December 30, 2013

TES - 2013 IOWA FOOTBALL - OUTBACK BOWL: IOWA v. LSU

Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2013 Edition
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Iowa’s Record: 8-4, 5-3 Big Ten, 4-1 B1G Legends
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP: 48 votes (27th)
USA Today: 30 votes (29th)
BCS: See ya next year!
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2013 IOWA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE*

August 31st v. Northern Illinois, loss 30-27
September 7th v. Missouri State, WIN 28-14
September 14th @ Iowa State, WIN 27-21
September 21st v. Western Michigan, WIN 59-3
September 28th, @ •Minnesota, WIN 23-7
October 5th v. •Michigan State, loss 26-14
October 12th - Bye Week #1
October 19th @ Ohio State, loss 34-24
October 26th v. •Northwestern, WIN 17-10 OT
November 2nd v. Wisconsin, loss 28-9
November 9th @ Purdue, WIN 38-14
November 16th - Bye Week #2
November 23rd v. •Michigan, WIN 24-21
November 29th @ •Nebraska, WIN 38-17

•Big Ten Legends Division Game

NEW YEAR’S DAY - OUTBACK BOWL, 1:00 PM, ESPN

*Times Eastern

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January 1st, 2014.  Iowa @ LSU Tigers, 9-3, 5-3 SEC West
Previous Meetings: 1,Iowa leads 1-0
Last Meeting: 2005 Capital One Bowl, Iowa 30, LSU 25

Current Line: Iowa +7

Turnover Margin: +1,  B1G #7, FBS #54

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack - Final 2013 Regular Season
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Offense
Total   389.0  Pass  200.4  Rush 188.6  Scoring 27.3
B1G    #8              #10             #6                 #9
FBS    #79            #92             #41               #74
Defense  
Total   303.2  Pass  182.4  Rush 120.8   Scoring 18.8
B1G    #3            #2                 #4                   #3
FBS    #7            #11               #17                 #11 
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Week 14:  Nebraska

IOWA 38  Nebraska 17.  In Lincoln.

We shall leave the commentary to Iowa Nice Guy:


So Nebraska fans - is it a rivalry now?

When we beat the living $#&$* out of you in Kinnick next Black Friday, you will know it is.

Soon after, the Buckeyes barely escaped the Wolverines, but then the stunning end to the Iron Bowl had the Buckeyes at number 2 in the BCS - all they had to do was beat Sparty in the Big Ten title game.

And they could not, Sparty’s defense staying true to their national ranking. But that ended up being good for the Big Ten, as it meant we were a lock for two BCS teams.  And with Iowa finishing 2nd in the Legends division - it soon meant we were back in a New Year’s Day bowl game.  

We were pretty sure that Outback would be our destination, and there was soon speculation that we would have a rematch with the Paper Tigers of Missouri.

Tigers, yes, but the Tigers from the Bayou, and the 2005 Capital One bowl finally got it’s rematch.  In the 2014 Outback Bowl.

OUTBACK BOWL

Time to see if the Hawks can improve to 4.5 -.5 in bowl games against SEC teams under Ferentz.

The LSU Tigers are 9-3 on the season, those 3 losses coming in conference.

They opened against then #20 TCU.  What was most noteworthy about this game was the Tigers new offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, who spent the last decade in the NFL.  LSU racked up 448 yards and topped TCU 37-27.  A good win, at the time.

But then the bottom fell out of TCU and they finished 4-8, and 2-7 in the Big 12.  One game ahead of Iowa State.

A week later, Alabama - not that one, the Birmingham one, came to Death Valley and Tiger senior QB Mettenberger set a team record with 5 touchdown passes as LSU won it 56-17.  

UAB finished 2-10, 1-7 in the C-USA east.  They gave up just under 44 points a game.  

Not a real noteworthy win for LSU, but that’s the noncon season for the big programs.

One week later, Kent State came in, and as expected, lost 45-13.  The Golden Flashes finished 4-8, 3-5 in the MAC.

LSU was now ranked 6th when they opened the SEC slate with a visit from Auburn.  LSU had a 21-0 lead at halftime, and they held on to defeat the Tigers 35-21.

