Guys, I just want to start out by saying boy-o-boy was I wrong in my prediction. Truthfully I have never been a good predictor of the future, but I try my best. I said LSU would have a tough time running the ball, they didn’t, but they would pass well, they didn’t. I honestly could not have been more off. Oh well!
Regardless, the 2014 Outback Bowl was an entertaining one. LSU looked like they would dominate the game with their first drive of the game. They drove it right down the field for the score. That drive was started by a long run by LSU running back Jeremy Hill, who had a monster game. The drive was capped with an Anthony Jennings 2 yard quarterback keeper.
That capped the first quarter scoring. In the second quarter LSU tacked on another touchdown with a Hill 14 yard run. It looked as though LSU was going to run away with the game.
Things started to turn around for the Hawkeyes in the second half. Safety John Lowdermilk intercepted a Jennings pass and appeared to return it for a touchdown. But, there is a catch. Lowdermilk dropped the ball before he entered the end-zone. Thankfully, the ball didn’t stray too far and wound up staying in the end-zone, which gave Iowa the ball on the 1 yard line because it wasn’t touched.
Two plays later Mark Weisman would pound the football in for the score to cut the LSU lead to 7.
Going into the fourth quarter, Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock suffered an apparent knee injury which thrust back up quarterback C.J. Beathard into the starting role. Despite an interception on a fourth and one play, Beathard played well for the Hawkeyes.
Hill would tack on another touchdown in the fourth quarter and it looked as though Iowa’s hopes of winning went up in smoke. Not so fast. Jordan Cotton would return the ensuing kick off to the LSU’s five yard line and the Hawkeyes were right back in it, they didn’t have much time though. Beathard would complete a pass to Keyvonte Martin-Manley for a touchdown that cut the lead to 7 again.
Iowa’s onside kick failed and despite having to punt with about 8 seconds left on the clock, LSU was in the clear as they gave Les Miles a gatorade bath.
Hill paced the Tigers with 216 yards on the ground as the Hawkeye run defense was exposed. Iowa ran the ball poorly and quite frankly passed the ball poorly too. LSU’s defense did a good job of stopping whatever the Hawkeyes threw at them.
Iowa ends the year at 8-5 and will now look to the future. They’ll have starting quarteback Jake Rudock back, but will lose their three talented linebackers to graduation. Either way, I think the future is bright in Iowa City.