Another Great Outback Bowl

By on January 2, 2014


An early departure by starting Iowa QB Jake Rudock the Hawkeyes Outback Bowl comeback bid  came up short (photo Travis Failey)

Tampa, Fla. — The 2014 installment of the Outback Bowl was not at all spoiled by what one could say an awful weather day, well awful by sunshine state standards.  I mean a steady pre-game rain, mist, temperatures in the 60’s, just awful.  Well now that I used the word awful four times in three sentences our Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network day once again was AWESOME at the Outback Bowl.

At halftime it was not looking good for the Hawkeyes as they trailed 14-0 and the Hawkeye offense, was well, quite offensive. With only 73 totals yards in the first 30 minutes, it was hard to believe Iowa could make a comeback.  And believe me I was shocked when I looked at the halftime box score because it felt more like 10 total yards.

I was happy to see the Hawkeyes come out of the tunnel making what,  looked like adjustments.  The Hawks started the half by driving down the field in 13 plays, going 58 yards only to have senior kicker Mike Meyer miss a 35 yarder,  wide right.  At this point I looked down to my right in the south end zone stands of Raymond James Stadium,  thinking of the Iowa fans who packed that whole section that have had very little to cheer about to this point.  Iowa traveled well,  filling the whole lower west side as well but the fans in the end zone have no club access and were outside the time it was raining just before kick off.  Would they have anything to cheer about today?

YES!!! Just 6 plays later, thank you for making a game of it John Lowdermilk.  The junior strong safety picks off LSU QB Anthony Jennings and races for a touchdown, yeeeaaa!  No wait, under review?   Under review! There is no way he stepped out as I vocally stated at the time and a review is a waste of time.  But Lowdermilk dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line.   Now something you will rarely see, the ball came to rest inside the end zone and no one, no Tiger, no Hawkeye secured possession.  An abandon pigskin in the endzone, wow by rule it goes to the offense at the one.   Mark Weisman punches it in 3 plays later and the Iowa got to cheer twice for the same score… I was able to look to the south end zone and crack a smile for the Iowa fans.

The Iowa fans found the Tampa weather just perfect. I do not believe they even noticed the rain as the started off the game chanting “Let’s go Hawks” (photo by Travis Failey)

The LSU fans rolled into Tampa bringing the confidence ofknowing they play in the Southeastern Conference (photo Travis Failey)

Jeremy Hill was the 2014 Outback Bowl MVP and rushed for 217 yards on 28 carries and two TDs.  The second TD being a 37 yard apparent dagger digging run with 2:02 left.   Apparent dagger digger  because the ensuing kickoff was returned 96 yards to the LSU 4 by Iowa’s Jordan Cotton.  Freshman back QB C.J. Beathard,  who came in for the injured starter Jake Rudock, on second play hit junior Kevonte Martin-Manley in the left corner of that old south end zone sending the pro-Iowa crowd into fanaticism.   YES, YES another good finish to the Outback Bowl.  The onsides kick would be recovered by LSU, which to me did not even seem to matter, the Iowa Hawkeyes, left for dead three times (halftime, missed FG and Hill’s second TD) came back to make a game of it.

I would like to thank Travis Failey, Wendy the hockey hottie, Keith Alan and Damon “Latinbox” Gonzalez for all the work on New Year’s Day 2014!

The count down to 2015 begins!

Enjoy the rest of the photo gallery below:

The game’s MVP, Sophomore Jeremy Hill races to the end zone for his second TD with 2:02 left to go in the game. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jordan Cotton (23) broke the tackle of Kendall Beckwith (52) and Cotton was off to the races, well the LSU 4 (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Mark Weisman (45) of the Hawkeyes breaks LSU’s Tre’Davious’ tackle. Weisman was the Hawkeyes leading rusher (18 carries for 37 yards, 1 TD) (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

There were moments in the late second quarter I thought we might see this guy gets some snaps (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The Iowaoffensive line Brett Van Sloten (70), Andrew Donnal (78), Austin Blythe (63), Connor Boffeli (59) along with FB Adam Cox (58) eye up to open up some holes in the LSU defense (photo by Travis Faliey)

Jeremy Hill still managed 217 yards in spite of being surrounding by Hawkeyes (photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tarpon Springs Sponger #26 Patrick Miller (left gray shirt) and his dad Randy Miller (LSU hat) find themselves in the middle of Hawkeye fans (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The most wonderful time of the year, bowl season always brings big smiles (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jordan Cotton and the Hawkeyes were upside in the first half (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

B.J. Lowery (19) presses up on Kadron Boone (86) (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Freshman QB C.J. Beathard was thrown in bowl action when starter Jake Rudock could not return. Beathard was 4-7 for 55 yards and a TD. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

My MVP vote went to LSU punter Jamie Keehn. The vote was cast at the end of quarter before Jeremy Hill rushed for his second TD. LSU won the field position battle on Keehn’s leg. Keehn had All-American like stats, 10 punts, 46.9 average, 4 inside the 20 and 2 touchbacks. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Outback Steakhouse what a sponsor! And great service from Meagan who kept the coconut shrimp flowing my way, the hockey hottie ate all the bloomin onion (RSEN staff photo)

Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz can’t get to it (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

To the victors goes song: LSU head coach Les Miles flanked by Jermuria Rasco  (59) and James Wright sing with the LSU band and cheerleaders in victorious fashion (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The Hawkeyes celebrate Kevonte Martian-Manley’s (11) TD with just 1:42 left in the game (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Broncos playing? Colts playing? A horse is a horse of course: Mr. Ed makes the Outback Bowl (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jake Rudock (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Trai Turner (56), Alfred Blue (4) and Anthony Jennings (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tigers controlling the line of scrimmage (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tevaun Smith (4) and Rashad Robinson (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Double fisted, well two in one fist, Tiger fan, and a Bud Light and Miller Light. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

You wouldn’t think Jeremy Hill rushed for 217 yards by looking at this photo (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Damon Bullock with one of his three carries (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Les Miles with congratulatory words (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Kick returner #3 Odell Beckham (photo Travis Failey)

Just in case you have never seen a 6’6″ 301 pound freshman celebrate a 4th quarter TD, here is big #65 Jerald Hawkins  (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

This guy’s  cheering for the Tigers and ready for Mardi Gras at the same time (photo Travis Failey)

(photo Travis Failey)

(photo Travis Failey)















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