The Iowa Hawkeyes take the role of underdog into Wednesday’s Outback Bowl in Tampa. The Hawks finished the regular season 8-4 and take on a 14th ranked LSU team that is 9-3. The Tigers will be without injured quarterback Zach Mettenberger and true freshman Anthony Jennings steps into the role. “We are certainly aware that he is a good athlete and it wouldn’t be a total shock to see that they have a little more diversity in their attack than what they’ve had before,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says.
Jennings led LSU on a game winning touchdown drive in the regular season finale against Arkansas, and Ferentz says Mettenberger earned the number two job which says a lot about his potential. Ferentz says the Tigers combine an explosive offense with a sound defense with big interior guys on defense and top guys on the outside too.
LSU coach Les Miles says Jennings and the offense will have a tough challenge against the Hawkeye defense which he says is disciplined and physical.
Miles says the Tigers are prepared for a close game. “I think it’s going to be a very competitive game, it’s going to be fight, fight, get to the end and decide the game,” Miles says.
Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock says the Hawkeyes are not satisfied with just being there. “We want to get that ninth win, that’s the biggest thing, that hasn’t been done a lot at Iowa,” Rudock says. Iowa running back Mark Weisman says LSU prevents big plays with their big athletic front and a fast secondary.
Linebacker James Morris says New Year’s Day offers as big a stage that they have played on this year “and it would be awesome for me as an individual to go out with that sort of win too.”
An Iowa victory would be the fourth in five bowl games for Ferentz against SEC foes. It will be a noon, Iowa time kickoff.