Outback Bowl notebook

Outback Bowl notebook: Hawkeyes push the tempo

2013-12-30T19:15:00Z Outback Bowl notebook: Hawkeyes push the tempoSteve Batterson sbatterson@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times

TAMPA, Fla. — Iowa has made strides on the offensive side of the ball this season, helping the Hawkeyes craft an 8-4 record heading into Wednesday’s Outback Bowl.

But moving forward, offensive coordinator Greg Davis wants more.

He would like to see Iowa operate at an even faster pace next fall as it grows more comfortable with the offensive changes the Hawkeyes have implemented the past two seasons.

Iowa raised its average number of plays from 66.1 a year ago to 72.1 this season, a number Davis expects to continue to grow.

“I think for us and our style we should be somewhere in the high 70s, 78, 79 snaps a game. That is what we should shoot for anyway,’’ Davis said.

Iowa has run 865 plays this this season while limiting opponents to 790 snaps.

IT'S A WRAP: Iowa and LSU put in their final practices at their Tampa practice sites on Monday morning.

The Hawkeyes and Tigers both have walkthroughs scheduled for today at Raymond James Stadium, a place Iowa passed each day on the trip from its headquarters hotel, the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, to its practice field at Tampa Jesuit High School.

“I can’t wait to get inside,’’ linebacker Christian Kirksey said. “It’s not every day you get a chance to play in an NFL stadium. I think we’re all looking forward to it.’’

BRING YOUR WALLET: Looking for a souvenir from the Outback Bowl?

A t-shirt will cost you $25, or if you prefer a polo with the bowl logo and opponents, the cost is $45.

A ceremonial football with the logo and participating teams was priced at $40 for a full size or $20 for a smaller version Monday at the bowl’s annual beach day.

MEMORY LANE: LSU coach Les Miles, a former Michigan player who spent 10 years as an assistant on the Wolverines’ staff, said watching tapes of Iowa from this season brought back all sorts of memories.

“If you’re from the Big Ten, you really enjoy seeing some of those old helmets,’’ Miles said. “I was fortunate to be on some great Michigan teams and to prepare for games in that conference. The teams in that conference are as capable as any conference in America.’’

PROTECTION PLAN: A change in quarterbacks changes roles and responsibilities for nearly every player on the LSU offense.

Running back Alfred Blue said the Tigers will take extra steps to help ease Anthony Jennings into his first career start.

“We have to think a little differently because we want to protect him more and not get out on a pass route too early,’’ Blue said. “We knew what Zach (Mettenberger, the injured senior starter) was going to do and how he would get rid of the ball. With Anthony, we want to protect his blind side a little more.’’

OFFICIAL FUNCTION: While many Iowa and LSU fans enjoyed a Monday at the beach, school administrators, coaches and bowl supporters were guests at a formal VIP reception.

The so-called Gridiron Gala on Monday night included a guest list of around 1,600 people who received official welcomes to the bowl and surrounding events.

MAKING A CHOICE: Iowa fans attending the bowl will have a choice to make tonight.

The New Year’s Eve Parade, an Outback Bowl tradition which runs through the heart of the historic Ybor City district where former cigar factories have been turned into night spots, is scheduled to take place at nearly the same time that the Hawkeye Huddle is going on at the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa.

The parade has a scheduled 5:30 p.m. start, while the huddle event starts 30 minutes later and will include large-screen televisions which will allow Iowa fans to watch the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten basketball opener against Nebraska.

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Football schedule

2014 Hawkeyes (7-6)

Date Opponent Time/result
8/30/2014 Northern Iowa W 31-23
9/6/2014 Ball State W 17-13
9/13/2014 Iowa State L 20-17
9/20/2014 at Pittsburgh W 24-20
9/27/2014 at Purdue W 24-10
10/11/2014 Indiana W 45-29
10/18/2014 at Maryland L 38-31
11/1/2014 Northwestern W 48-7
11/8/2014 at Minnesota L 51-14
11/15/2014 at Illinois W 30-14
11/22/2014 Wisconsin  L 26-24
11/28/2014 Nebraska L 37-34
1/2/2015 Tennessee L 45-28

Future schedules

2015 Hawkeyes (0-0)

Date Opponent Time/result
9/5/2015 Illinois State TBA
9/12/2015 at Iowa State TBA
9/19/2015 Pittsburgh TBA
9/26/2015 North Texas TBA
10/3/2015 at Wisconsin TBA
10/10/2015 Illinois TBA
10/17/2015 at Northwestern TBA
10/31/2015 Maryland TBA
11/7/2015 at Indiana TBA
11/14/2015 Minnesota TBA
11/21/2015 Purdue TBA
11/27/2015 at Nebraska TBA

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Hawkeyes bowl history

1957 Rose   Oregon State W 35-19
1959 Rose   California W 38-12
1982 Rose   Washington L 28-0
1982 Peach   Tennessee W 28-22
1983 Gator   Florida L 14-6
1984 Freedom   Texas W 55-17
1986 Rose   UCLA L 45-28
1986 Holiday   SDSU W 39-38
1987 Holiday   Wyoming W 20-19
1988 Peach   NC State L 28-23
1991 Rose   Washington L 46-34
1991 Holiday   BYU T 13-13
1993 Alamo   California L 37-3
1995 Sun   Washington W 38-18
1996 Alamo   Texas Tech W 27-0
1997 Sun   Arizona State L 17-7
2001 Alamo   Texas Tech W 19-16
2003 Orange   USC L 38-17
2004 Outback   Florida W 37-17
2005 Capital One LSU W 30-25
2006 Outback   Florida L 31-24
2006 Alamo   Texas L 26-24
2009 Outback   South Carolina W 31-10
2010 Orange   Georgia Tech W 24-14
2010 Insight   Missouri W 27-24
2011 Insight   Oklahoma L 31-14
2014 Outback   LSU L 21-14
2015 TaxSlayer   Tennessee L 45-28