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.

StatRankValue
Total Offense26465.9
Rushing Offense35200.8
Passing Offense33265.1
Team Passing Efficiency3171.60
Scoring Offense2137.0
Total Defense20349.7
Rushing Defense43148.8
Passing Yards Allowed16200.8
Team Passing Efficiency Defense37119.74
Scoring DefenseT-3022.7
Turnover MarginT-72-0.2
3rd Down Conversion Pct10.586
4th Down Conversion PctT-1070.333
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense590.391
4th Down Conversion Pct DefenseT-500.474
Red Zone Offense570.833
Red Zone DefenseT-770.846
Net Punting4437.76
Punt Returns628.05
Kickoff Returns425.82
First Downs OffenseT-45272
First Downs Defense38235
Fewest Penalties Per Game1047.00
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game9756.58
Time of Possession67   29:35

Here are Iowa’s stats

StatRankValue
Total Offense80389.0
Rushing Offense41188.6
Passing Offense92200.4
Team Passing Efficiency75126.21
Scoring Offense7427.3
Total Defense7303.2
Rushing Defense17120.8
Passing Yards Allowed11182.4
Team Passing Efficiency Defense25116.23
Scoring Defense1118.8
Turnover MarginT-540.1
3rd Down Conversion Pct350.448
4th Down Conversion Pct1070.333
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense240.343
4th Down Conversion Pct DefenseT-840.571
Red Zone OffenseT-960.780
Red Zone DefenseT-770.846
Net Punting3937.79
Punt Returns515.00
Kickoff Returns8520.25
First Downs Offense75245
First Downs Defense6192
Fewest Penalties Per GameT-164.17
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game1434.58
Time of Possession30   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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