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College Football
Preview
Iowa vs Tennessee
When: 3:20 PM ET, Friday, January 2, 2015
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

TAXSLAYER BOWL STORYLINES

1. The last four weeks of the regular season brought contrasting fortunes for Tennessee and Iowa as the teams prepare to face off in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. The Volunteers won three of their last four games - including a 24-17 victory at Vanderbilt their last time out - to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes were 6-2 before losing a de facto elimination game in the Big Ten West to Minnesota and subsequently dropped two of their next three contests.

2. There's an air of optimism around Knoxville as the youthful Volunteers took a step forward under the guidance of second-year coach Butch Jones, who was recently awarded a contract extension through 2020. Tennessee looks to finish with seven wins for the first time since 2009 and earn its first bowl victory in six years in the process. "Tennessee football is not supposed to be home for the holidays," Jones told reporters. "We're embarking on our 50th bowl appearance as a proud football program."

3. Brandon Scherff's illustrious collegiate career will come to an end on Jan. 2. The senior left tackle won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman on Dec. 11 and was named a first team All-American by the Associated Press after starting all 12 games this season and 25 straight overall. "To become one of the best offensive lineman in the nation was one of my goals," Scherff told reporters. "It comes through a lot of hard work and if it wasn't for my teammates, I wouldn't be up there."

TV: 3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Tennessee -3.5

ABOUT IOWA (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten): Kevonte Martin-Manley - who caught 49 passes for 494 yards and two touchdowns - needs three more catches to become the Hawkeyes' all-time leader in receptions. Mark Weisman followed up a promising junior campaign by rushing for 802 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior, but has failed to find the end zone in his last three games. Junior quarterback Jake Rudock struggled with consistency issues for large chunks of the season, finishing with 2,404 passing yards and 16 touchdowns.

ABOUT TENNESSEE (6-6, 3-5 SEC): Sophomore quarterback Joshua Dobbs threw for 1,077 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 393 yards and six scores in five games after Justin Worley suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Derek Barnett set a a school record for most sacks in season by a freshman with 10 while fellow frosh Jalen Hurd rushed for 777 yards and three touchdowns while catching 33 passes for 217 yards and two scores. The Volunteers are set to make their 50th bowl appearance, but have dropped three out of their last four games in the postseason.

PREDICTION: Tennessee 27, Iowa 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Iowa 7-5 L2 28.2 24.0 4-3 3-2 2-1 0-0 4-4
Tennessee 6-6 W1 27.6 23.9 4-3 2-3 5-5 0-0 3-5
Last Meeting
Iowa Tennessee
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
8/30/87 TENN 23 IOWA 22 0 0 0 0 0 0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Iowa N/A
Tennessee N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Iowa N/A
Tennessee N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Iowa N/A
Tennessee N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Iowa N/A
Tennessee N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Iowa J. Rudock 62.6 2404 16 5
Tennessee J. Worley 62.3 1579 12 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Iowa M. Weisman 206 802 3.9 14
Tennessee J. Hurd 174 777 4.5 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Iowa T. Smith 41 559 13.6 3
Tennessee P. Howard 52 589 11.3 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Iowa M. Weisman 14
Tennessee J. Dobbs 6
Quickchart Matchup
Iowa Off vs  Tennessee Def
398.3 yards
359.9 yards
3.9 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
7.2 yards/attempt
6.9 yards/attempt
Tennessee Off vs  Iowa Def
363 yards
334.5 yards
3.4 yards/rush
4.3 yards/rush
6.3 yards/attempt
6.4 yards/attempt