Iowa Wins the Outback Bowl as the Hawkeyes Rough up the Bulldogs

By on January 1, 2019

Tampa, Fla. — 2019 kicked off on Tuesday with Iowa and #18 Mississippi State – two of the nation’s top scoring defenses – battling the heat and each other for the first time ever in the 33rd annual Outback Bowl.

(Travis Failey Photo)

After a rough-and-tumble four quarters Iowa was able to escape with 27-22 victory.

Mississippi State entered the Outback Bowl allowing just 12 points per game, good for the best mark in nation, while Iowa had surrendered just 17.4 points per game, good enough for 11th.  In the first quarter, it showed.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

Iowa won the toss and deferred to the second half, giving Mississippi State the first shot with the ball. After both teams exchanged three-and-outs Mississippi State was able to put together an 10-play drive, starting at their own 35, and put three on the board behind a 44-yard field goal from kicker Jace Christmann.

Osiris Mitchell with the stretch for MSU (Photo-Travis Failey)

Iowa still couldn’t get anything going on their second drive and after another three-and-out the Bulldogs were able to drive down the field again, cash in on another field goal and take a 6-0 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

MSU Nick Fitzgerald (Photo-Travis Failey)

After bringing the return out to the 27-yard line, Iowa was finally able to get back into positive yardage – barely – with 12 minutes left in the half. Now in the second quarter Iowa was finally showing something close to a sustained drive. In 10 plays Iowa went 49 yards, with 30 yards coming just off of Mississippi State personal conduct penalties, and get on the board with a field goal of their own.

Iowa’s Nathan Stanley (Photo-Travis Failey)

Then it happened, the momentum swing the Hawkeyes had been desperately needing.

On Mississippi State’s next drive the Bulldogs stalled out after five plays and punted. On the first play of Iowa’s ensuing drive quarterback Nate Stanley found a wide open Nick Easley for a 75-yard touchdown, Easley’s first touchdown of the day, and Iowa took the 10-6 lead.

Nick Easley (Photo-Travis Failey)

Iowa kicked it back to the Bulldogs and three plays later, on 2nd and 13, defensive end A.J. Espinesa crushed Fitzgerald from his blindside, causing a fumble that Iowa would jump on and recover at the Mississippi State 13-yard line. Two plays later Stanley found Ihmir Smith-Marsette for another Iowa touchdown and in the blink of an eye the Hawkeyes had built a 17-6 lead.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette with the TD (Photo-Travis Failey
Gervase takes down Fitzgerald (Photo-Travis Failey)

An exchange of punts later and Mississippi State was driving, looking to close the gap with less than a minute left in the first half. From their own 47-yard line Fitzgerald found receiver Osirus Mitchell down the left sideline for a beautiful completion and Mitchell was able to slip away from his defender and take the ball down to the Iowa 2-yard line, but a holding penalty called the play back and Iowa would take the 17-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.

(Photo-Travis Failey)

In the second half the turnovers started to pile on.

Iowa’s first drive lasted just three plays before Stanley’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Willy Gay Jr. and returned to the Iowa 6-yard line. Three plays later Fitzgerald would toss the ball to Kylin Hill for the touchdown and a failed two-point conversion left the Bulldogs trailing 17-12.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6) (Photo-Travis Failey)

On the ensuing kickoff, Smith-Marsette would take the return up the right sideline before getting cracked by Stephen Adegoke, forcing a fumble that Mississippi State would recover to begin their drive on the Iowa 33-yard line. It then took just one play for Mississippi State to retake a 19-17 lead as Fitzgerald broke free on the QB keeper and raced down the sideline for six.

Smith-Marsette takes a huge hit and fumbles (Photo-Travis Failey)
Fitzgerald carries Hawkeyes on his back as he goes into the endzone (Photo-Travis Failey)

Iowa couldn’t respond when given a chance on offense, but on Mississippi State’s next drive pressure forced Fitzgerald into a pass that was tipped and intercepted by Chauncey Golston, giving them the ball back with just 32 yards to drive.

Guidry tips away a td and Gervase picks it off to stop a Mississippi State drive (Photo-Travis Failey)

Iowa then drove into the Bulldogs’ redzone and on 1st and goal from the eight Stanley found Easley again, giving Iowa back the 24-19 lead, Easley his second touchdown of the day and a cap on Easley’s MVP performance in the bowl.

