The Iowa Hawkeyes marked a number of firsts on the first day of the New Year with a 37-17 win over Florida in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. The win moved the Hawkeyes to 10-3 for this season — the first time they’ve posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in the history of the school. It was also their first January bowl game win since the Rose Bowl Victory in 1959. The Hawkeyes gave up an early touchdown in the first half, but then held the Gators to a field and didn’t give up another touchdown until the game was decided. Senior defensive lineman Jared Claus talked about their game plan, saying they kept five guys in the box and stayed in their gaps and gave them nowhere to run.Claus says the entire defense shut down Gator freshman quarterback. He says it looked like Chris Leak dropped back and got frustrated when he couldn’t hit his first read. He credits the linebackers and secondary with great coverage. For the senior, it was a great way to end the season after last year’s disappointment in the Orange Bowl. He says “to win it big like this,there’s no better feeling in the world.”Runningback Fred Russell had 150 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Nate Chandler threw for one touchdown and ran for another. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz re-tooled the preparation process after losing in the Orange Bowl last year and says that paid off with great preparation. He says the players and the staff did a great job of getting ready and they finished the way they wanted to.
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