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Iowa vs. LSU (What to expect)

Posted on 31. Dec, 2013 by in Iowa Football


Outback Bowl logo

By Brendan Stiles

To get you all ready for Wednesday’s Outback Bowl between Iowa and No. 14 LSU, I put together a list of things you ought to know before these two face off at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

At the end, I’ll provide what I think are three keys to an Iowa victory.

2014 Outback Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4) vs. No. 14 LSU Tigers (9-3)

Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

Jan. 1, 2014

12 p.m. Central

TV: ESPN (Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, Rob Brooks)

Weather: 67 degrees; 50 percent chance of rain; winds up to 8 MPH from the E/NE

Brendan’s Three Keys to the Game:

1. Stop the run

LSU’s run/pass ratio is approximately 60/40 and the Tigers averaged 39 carries per game this season. In all three of its losses this season to Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, LSU was held under this average. Add in that the Tigers are breaking in a new quarterback that is a true freshman and limiting what LSU does on the ground with running backs such as Jeremy Hill and Terrance Magee is going to be pivotal for the Hawkeyes on New Year’s Day. If Iowa gets worn down by LSU’s ground game, the Hawkeyes are in trouble.

2. Pressure Jennings

Although Anthony Jennings is probably a more versatile quarterback than Zach Mettenberger, he’s a true freshman making his first career start. Think back to Iowa’s victory over Nebraska in the last game of the regular season. It was a similar scenario in that the Cornhuskers broke in a new quarterback and had playmakers around him. But the Hawkeyes had success because they consistently blitzed when the moment called for it and against a team like LSU in this particular instance, the same recipe for success could be there.

3. An accurate Rudock

The offenses that moved the ball effectively on LSU’s defense this season featured quarterbacks that threw for high percentages. For instance, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron was 14-of-20 passing when the Crimson Tide beat the Tigers back in November. LSU is going to be keyed in on stopping the run, meaning Jake Rudock is going to have to be accurate with his throws. This doesn’t mean he needs to alter his game. It just means that whoever he does decide to throw the ball to in any given situation, Rudock has to show precision. If Iowa moves the ball through the air, it has a real shot at scoring on a relatively young LSU defense.

*Be sure to visit for ongoing coverage from Tampa, Fla., of the 2014 Outback Bowl between Iowa and No. 14 LSU.


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