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Hawkeyes to Face LSU in Outback Bowl

The last time Iowa and LSU got together, one of the greatest finishes in bowl history ensued.  In the event you haven’t seen this replay 100 times, here you go:

That never gets old and never will.

Late Sunday afternoon, a Baton Rouge, LA newspaper reporter tweeted this:

Here is a link to a story on their website, which speaks is very strong language: “It’s official. No more speculation or guesstimations: LSU will meet Iowa in the Outback Bowl.”

Then the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce began following me on Twitter at 6:30. It’s gotta be over.

While neither squad is as highly rated as they were back in 2004, but this game offers some intrigue.  From Iowa’s perspective, their defensive preparation will be interesting as Anthony Jennings will be under center for the Bayou Bengals instead of Zach Mettenberger.  Mettenberger tore an ACL late in their season finale against Arkansas.

All Jennings did was come in and complete four passes (he completed six all season), including this play for the game winner (fast forward to the 2:00 mark)

10 passes all year. That’s it. 10 passes for his career as he is a freshman. He’s a total wild card and unknown as it relates to preparation. Iowa’s coaching staff will have to scour his high school recruiting videos and take a few chances, as LSU will have had roughly a month to tweak their offense to suit Jennings’ strengths.

They have two amazing receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, but can Jennings get them the ball? Beckham is one of the most dangerous kick returners in the nation and has speed to burn. Running back Jeremy Hill is a talented ball carrier, gaining 1,185 yards this year on 175 carries.

Here is a look at the team’s statistics and how they vary. You’d think this would lean more along the lines of a defensive struggle.

Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 26 465.9
Rushing Offense 35 200.8
Passing Offense 33 265.1
Team Passing Efficiency 3 171.60
Scoring Offense 21 37.0
Total Defense 20 349.7
Rushing Defense 43 148.8
Passing Yards Allowed 16 200.8
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 37 119.74
Scoring Defense T-30 22.7
Turnover Margin T-72 -0.2
3rd Down Conversion Pct 1 0.586
4th Down Conversion Pct T-107 0.333
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 59 0.391
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense T-50 0.474
Red Zone Offense 57 0.833
Red Zone Defense T-77 0.846
Net Punting 44 37.76
Punt Returns 62 8.05
Kickoff Returns 4 25.82
First Downs Offense T-45 272
First Downs Defense 38 235
Fewest Penalties Per Game 104 7.00
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 97 56.58
Time of Possession 67    29:35

Here are Iowa’s stats

Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 80 389.0
Rushing Offense 41 188.6
Passing Offense 92 200.4
Team Passing Efficiency 75 126.21
Scoring Offense 74 27.3
Total Defense 7 303.2
Rushing Defense 17 120.8
Passing Yards Allowed 11 182.4
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 25 116.23
Scoring Defense 11 18.8
Turnover Margin T-54 0.1
3rd Down Conversion Pct 35 0.448
4th Down Conversion Pct 107 0.333
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 24 0.343
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense T-84 0.571
Red Zone Offense T-96 0.780
Red Zone Defense T-77 0.846
Net Punting 39 37.79
Punt Returns 5 15.00
Kickoff Returns 85 20.25
First Downs Offense 75 245
First Downs Defense 6 192
Fewest Penalties Per Game T-16 4.17
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 14 34.58
Time of Possession 30    31:45
  • Timmah

    How many people had Iowa in a New Year’s day bowl at the beginning of this season?

    • James B

      I admit, as a Hawkeye, I was very concerned, but I think we have a shot at winning this bowl game. I love the above video and remember that was Saban’s last game as LSU HC.

  • James B

    After last season, even some of us die-hard Hawkeyes were very concerned. The Hawkeyes finally woke up and played 3 complete games the last 3 games this season.

  • James B

    With our defense we can win this bowl game if we don’t turn the ball over on offense and get our running game going. Our receivers are too much of a question mark to put the game in their hands.

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