansas State was one of the teams to beat USC this season, but Ferentz hasn’t sought out K-State coach, and friend, Bill Snyder for any advice. Iowa will have more fans in the stadium, but Ferentz says his team will have to take advantage of it to make it matter. He hopes to get the Hawkeyes out to a quick start to get the fans involved early on. Some of Iowa’s defensive players have talked about knocking out Trojan quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer. Ferentz says that’s just hype. Ferentz says Iowa players aren’t “classic trash talkers” and he doesn’t think anyone intends to try to “take out” Palmer. Ferentz says on paper, USC is better than Penn State and Michigan, but his team has played in lots of big games and is trying to keep that in perspective. Ferentz says he feels the same way about the game as he did when they arrived in Miami one week ago. “We’re looking forward to getting out there on the field,” Ferentz says. Hawkeye quarterback Brad Banks is a Florida native, but Ferentz doesn’t think being back has been a distraction. USC Coach Pete Carroll echoed the feelings about being ready for the game. Carroll says he’s trying to keep his team balanced. Both teams got a chance to walk through Pro Player stadium yesterday, but did not practice there. Carroll did visit the stadium several times as a pro, and says he has some good and bad memories of the stadium. Pete Carroll says USC hopes to start strong, too, to negate any fan edge for Iowa. Carroll’s more worried though about Iowa’s offensive line. He says it’s as good as any USC has seen this season. Kick off tonight is seven o’clock Iowa time.
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