Outback Bowl: Can't Sleep on These Hawkeyes

Discussion in 'Football' started by JonDMiller, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. JonDMiller

    JonDMiller Publisher/Founder

    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


    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. hawkinn3

    hawkinn3 Well-Known Member

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

    theboat Well-Known Member

    OH Boy. Brace yourself.
  4. ibahawkeye

    ibahawkeye Well-Known Member

    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. rwtsracefan

    rwtsracefan Well-Known Member

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

    rwtsracefan(Dan Wemett)
  6. Seth53

    Seth53 Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. hawkdrummer1

    hawkdrummer1 Well-Known Member

    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. JHHawk

    JHHawk Well-Known Member

    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. trj

    trj Well-Known Member

    Blow out Iowa wins........close game LSU wins
  10. Stanzi

    Stanzi Well-Known Member

    Eh, none of these coaches or players were around last time so I doubt they care much about "revenge".
  11. hawkinn3

    hawkinn3 Well-Known Member

    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. JonDMiller

    JonDMiller Publisher/Founder

    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. brentbee

    brentbee Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. jsmith337

    jsmith337 Well-Known Member

    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. NCHawker

    NCHawker Well-Known Member

    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.

  16. HawkPrdatr40

    HawkPrdatr40 Well-Known Member

    I'm a bit leery of the overall optimism and the many fans who claim LSU has no motivation to be here.

    Go Hawks!!
  17. HawkPrdatr40

    HawkPrdatr40 Well-Known Member

  18. bitmap

    bitmap Well-Known Member

    Great post John but I think the score is going to be a bit higher - more like 35-24 or 34-28 - something in that range. The game plan for the O should be similar to the Nebraska game, just run it right at them and force them to commit more men to stop the run. There is great potential here for Iowa to become the epitome of "Power Football" in the minds of viewers across the nation. Can you say "Tight End U"? I hope we all can when the game is over.

    The D is going to have to be super aggressive and I hope to see the Raider formation frequently which will mean the Tigers will be in third and long a lot. They need to rattle AJ early and often as to take away all patience on his part. Hill can be brutal and I expect them to attack King with the run. He is a great tackler and I hope he is up to the task. The LBs can help here and I have confidence they can shutdown the run.

    I expect the Tigers will keep the score close with a few big plays but Iowa should be in control most of the game and pull away down the stretch.
  19. Seth53

    Seth53 Well-Known Member

    You ever play sports? Like high school football for example? I did.

    Let downs happen all the time. You play at maybe 80%, go through the motions on some plays and all of a sudden you're getting beat as a player and a team. By a player/team who isn't as good as you.

    Same thing happens at the state wrestling tournament. A kid loses say in round two and now has to wrestle in the consolation bracket with no chance of winning. Some quit at that point...or...they lose that edge that got them there in the first place.

    And typically the athlete who thought more of himself at that stage is underwhelmed with his plight. I think LSU fits that mold to a T.

    Too poo poo that notion is ridiculous. And ignorant.
  20. HawksMN

    HawksMN Well-Known Member

    I have a vhs of that Sun Bowl game. Watched it over and over since Iowa had not done well in a few prior seasons, that game was special. They put wood to Wash. "This time there is running room for Shaw......no ones going to catch him, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!"