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Florida Turns Iowa Into Gator Bites, Hawkeyes Trounced 30-3 (01/02/17)

Iowa lost its fifth straight bowl game - 30-3 in the Outback Bowl - to a Florida Gators Defense that was decimated by injuries with its top five tacklers not even suited up. Iowa’s Defense was effective in the First Half but was burned by explosive plays in the last two quarters - both on the ground and through the air.

The Hawkeyes Offense looked inept much of the game, tying for the fewest points scored by an Iowa team in a bowl game (1993 Alamo Bowl). Quarterback C.J. Beathard completed just seven passes for 55 yards, throwing three picks (including a pick six) and finishing with a QB Rating of just 24.4. Beathard was hobbled by a hamstring problem for much of the game and also appeared to injure his shoulder in the Fourth Quarter. Yet Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz inexplicably kept him in the game until the last couple of minutes when backup Nathan Stanley made a brief appearance. Beathard was unable to throw the ball effectively and could barely run.

There was only one reception made by an Iowa Wide Receiver (Riley McCarron) and just two more by the Hawkeyes Tight Ends. The other four receptions were made by Running Back Akrum Wadley. Wadley had another solid game: 22 carries for 115 yards plus 21 receiving yards on 4 catches. He surpassed 1000 yards rushing this season - joining teammate LeShun Daniels in that category. It’s the first time in Iowa Football History with two running backs exceeding 1000 rushing yards in a single season.

Iowa’s Defense had two interceptions against Florida QB Austin Appleby (a graduate transfer from Purdue) but the Hawkeyes could only garner three points off of those.  The Defense also produced three sacks and five tackles for loss. Linebacker Josey Jewell led the team in tackles with 10. But on several crucial Gator plays, there were too many missed tackles by the Hawkeyes — there were five alone on Florida’s 85 yard screen pass touchdown late in the First Quarter. Iowa’s star Defensive Back Desmond King concluded his Iowa career with five solo tackles and one interception in this game.

Iowa out-gained Florida on the ground 171 to 109 — but were burned through the air by the Gators 222 to 55. The Hawkeyes excelled all season in Red Zone efficiency but went just one for three in this game; the Gators were 2-2 in the Red Zone. Florida averaged 5.8 yards per play while Iowa could only muster 3.5 yards per play. The Hawkeyes scored just three points off Florida’s two turnovers while the Gators had 13 off of Iowa’s three turnovers.

Iowa finishes the season 8-5 (5-3 in the B1G). With its win in the Outback Bowl, Florida finishes 9-4 (6-2 in the SEC).  This was also the final game for 14 Iowa Seniors, including Beathard, King, Tight End George Kittle, Defensive Lineman Jaleel Johnson, and Graduate Transfer Punter/Kicker Ron Coluzzi.

Links to the Pre-and-Post-Game Notes and Stats, Season Stats, Ferentz Presser transcripts, and B1G Notes are on the left side of this page.

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