After two Insight Bowl appearances in 2010 and 2011, the Iowa Hawkeyes missed a bowl game last year after a 4-8 record. This year was totally different story. Iowa went 8-4 and they find themselves in the Outback Bowl on New Years Day. Now don’t think that just making a bowls satisfies this group of Hawkeyes. They are ready for their showdown with the LSU Tigers.
“Yeah, everybody’s got a little pep in their step, you know. 8-4 and playing on January 1st is definitely a good thing, but we’re not satisfied, we won’t be satisfied until we get this next win.” – Anthony Hitchens, HawkeyeReport.com
Iowa is going to have to stop a speedy rushing attack that the Tigers will bring to the table. However, they will have a little less to worry about when the LSU offense is on the field. Zach Mettenberger, the starting quarterback all year for the Tigers, tore his ACL in LSU’s final game of the year against the Arkansas Razorbacks. This is going to thrust an inexperienced player into the starting role against a defense that will be ready.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding LSU’s fan base. Apparently, the Tiger faithful aren’t at all pleased to be playing the Hawkeyes. They have been clamoring for Michigan or Nebraska. Which is weird to me seeing as the Hawkeyes defeated both of those Big Ten opponenets. One of which happened on their own turf.
“We were hoping to play a quality team like Michigan or Nebraska.” – Anonymous LSU fan http://t.co/MieCB1dTva
— Hawkeye Heaven (@TheHawkHeaven) December 11, 2013
Hard to tell if LSU fans are still sour about what happened 9 years ago in the Capital One Bowl, or if they’re just plain dumb. While Michigan and Nebraska carry much more national prowess than the Hawkeyes do, Iowa is simply better this year, and last time I checked you’d rather play a quality opponent. One other thing, Iowa fans do a heck of a job traveling to wherever Iowa is playing, which is another reason why this was a no-brainer.
Unlike LSU, the Hawkeyes are happy to be playing a quality SEC opponent.
“Excited, very excited to play them [LSU], they’re a very good team and a very good program and we’re watching film on them already and it’s a going to be a big challenge for us, but you always want to play good teams.” – Mark Weisman, HawkeyeReport.com
There is definitely a different type of feel in Iowa City with the Hawkeyes being bowl bound. People are happier and with the start the Hawkeye basketball team is having, life is good in Iowa City.
With two weeks left until the big game the Hawkeyes will continue to work hard and prepare for a team that will likely do some different things now that Anthony Jennings will be taking the snaps for the Tigers. Hard to know what to expect when the kid has taken just 10 snaps the entire year.