After-thoughts from Iowa’s 30-3 loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl:
--Iowa and Florida probably were more evenly matched than that final score indicates. The Hawkeyes set the stage for the second-half debacle with wasted opportunities in the first 2 ½ quarters. They squandered one chance when LeShun Daniels lost two yards on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the first half. Then, when they finally put together a sustained drive at the start of the third quarter, they missed a chip shot field goal. It was 10-3 at that point, but it slid downhill from there.
--Uncharacteristically sloppy tackling was a problem for Iowa in the first half. Florida got more than a third of its first-half yardage on a short pass that turned into an 85-yard touchdown because of four missed tackles. A complete whiff by linebacker Ben Niemann also led to a 46-yard gallop by Jordan Scarlett.
--Desmond King didn’t appear to miss any tackles and the Iowa cornerback didn’t do anything to damage his NFL draft stock. He intercepted a pass while lying flat on his back and tried to pump some life into the Hawkeyes in the fourth quarter with a 49-yard kickoff return.
--Another player who can’t be faulted for the Iowa defeat: Akrum Wadley. The junior running back rushed for 115 yards and could be primed for a special senior season if he doesn't turn pro early. Remember how Tavian Banks backed up Sedrick Shaw and shared carries with him for a few years, then had an absolutely enormous season when he became the main man as a senior? Wadley could do the same thing.
--Here’s a statistic that tells you all you need to know about Iowa’s offense Monday (and for much of the season): The Hawkeyes completed just one pass to a wide receiver, an 11-yard slant to Riley McCarron in the third quarter. C.J. Beathard threw the ball down the field four other times in the second half and three of them were caught, all by Florida players.
--It was a very disappointing finish to what was a fairly disappointing senior season for Beathard, who hasn’t really looked fully healthy since the middle of his junior year. It would have been nice to see what he could do with fewer injuries and Division I caliber receivers.
--ABC analyst Ed Cunningham was very outspoken in saying that Kirk Ferentz should have taken Beathard out of the game sooner than he did, and he was right. Beathard was hobbling on a bad hamstring through the entire second half and not only was risking further injury but did more to hurt his team than to help it.