The heavy lifting is pretty much done for the Iowa football team, which put in its final extended practice in the rain Sunday in Tampa.
As defensive coordinator Phil Parker put it, “It’s time to polish,’’ and as the Hawkeyes head to the sands of Clearwater Beach today for a brief visit following a morning workout, here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Iowa news and notes:
1. Iowa free safety Tanner Miller said the number of quality quarterbacks Iowa has seen this season is helping the Hawkeyes prepare for LSU.
“We’ve competed against Jordan Lynch, Braxton Miller, Kain Colter, Devin Gardner, all good quarterbacks who can run, and we’re getting ready to see that again,’’ Miller said. “Any experience you get against a quarterback like that is good experience.’’
2. One of the reasons Iowa has been more productive on offense this season is that the Hawkeyes simply have more pieces to work with.
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis said the Hawkeyes have helped themselves with an ability to keep fresh bodies on the field.
“When you look at our running backs and receivers, it makes a difference,’’ Davis said. “You can never have enough of those people.’’
Davis doesn’t believe that he has ever worked with a group of tight ends as deep as the group Iowa has this season.
“The one area where we need some additional help is on the line. Offensive tackles are not easy to come by and that is an area where we have some developmental work to do to become as deep as we need to be,’’ Davis said.
3. LSU players are finding motivation in a chance to play for a fourth straight 10-win season on Wednesday, something that has never happened before in the program’s history.
“Especially for our seniors, that is something they are talking about,’’ Tigers coach Les Miles said. “It would mean a lot to them especially since we know we are going to play a quality opponent.’’
4. Hawkeye receiver Don Shumpert expects the realization to hit sometime Wednesday.
Shumpert is one of 15 Iowa players who will deal with the reality of their collegiate careers have come to an end once the final seconds tick off the clock at Raymond James Stadium.
“That’s something that is always in the back of your mind,’’ Shumpert said. “Mostly, you want to leave it all out there. For some of us, it will be the last chance we get to play this game and you want to make the most of it.’’
5. Dominic Alvis has a full beard that attracted the attention Sunday of a Louisiana television reporter.
“Are you going all Duck Dynasty?’’ Alvis was asked.
The Hawkeye senior defensive end smiled, shook his head, and said, “No, not really, well, maybe.’’
6. Anthony Jennings will be just the third true freshman to start at quarterback for LSU in a bowl game.
Jordan Jefferson in the 2008 Chick-Fil-A Bowl and Herb Tyler in the 1995 Independence Bowl also started bowls as true freshmen.
Jennings joins Matt Flynn, a starter in the 2005 Chick-Fil-A Bowl, as the only Tigers quarterbacks to make starting debuts in a bowl game.
7. Tevaun Smith said the addition of Bobby Kennedy to the Hawkeyes’ coaching staff as the wide receivers coach has helped get Iowa players and coaches on the same page.
“He’s had a real big impact on what we’re doing,’’ Smith said. “He understands the offense, knows what we’re supposed to be doing and communicates it real well. He and coach (Greg) Davis are on the same page and have been since day one. That’s helping us all.’’
8. Redshirt freshman Colby Delahoussaye handles the kicking duties for LSU.
A walk-on from New Iberia, La., Delahoussaye established a school record by hitting the first field goal attempts of his career.
He has 13-of-14 field goals this season with a long of 49 yards. In addition, Delahoussaye has hit 53-of-54 PAT attempts as part of an offense which has piled up 444 points in 12 games.
9. Iowa kicker Mike Meyer is looking to finish his career in style.
The senior has converted on 121 consecutive PATs without a miss or block and Iowa has gone 41 consecutive games without a missed or blocked PAT, the second-longest active streak of any school in the nation.
10. A slight chance of rain has been added to the forecast for the Tampa area for New Year’s Day.
A high of 73 degrees and light winds are expected for the Outback Bowl, but there is now a 20 percent chance of rain on Iowa’s final game day of the season.