Auburn, of course, would not lose again, and will meet Florida State for the BCS title on January 6th.  That, a good win for LSU.

The Tigers were still ranked 6th the next week and they went on the road to face the Bulldogs, then ranked 9th.

This was a back and forth game that saw Mettenberger toss for 372 yards, but in the end the Tigers defense was smoked by 494 Georgia yards and the Bulldogs topped the Tigers, 44-41.

The Bulldogs would finish at 8-4, 5-3 in the SEC, and will meet - Nebraska in the Gator Bowl at Noon on New Year’s Day.  

Now ranked 10th, LSU went on the road to face Mississippi State, and a close game was blown open by four LSU 4th quarter touchdowns, as the Tigers topped the Bulldogs (yeah, originality doesn’t mean much in the south when it comes to their team nicknames) 59-26.  

MIss State, 6-6, 3-5 in the SEC.  Meeting Rice in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

Still ranked 10th, the Tigers then hosted the Florida Gators, then ranked 17th.  

This was a more typical (in the past) SEC game, LSU prevailing in Death Valley 17-6.  

But the Gators did not escape from the Valley, as they then went on to lose 7 straight games, and counting, to finish 4-8, 3-5 in the SEC.

Back at the number 6 ranking, the Tigers went back on the road to visit Ole Miss.

This should have been easy for the Tigers, but they fell behind 17-0, and the Tigers could not catch the Rebels until they were at 24; via a LSU td with just over 3 minutes remaining.  

The Rebels would then go on a 14 play drive, and with two seconds left, booted a 41 yard field goal to stun the Tigers, 27-24.

The Rebels could only get to 3-5 in the SEC, but 7-5 overall, and they will meet Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl.

The Tigers then took a break from the SEC, and hosted Furman.  This was a close game at the half, but LSU outscored Furman 28-0 in the second half to coast to a 48-16 victory.  

The Paladins, an FCS team, would finish 8-6, and get to the second round of the FCS playoffs, were they fell to top ranked North Dakota State, 38-7.  NDS will meet Towson on January 4th for the FCS National Title.

A month long, football playoff.  Beautiful.  We should be so lucky in the FBS.

Next, the Tigers traveled to face the other Alabama  - the top ranked, and as of then, undefeated and two time defending BCS champions.

This was a close game into the 3rd quarter, but then the Tide put the clamps down on the Tigers and pulled away with the last 21 points, winning it 38-17.  

LSU could only rush for 43 net yards against the Alabama defense.  Bama to the Sugar Bowl to face Oklahoma.  

The Tigers returned to Death Valley then to host Johnny Football and his Texas A&M Aggies.

This one really wasn’t close, as LSU stuffed the A&M offense to just 299 net yards, while the Tiger offense racked up 517 on the A&M defense, and the Tigers eased to a 34-10 victory.  A win that may of cost Manziel his second Heisman.  

A&M at 8-4, 4-4 in the SEC, will meet Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.  Yes, Duke in a bowl game, I still have trouble typing that.

To wrap up the season, the Tigers welcomed the Arkansas Razorbacks to Death Valley.  They of the coach with a Tiger Hawk tattoo on his leg.

At the time, the Razorbacks were 3-8, and 0-7 in the SEC, but they had both a 27-24 lead on the Tigers, and they had knocked out the LSU QB Mettenberger with a knee injury, with just 7 minutes left in the game.

In came freshman QB Jennings, #10.  He took the Tigers 99 yards, the final 50 coming via a pass, to score with just 1:15 left and shock Arkansas 31-27.  They would finish 3-9, and 0-8 in the SEC.

So the Tigers finished the season at 9-3, a good season for most schools, but LSU fans have to be smarting at the losses to the Rebels and (Georgia) Bulldogs.  

And now they have to face the prospects of playing the bowl game without their senior quarterback.

Arkansas didn’t just knock Mettenberger out of the game, they knocked him out of college.  An ACL tear, and he is done. So the Hawks will face the freshman QB who has a combined 10 passes in his college career - 6 of them completed.

With Mettenberger and Cameron as OC, the Tigers have been running a pretty typical pro-style offense where the QB passes the ball and hands it off to tailbacks.  Mettenberger would only run if he had to.

