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  1. #1

    Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    The Hawkeyes and Tigers face off tomorrow as the Outback Bowl is upon us. This Iowa football season was quite unexpected and snuck up on a lot of people, me included. There is a part of me that wonders if I didn't enjoy the season as much as I should have, but then again this team won its final three games to get to 8-4, which meant it was a shaky 5-4 coming off a home loss to Wisconsin. That game was disappointing as Iowa left a lot of points off the board as the offense just couldn't finish. But the offense found it's way for 10 of its final 12 quarters (eliminating the first half against Michigan) and that's why they are in the Outback Bowl.

    LSU is a quality foe, but their offense is nowhere near where the national statistics say that it is as quarterback Zach Mettenberger was a big reason for that production; he's out with a torn ACL. Anthony Jennings is his replacement. Jennings is a true freshman who enrolled at LSU early last January. He's thrown the ball 10 times in his career and given that Jake Rudock had two springs and summers prior to his starting this year, you can say Rudock had more seasoning entering this year than Jennings does entering this game. He has future NFL targets to throw to on the outside in Beckum and Landry, plus a bell cow running back behind him in Jeremy Hill and he has the ability to run the ball, but I think Iowa's defense is going to force some turnovers if Iowa can force LSU into third and mediums. Phil Parker has been especially aggressive this year and I hope Iowa has some pressure ready for Jennings to deal with, as he hasn't had to deal with this before. He played a few minutes in the last game against Arkansas...they were laying back as LSU had 98 yards to go to score. The touchdown pass was a broken coverage play. I think Iowa's defense has a chance to win this one.

    The Iowa offense is not going up against an elite LSU defense. This is a group Iowa can score on and I'd love to see the Hawkeyes come out with their three tight end package, much like they did against Ohio State. Even though this Iowa offense didn't set the world on fire as it relates to finishing drives this year, think about the diversity it presents to an opposing defensive coordinator in the game prep area. The Hawkeyes actually run a number of different personnel packages and most of them do not tip their hand one way or another as it relates to run vs pass. Believe it or not, Iowa isn't necessarily an easy team to prepare for. All too often this year Iowa's biggest enemy was the man in the mirror, even though it did make drastic improvements on third down.

    Jake Rudock will have had an entire month of film study to focus on LSU's weaknesses and this kid is like The Borg from Star Trek Next Gen fame; he sees and assimilates. I was very impressed with him this season as I think most fans were and the bowl prep has given him a chance to heal.

    Speaking of health, when you look at Iowa's primary starting lineup for this year, the Hawkeyes will field all 22 of those players for their bowl game, including Dom Alvis who is running healthy at defensive end. This was arguably the healthiest Iowa football season of the Ferentz era in terms of games lost to injury. Iowa will have its complete compliment of the players it feels are its best options at each position for this game.

    In the end, I think Iowa finds a way to win. Kirk Ferentz has shown a great hand in most of Iowa's bowl games since the 2003 Orange Bowl. Iowa was simply overpowered in the 2011 Insight Bowl against a much better Oklahoma team, but outside of that game the Hawkeyes have been more than competitive and have always looked well prepared. I think the final will be something like 27-24 or 27-20 Iowa and the Hawkeyes finish the season 9-4, ranked in the final Top 25 for the first time since 2009 and will springboard into a 2014 that has an incredibly favorable schedule and a year Iowa will start out ranked inside the Top 25 and likely be in the rankings all season long.

    On to today's links

    FOOTBALL

    On solid footing | TheGazette
    Three and Out: Breaking down back | TheGazette
    2-Minute Drill: The Louisiana State Tigers | TheGazette
    Hlog’s photos from Outback Bowl Beach Day | TheGazette
    James Morris: Soaring from a solid base | TheGazette
    Outback Bowl 2013: Hawkeye beach day | Hawk Central
    Harty: Don’t fret about lost offensive line recruits | Hawk Central
    Outback notes: Greg Davis happier with speed of offense, but he’s still not satisfied | Hawk Central
    The race to replace Tanner Miller at free safety is already on | Hawk Central
    Cohesive offensive line a big reason for Iowa’s ’13 jump | Hawk Central
    Mike Tirico’s straightforward opinion of Kirk Ferentz is one you’ll want to hear | Hawk Central
    2014 Outback Bowl: One final hurrah for linebacker trio HawkeyeDrive.com HawkeyeDrive.com
    Iowa fans swarm in for Beach Day | LSU | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
    Alleva says Miles will be LSU
    Rabalais: Hawkeyes fans embrace fun; LSU all-business | LSU | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
    Outback Bowl notebook: Hawkeyes push the tempo : Iowa Hawkeyes Football
    Alvis cherishes chance to suit up one last time for Hawkeyes : Iowa Hawkeyes Football
    Dispatches from Blogfrica: And The Valley Shook! Talks Iowa-LSU - Black Heart Gold Pants
    Thunder and Lighning in Paradise: Damond Powell Flexes with Hulk Hogan - Black Heart Gold Pants

  2. #2
    HN Doctorate hawkinn3's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    I'm getting a custom jersey that says, "Bell Cow" on it.

