2014 Outback Bowl: An Overview of Iowa

Eric Francis

Let’s start getting to know LSU’s bowl opponent.

So our interactions with their fans have been...interesting...to coin a phrase, but ultimately, what do we know about the Iowa Hawkeyes? Let's face it, despite their share of success in the last 10 years, they're not exactly the go-to B1G name program like Michigan or Ohio State, and they haven't had Wisconsin's high-profile success with three straight Rose Bowls.

But Kirk Ferentz has built a program that tends to hover between 6-8 wins with relative consistency, with the odd year above or below that barrier since his hiring in 1998 (how much he's paid to do this is another matter). His background is as an offensive line specialist, working with Jackie Sherill in his Pitt days and most notably, serving on Bill Belichick's Cleveland Browns staff, alongside Nick Saban. Said line play has probably been the hallmark of his tenure in Iowa City, with 13 drafted by the NFL in the last 10 years.

The 2013 Hawkeyes finished 8-4 on the year and 5-3 in conference play. All four of those losses came to Iowa's four ranked opponents: Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Their offensive and defensive rankings are as follows:

Category

Average

Ranking

Scoring

27.3

74

Opponent Scoring

18.8

11

Total Offense (yards per game)

388.9

80

Total Defense

303.2

7

Yards Per Play

5.40

84

Opp. Yards Per Play

4.61

8

Rushing Yards Per Game

188.5

41

Opp. Rushing YPG

120.75

17

Average Yards Per Carry

4.36

63

Opp. Avg. YPC

3.49

19

Passing Yards Per Game

200.4

94

Opp. Passing Yards

182.4

11

Efficiency Rating

126.21

76

Pass Def. Efficiency

116.23

25

Third-Down Conversion Rate

45.05%

33

Opp. Third-Down Rate

34.27%

25

Red-Zone Offense

78% scoring, 52% touchdowns

97, 105

Red-Zone Defense

84.62% scoring, 50% TDs

78, 14

Quarterback Jake Rudock led the Hawkeyes in passing, completing 195-324 passes for 2281 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Tailback Mark Weisman was the leading rusher with 208 attempts for 937 yards (4.5 ypc) and 7 touchdowns. Kevonte Martin-Manley led them in catches and receiving yards with 39 catches for 384, with 4 TDs. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz led them in touchdown catches with six.

Over on defense, senior linebacker Anthony Hitchens was the leading tackler with 102, and added 13 tackles for loss. His running mate, senior LB James Morris led the team with 14.5 TFLs. He also led the team in sacks with five, along with the team high of four interceptions.


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