As bowl preparations drag on players at Iowa State and Iowa are more than ready for game week. The Cyclones leave for Tempe, Arizona on Sunday for the Insight Bowl on New Years Eve against Minnesota. They have not played since November 21st but quarterback Austen Arnaud says they have been anything but idle.
Arnaud says they never had any time off as they were still lifting weights and working, but he says it is nice to have time off from the physical banging at practice. Arnaud says the positive aspect of not having a game for so long allows injuries to heal. Arnaud says he feels good throwing the ball for the first time in awhile. He says he needed some more practice along with the other guys who were injured.
The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a 44-day layoff between the end of the regular season and their Orange Bowl matchup against Georgia Tech on January fifth. Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer says the layoff and the preseason camp are probably the hardest part of the season. He says it has been boring just going against the offense until they started preparing for Georgia Tech.
Tight end Tony Moeaki says it is important to work hard even though the game is still weeks away. Moeaki says that’s where the leadership and experience will come through as they have to keep practicing hard and stay focused on winning the game.
Iowa receiver Trey Stross says the Hawkeyes handle it well last year heading into the Outback Bowl and they want to do the same thing this year. Stross says when they found out they were going to Miami they were excited about it, and now he says it’s just a matter of counting down the days and being anxious to get there.