  3. #3
    HN Legend theboat's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkinn3 View Post
    I'm getting a custom jersey that says, "Bell Cow" on it.
    OH Boy. Brace yourself.

  4. #4
    HN Legend ibahawkeye's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    I'm interested to see if and how Alvis can make an impact. Would be a nice story to see him make a big time play after having to miss a lot of his senior year but getting one last shot.

  5. #5

    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Good read Jon,thanks for sharing,I always look foreward too your insight.

    rwtsracefan(Dan Wemett)

  6. #6
    Graduate Seth53's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Been mentioned a zillion times, but, cannot overlook the fact LSU isn't thrilled to be in Tampa. Iowa is.

    And, Miles' presser was underwhelming at best....I think he honestly thinks we're an inferior team from an inferior conference.
    That sort of mindset, from the top guy, usually trickles down.
    **1-A college football...the only sport on the planet where a team can finish undefeated and be denied the opportunity to play for a championship**

  7. #7
    HN Legend hawkdrummer1's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth53 View Post
    Been mentioned a zillion times, but, cannot overlook the fact LSU isn't thrilled to be in Tampa. Iowa is.

    And, Miles' presser was underwhelming at best....I think he honestly thinks we're an inferior team from an inferior conference.
    That sort of mindset, from the top guy, usually trickles down.
    Could be. But they could also be a little pizzed off, for all the reasons above. Add to that the constant reminders of Tate-to-Holloway all week and they may come out with an intent to bury us.

  8. #8

    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    I was listening to Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly yesterday on the Score and he says that this QB draft is highly overrated. He went on to say that the only guy who really impressed him was Mettenberger, who he says is the best of the lot....but has the ACL tear. I hope the Bears take him in the 3rd round....but more importantly, I think that LSU's offense is going to have a big hole in it tomorrow. He is that good....I feel better about the Hawks chances thinking about a true frosh qb at the helm for the Tigers. I agree with Jon....Iowa 24 LSU 20.

  9. #9
    HN Legend trj's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Blow out Iowa wins........close game LSU wins
    "The truth is like rain it really doesn't care who it lands on."--Eddie Griffin
    "People say I have an agenda......naah, just opinions."--Scott Van Pelt

  10. #10
    Graduate Stanzi's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkdrummer1 View Post
    Could be. But they could also be a little pizzed off, for all the reasons above. Add to that the constant reminders of Tate-to-Holloway all week and they may come out with an intent to bury us.
    Eh, none of these coaches or players were around last time so I doubt they care much about "revenge".

  11. #11
    HN Doctorate hawkinn3's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth53 View Post
    Been mentioned a zillion times, but, cannot overlook the fact LSU isn't thrilled to be in Tampa. Iowa is.

    And, Miles' presser was underwhelming at best....I think he honestly thinks we're an inferior team from an inferior conference.
    That sort of mindset, from the top guy, usually trickles down.
    I never understood this argument that teams will play poorly because they don't want to be there. How does this work? Will they intentionally not pursue tackles or go after a pass because they aren't thrilled to be there? Left tackle would rather be in the NC game so he lets the DE go by him because the bowl is beneath his team? Its ridiculous. It's a free vacation for a college kid who gets to show off for scouts on national TV, they will play hard.

  12. #12

    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkdrummer1 View Post
    Could be. But they could also be a little pizzed off, for all the reasons above. Add to that the constant reminders of Tate-to-Holloway all week and they may come out with an intent to bury us.
    Being ticked off doesn't last for a month for someone you've played once in your history and these players were like in junior high when it happened.

  13. #13
    Sophomore brentbee's Avatar
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    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Good read, and some very valid points. I have said before, our qb play is the wild card here. Young kid, no game time to speak of, but a quality athlete. Should be a very good game. Tomorrow needs to hurry and get here.
    1958-2003-2007


  14. #14

    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkinn3 View Post
    I never understood this argument that teams will play poorly because they don't want to be there. How does this work? Will they intentionally not pursue tackles or go after a pass because they aren't thrilled to be there? Left tackle would rather be in the NC game so he lets the DE go by him because the bowl is beneath his team? Its ridiculous. It's a free vacation for a college kid who gets to show off for scouts on national TV, they will play hard.
    Really? How would you explain the ASU vs. Tech game last night. It was Rose Bowl or bust for ASU and they proved it. ASU should have blown them out, it's not that players will intentionally play poor, but they don't play hard, therefore they lose.

  15. #15

    Re: Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

    A glowing example of a team that thought they were better than the was the 1995 Sun Bowl when Iowa played against Washington. The Youtube highlights are scant but Iowa beat them from pillar to post that day.

    ___________

    GO HAWKS !

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