Easley dives for the pylon (Photo-Travis Failey)
(Photo-Travis Failey)

24 would be all Iowa needed as they surrendered just one more field goal and added one of their own in the fourth to finish off their second consecutive bowl victory by a score of 27-22.

(Photo-Travis Failey)


– For Iowa this was their first back-to-back bowl victories since 2010-2011 and it snapped a three-game bowl winning streak for Mississippi State.

– Iowa WR Nick Easley was named the 2019 Outback Bowl MVP with eight receptions for 104 yards and two TD’s.

– MSU DT Jeffery Simmons, who recently declared for the NFL draft, finished with four tackles, one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss.

– MSU QB Nick Fitzgerald rushed for over 100 yards for the 21st time in his career, ending his career as the SEC’s all-time leader in career quarterback rushing yards.

More Photos From the Game From Jordan Raiff

(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Nick Fitgerald (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Jake Gervase (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Mekhi Sargent (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Gervase & Hooker (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Kylin Hill (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Toren Young (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Nick Fitgerald (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
(Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Mississippi State Passing

Nick Fitzgerald14/321524.81217.8

Iowa Passing

Nate Stanley21/312146.93149.6

Mississippi State Rushing

Nick Fitzgerald201035.2133
Kylin Hill12433.609
Aeris Williams6223.708
Nick Gibson11212.0012
Keytaon Thompson3103.305

Iowa Rushing

Toren Young372.303
Ivory Kelly-Martin500.002
Mekhi Sargent7-3-0.405
Nate Stanley4-18-4.503

Mississippi State Receiving

Stephen Guidry15151.0051
Osirus Mitchell24221.0034
Aeris Williams3196.308
Deddrick Thomas2168.0015
Kylin Hill3124.017
Farrod Green177.007
Justin Johnson252.503

Iowa Receiving

Nick Easley810413.0275
T.J. Hockenson34314.3022
Brandon Smith33311.0012
Ihmir Smith-Marsette4297.3115
Mekhi Sargent144.004
Toren Young210.503

Mississippi State Fumbles

Mark McLaurin001
Nick Fitzgerald110

Iowa Fumbles

Chauncey Golston001
Ihmir Smith-Marsette110

Mississippi State Defensive

Johnathan Abram640.51.5000
Cameron Dantzler5400.5000
Braxton Hoyett4400000
C.J. Morgan4400000
Willie Gay Jr.420.50.5000
Jeffery Simmons4112.5010
Chris Rayford3300000
Erroll Thompson3200.5000
Montez Sweat210.50.5000
Fletcher Adams2100000
Chauncey Rivers200.50.5000
Deion Lenard Calhoun1100000
Deddrick Thomas1100000
Jamal Peters1100000
Mark McLaurin1100000
Stephen Adegoke1100000
Tyler Williams1100000
Scott Goodman1100000
Gerri Green1000000
Grant Harris1000000
Kobe Jones1000.5000

Iowa Defensive

Matt Hankins9700100
Michael Ojemudia8500000
Jake Gervase6400300
Jack Hockaday6400.5000
Amani Hooker6300000
Parker Hesse6200.5000
Nick Niemann5100010
Anthony Nelson4302.5010
Matt Nelson4100.5000
Chauncey Golston2200000
Geno Stone2200000
A.J. Epenesa2111100
Sam Brincks2100000
Brady Reiff2100000
John Milani1100000
Dominique Dafney1100000
Nate Stanley1100000
Djimon Colbert1100000
Riley Moss1100000
Cedrick Lattimore1000000

Mississippi State Interceptions

Willie Gay Jr.1460

Iowa Interceptions

Jake Gervase1280
Chauncey Golston140

Mississippi State Kick Returns

Deddrick Thomas11717.0170
Marcus Murphy11616.0160

Iowa Kick Returns

Ihmir Smith-Marsette515030.0380

Mississippi State Punt Returns

Malik Dear294.590
Aaron Brule100.000

Iowa Punt Returns

Kyle Groeneweg144.040

Mississippi State Kicking

Jace Christmann3/3100.0441/110

Iowa Kicking

Miguel Recinos2/2100.0443/39

Mississippi State Punting

Tucker Day525250.42170

Iowa Punting

Colten Rastetter724134.40047
Categories: College Football, Featured, Football


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