College Football
Preview
Florida vs Iowa
When: 1:00 PM ET, Monday, January 2, 2017
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida



OUTBACK BOWL STORYLINES

1. Florida’s defense tries to redeem itself after two disappointing performances when the Gators take on Iowa in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Florida allowed 14 or fewer points in eight of its first 10 games to earn a spot in the SEC Championship game before giving up 85 combined against rival Florida State and Alabama in the last two. Gators defensive coordinator Geoff Collins was hired as the new coach at Temple last week and former Miami (Fla.) coach Randy Shannon will run the defense against Iowa.

2. Iowa recently won the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding offensive line, and the Hawkeyes sealed it with impressive performances in consecutive victories over Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska to end the regular season. Senior LeShun Daniels Jr. (1,013 yards, 10 touchdowns) and junior Akrum Wadley (966, 10) could become the first pair of Iowa running backs to go over 1,000 in the same season. Iowa rushed for a total of 526 yards in the wins over Illinois and Nebraska after grinding out the upset win against Michigan with 98 on the ground.

3. This is the third time the programs meet in the Outback Bowl as Iowa took the 2004 contest 37-17 before the Gators fought back to win 31-24 in 2006. Florida lost two of its last three bowl games after the 41-7 setback against Michigan in the 2015 Citrus Bowl and is 21-21 all-time. The Hawkeyes play their fourth straight January bowl game and dropped four in a row overall after last season’s 45-16 defeat against Stanford in the Rose Bowl - falling to .500 all time at 14-14-1.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Florida -3

ABOUT FLORIDA (8-4, 6-2 SEC): The Gators gave up 483 yards on the ground over the last two games to push their season average to 142.2 - 36th in the nation - and are still sixth overall in total defense (298.6) despite two rough outings. Sophomore running back Jordan Scarlett (795 yards, six touchdowns on the ground) prospered with more carries in the middle of the season - totaling three 100-yard efforts in five games before being limited to 70 combined in the last two. Senior transfer Austin Appleby took over at quarterback when Luke Del Rio was injured, completing 61.6 percent of his passes in the last four games, and sophomore Antonio Callaway is his most dangerous target (47 catches, 666 yards, three touchdowns).

ABOUT IOWA (8-4, 6-3 Big Ten): The Hawkeyes lost their top receiver (Matt VandeBerg) to a season-ending injury early on and coach Kirk Ferentz had to do a lot of mixing and matching on the offensive line. Senior quarterback C.J. Beathard (17 touchdown passes, seven interceptions) threw for only 290 yards combined the last three weeks as the running attack took over with Daniels totaled 317 yards on the ground against Illinois and Nebraska while combining with Wadley for 20 rushing TDs overall. The defense stepped up after a 41-14 loss at Penn State, allowing 23 total points in the last three games, and linebacker Josey Jewell (fourth team) along with defensive back Desmond King (second) were named All-Americans.



PREDICTION: Florida 24, Iowa 21
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Florida 8-4 L2 23.4 17.9 5-1 3-3 7-2 0-0 6-3
Iowa 8-4 W3 26.8 17.9 4-3 4-1 1-1 0-0 6-3
Last Meeting
Florida Iowa
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
1/2/06 IOWA 24 FLA 31 447 169 278 410 64 346
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Florida C. Leak 62.5 278 2 0
Iowa D. Tate 58.2 346 3 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Florida K. Moore 13 88 6.8 0
Iowa A. Young 13 34 2.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Florida D. Baker 10 147 14.7 2
Iowa C. Solomon 7 96 13.7 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Florida D. Baker 2
Iowa E. Hinkel 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Florida L. Del Rio 56.7 1358 8 8
Iowa C. Beathard 58.6 1874 17 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Florida J. Scarlett 165 795 4.8 6
Iowa L. Daniels Jr. 198 1013 5.1 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Florida A. Callaway 47 666 14.2 3
Iowa R. McCarron 41 506 12.3 4
Touchdowns Player TD
Florida J. Scarlett 6
Iowa A. Wadley 13
Quickchart Matchup
Florida Florida Off vs  Iowa Iowa Def
Florida 345.1 yards
Iowa 352.8 yards
Florida 3.7 yards/rush
Iowa 4 yards/rush
Florida 6.7 yards/attempt
Iowa 6.4 yards/attempt
Iowa Iowa Off vs  Florida Florida Def
Iowa 333.2 yards
Florida 298.6 yards
Iowa 4.5 yards/rush
Florida 3.8 yards/rush
Iowa 6.8 yards/attempt
Florida 6.2 yards/attempt