The Congrove Computer Rankings give LSU a 10.45-point advantage in the Outback Bowl vs. Iowa on New Year's Day in Tampa. It's Iowa's 4th trip this game since 2003, but only the second for LSU which hasn't played in a bowl game in Tampa since the Hall Of Fame Bowl in 1988.
The last, and only other, meeting between the two schools took place at the Capital One Bowl where LSU prevailed 30-25 to cap the 2004 season.
The Tigers, making their 14th consecutive bowl appearance, are 22-21-1 all-time in their bowl history.
The Hawkeyes missed the bowl season last year after an 4-8 campaign and look to improve on their overall 14-11-1 bowl record.
The game will be broadcast on ABC at 1:00 p.m. EST.
The Tigers offense is a balance of one of the league's top passing attacks combined with aground game that averages 200 yards per game. The Tigers will be without QB Zach Mettenberger who suffered a season-ending injury in their final game. He was the SEC's fourth leading passer with 3,082yards and 22 TDs. He also led the league in pass efficiency completing 64.9% of his passes and was 5th in Total Offense. He will be replaced by true freshman Anthony Jennings who led the Tigers on an 8-play, 99-yard scoring drive to win their last game against Arkansas.
LSU boasts two of the top receivers in the SEC in Jarvis Landry (75 catches for 1,172 yards and 10 TDs) and Odell Beckham Jr. (57 catches, 1,117yds, 8 TDs) who accounted for 67% of the team's receptions. Beckham also led the SEC in All-PurposeYards, was fourth in Punt Returns and third in Kickoff Returns.
The rushing game is led by Jeremy Hill, the second leading rusher in the SEC, who notched 1,185 yards on 175 carries and 14 TDs averaging 6.8yards per carry and 108 yards per game. Terrence Magee added 614 yards and 8TDs on 79 carries for a 7.8 avg. while Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard combined for more than 600 yards and 8 TDs as well.
The Tigers kicking game is handled by Colby Delahoussaye who led the league in field goal percentage converting 13-of-14 attempts (92.9%) and 53-of-54 PATs.
The LSU defense centers around linebackers Lamin Barrow, D.J. Welter and Kwon Alexander and ends Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco. Barrow leads the team with 86 tackles,including 4.5 for losses and 1.5 sacks. Welter has notched 74 tackles and 1 sack, while Alexander had 6.5tackles for loss and 61 total stops. Hunter and Rasco each registered 6.5 TFL and combined for 105 tackles and 6 sacks. CB Jalen Mills led the team with 3 interceptions and added 3 sacks among his 61 tackles.
Les Miles is in his 9th season as LSU Head Coach where he is 93-24 and the winningest coach in the SEC over that period. He has won a National Championship, two SEC titles,appeared in two National Championship games and won five bowl games at LSU. He was named National Coach of the Year in 2011. Coach Miles himself made two previous appearances in the Outback (Hall of Fame) Bowl while an assistant coach at Michigan in the 1988 and 1994 Bowls.
The Hawkeyes boast a balanced offense backed up by one of the top defenses in the Big Ten. Iowa has rushed for an average of 189 yards on the ground led by RB Mark Weisman who has 938 yards on 209 carries for a 4.5 average with 7 TDs. Tailbacks Damon Bullock and Jordan Canzeri have combined for another 914 yards (467 and 447 respectively) rushing and 3 TDs. Canzeri averaged 6.7 yards per carry.
Sophomore QB Jake Rudock completed 195-of-324 passes (60.2%) for 2,281 yards and 18 TDs, while throwing 12 interceptions. His favorite targets are WR Kevonte Martin-Manley, who caught 39 passes for 384 yards and 4 TDs. Martin-Manley also led the conference in punt returns with a 16.2 yard average and 2TDs. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz has 26 catches for 253 yards and 6 TDs, while Tevaun Smith grabbed 24 catches for 310 yards and 1 TD.
The Hawkeye defense is led by MLB James Morris who amassed 98 tackles and 4 interceptions, including a team-high 14.5 tackles-for-a-loss and 5 sacks. LB Anthony Hitchens leads the team with 102 tackles and has 13 TFL and 2 sacks along with 1 interception. LB Christian Kirksey has 97 tackles, including 4 TFL, while SS John Lowdermilk has 72 tackles and CB Desmond King added 63.
Kirk Ferentz is in his 15th season as Hawkeye Head Coach where he is 108-78. Ferentz was named National Coach of the Year in 2002 and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004 and 2009, joining Hayden Fry, Bo Schembechler and Joe Paterno as the only three-time recipients. He guided Iowa to Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2004. Ferentz returned to Iowa, where he had been an Assistant Coach under Hayden Fry for nine years, after a six-year stretch as Assistant Head Coach for the Baltimore Ravens.