Iowa Running Game The Key To Outback Bowl Win
If you're expecting a shootout on Monday in the Outback Bowl between Iowa and Florida, don't bet on it. Both teams have great defenses that should keep the game a fairly low scoring affair. Even though Iowa has an experienced quarterback in C.J. Beathard, the Hawks need to pound the ball on the ground to win the Outback Bowl.
Florida and Iowa come into the Outback Bowl on different paths. The Gators won the SEC East title but lost their last two games. Iowa, on the other hand, comes into the game on a three-game winning streak. The Hawkeyes are also looking to avenge an embarrassing appearance in last year's Rose Bowl. The one thing the two teams do have in common are great defenses.
Iowa is led on defense by two-time All-American defensive back Desmond King and defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson. The Hawks ranked 24th in the nation in total defense, and linebacker Josey Jewell led the Big Ten in tackles. The Gators ranked 6th in the nation in total defense and have an amazing secondary, They led the SEC in passing efficiency defense. Iowa's best bet for success? Pound it on the ground!
Iowa has had success this year with their offensive line opening up holes for both Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels. They'll have to do that again if they want to take out Florida on Monday. Florida's offense has struggled all year so Iowa needs to be patient and stick to the ground game and grind out a win.
My Outback Bowl prediction? Iowa comes in unranked and not favored by most odds makers. Just like Kirk Ferentz likes it. Iowa 20, Florida 16. LET'S GO HAWKS!