The Iowa Hawkeyes opened today’s Outback Bowl by accepting the kick-off just after 10 o’clock Iowa time and putting together a 13-play scoring drive that burned the first seven and a half minutes off the clock.
The pass from Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi to receiver Trey Stross marks the first touchdown scored in college football in 2009. Stanzi completed four out of five passes in the opening drive, including three passes to convert on third down.
South Carolina’s quarterback threw an interception in the Gamecock’s second offensive play of the game. Iowa’s Tyler Sash returned the interception to South Carolina’s 18 yard line and Shonn Greene carried the ball in the endzone with 4:41 left in the first quarter.
Behind 14-0 and launching their second offensive series of the game, South Carolina’s quarterback fumbled with less than four minutes left in the first quarter and Iowa’s defense recovered the ball near South Carolina’s 40 yard line.
Iowa failed to convert on third down and a 45-yard kick was wide the right, leaving the score at 14-0 with about two minutes left in the first quarter.
At the beginning of the second quarter, South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia threw his second interception of the game, picked off at the goal line by Iowa’s Bradley Fletcher.
With 8:21 left in the first half, Hawkeye quarterback Stanzi ran the ball down to the goal line, Shonn Greene took the next snap and dived into the end zone. With the extra point, Iowa’s lead increased to 21-0.
In a wild play, Sash – from the Iowa defense — intercepted another Garcia pass, ran toward South Carolina territory and the ball was punched out of his grasp. Officials ruled Iowa had possession. Iowa quarterback Stanzi immediately threw into the end zone, but a South Carolina safety made an interception, the Gamecock’s first big stop of the day.
With about a minute left in the first half, and the Iowa offense back in charge of the ball, another Stanzi pass was tipped and picked off by South Carolina. The Gamecock offense failed to score and the first half ended with Iowa ahead 21-0.
South Carolina started another quarterback in the second half, but his first pass was fumbled and the Iowa defense recovered the ball. Iowa then went up 24-0 with a field goal with 9:09 left in the third quarter.
South Carolina tried for a field goal with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. The first kick sailed through the uprights but was called back on a penalty. The second attempt didn’t make it to the uprights and the score remained 24-0 until Shonn Greene rumbled 11 yards into the endzone for his third touchdown of the day and 20th of the season. At the end of the third quarter, Iowa led 31-0.
A South Carolina runningback scampered for a 42 yard gain in one of the opening plays of the fourth quarter, a couple of plays later the Gamecocks scored their first touchdown of the day, they added an extra point and the score stood at 31-7.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Iowa was forced to punt for the first time in the game, a 51 yard kick that bounced into the endzone for a touchback.
The Gamecocks were the last to score in the game, a 49-yard field goal with a little over two minutes remaining that made the final score 31-10.
Iowa ends the season with a 9-4 record.
After the game, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was interviewed on the field by an ESPN reporter. Ferentz said his team played with "great focus" today, singling out the seniors on the squad for "capping off the season" and their careers with the victory.