The offense was balanced - Mettenberger, 192 for 296, 3082 yards, 22tds, 8 picks.  Combined with their rushing average of 200 yards a game, it’s a pretty good combination.  

To get to 200 rushing yards a game with a pro-style QB, you need some good tailbacks.  LSU has them.

First up, sophomore Hill, #33.  175 carries for 1185 yards, with 14 rushing tds. That’s 6.8 yards a carry.   He also has 18 catches for 181 yards.  Hill is 6’2 and 235, a tough combination of speed and power.  LSU will look to establish him early.  Iowa cannot allow it.

Next, junior Magee, #14.  79 carries for 614 yards, with 8 tds.  That’s 7.8 yards per touch.  He is just 5’9 and 212 pounds, so it’s more about the speed when he is on the field.  

That’s the main component of the LSU rushing attack.  We shall see if they can get it done against the Iowa defense.  

This allowed the Tigers to have not one, but two wideouts who topped the 1000 yard receiving yardstick.  Landry, #80, a junior, 75 for 1172, 10 tds.  And junior Beckham, #3.  57 grabs for 1117 yards, with 8 tds.

This running and passing combination allowed LSU to ranked #1 in the nation in the critical 3rd down percentage category, at 58.6%.

But this was all with the senior QB.  

The freshman QB may be the future, but the Iowa defense meets him in the present.

Of late, LSU was always more about the tough, highly ranked defense first, with the offense being more conservative, similar in some ways to how Iowa has played the game under Kirk.  But LSU fans would not be as happy with the defense this year, the ranking slipped to 20th overall, with the pass defense ranked 17th at 200 yards per game, and the rushing defense slipping to 43rd, at about 149 yards a game.

Which means the healthy, angry Iowa offensive line is going to find space for Mark to pound and Jordan to flash through as Iowa will also look to establish the LOS from the start.  The difference will be when the defenses sell out to stop the run, and whose quarterback will be better prepared to make them pay for it.

LSU is also known for the antics of Les Miles, aka the Mad Hatter, who joined the Tigers from Oklahoma State right after the Hawks sent Saban The Snake to the Miami Dolphins.  It may be possible that he is actually worse at clock management than Iowa (though we seem better with Davis at OC).  LSU may also throw in some fakes and other gadget plays from time to time, so the Hawkeye special teams in particular must be on red alert whenever they are on the field.

Speaking of special teams, LSU’s freshmen kicker is 13-14 on field goals, so that’s a push.  

As I type this, the Big Ten is currently 0-2 in Bowl games, and Rutgers and Maryland both lost their bowl games as Big Ten - Lite teams.  

It wouldn’t be the first time the Hawks are the only B1G team to win their bowl game…

So, as the teams are practicing in the Tampa area, news emerges that the Tigers will run the same offense with the freshman quarterback (he is more mobile than Mettenberger, perhaps a change to more read/option in the future).  He will stay in the pocket, hand the ball off, and throw it to the wideouts and tight ends.  Maybe.

Should he take off, it won’t be like the Iowa defense, ranked #7 in the nation in Total Defense, hasn’t had their fill of running QBs of late.  Yeah, he had one 99 yard drive to beat Arkansas, the only significant minutes he has had in his career.  The Razorbacks defense finished 77th in the country.

And when you take a pro-style offense with a senior QB who will be drafted and insert a freshmen - it means things will change for LSU, and the Iowa Defense will do their part to make it happen.

I am expecting the Iowa Offense - with a healthy Mark, Jake, Jordan, and the big uglies up front, to use everything we have seen this season - the 5 wide, the 3 tight end heavy set, bubble screens to Powell, etc, to keep the Tiger defense honest, and to keep the ball and wear down the LSU defense as the game goes on.  As we did to the Huskers.

Iowa picks off two LSU passes and forces a fumble on a sack to finish the day +2 on the turnover margin.

Iowa rushes for 245 and Jake passes for 275 as the Hawks again pull away in the 2nd half, the Iowa defense keeping LSU under 300 yards.  The Hawks finish the 2013 season with 9 wins, in the polls, and just like in 2008, heading into the offseason ready to make a run at Indy come September 2014.

Iowa 38, LSU 16.

GO HAWKS!!!
SEDGE