The Iowa Hawkeyes ended the season with a furious comeback that fell short Monday in 31-24 loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl — and now look ahead to next fall. Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz loses 24 seniors off this 7-5 team — including his son Brian, a starter on the offensive line. Ferentz says it’s always a challenge, regardless of the record, to replace the seniors. He says this past season was like the one before, except the ball didn’t bounce their way sometimes.
With the bowl game over, Ferentz says they’ll look ahead to the fall. One of the returning players for Ferentz will be sophomore defensive lineman Bryan Mattison. Mattison came on late in the season and said after the Outback Bowl that he and the other underclassmen are ready to step in. Mattison will be joined on defense next year by six other returning starters. The offense will return starting quarterback Drew Tate and Big Ten conference rushing leader Albert Young.