Monday, September 24, 2018
Colleges

Iowa coach recalls dramatic bowl win over LSU

TAMPA — It has been nearly nine years since Iowa and LSU last met in football. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa's coach for 14 years, remembers that day vividly.

The Hawkeyes were playing the defending national champion Tigers in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando after the 2004 season. With 46 seconds left, LSU WR Skyler Green caught a touchdown pass from QB Jamarcus Russell to take a 25-24 lead.

Game over? Hawkeyes QB Drew Tate had a different idea.

On the final play, Tate hurled a 56-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to WR Warren Holloway. Holloway had spent his first three years on the bench or filling in on special teams. "It took him about four years to learn how to line up," Ferentz laughed.

But as time expired, Holloway's only career touchdown gave Iowa a 30-25 stunner.

These days, Tate is a quarterback with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Holloway is out of football and in the working world, Ferentz said. The catch remains one of the greatest moments in Iowa history.

"I really thought we had our work cut out, but our guys played almost a flawless game that day," Ferentz said. "My guess is that's probably what it will take this time around as well."

Hawkeyes turnaround: It was a working Christmas for the Iowa coaching staff. And that's just the way Ferentz likes it.

The Hawkeyes, who arrived in Tampa on Tuesday, are making their first bowl appearance since falling to Oklahoma in the 2011 Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. Last year, Iowa's season ended with a 13-7 loss to Nebraska, finishing 4-8 for its worst record in 12 years.

"It was by far the longest Christmas break I can ever remember," Ferentz said. "You can only sit by the fireplace for so long."

Iowa got off to a 3-4 start this season, then finished by winning four of the last five, including a come-from-behind victory against Michigan. The four teams Iowa lost to this season — Ohio State, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State — have six regular-season losses combined.

"They never got dismayed," Ferentz said about his much-improved team. "They kept plugging along, and we turned the corner and had a very good season."

Another 10 for Tigers? LSU is making its 14th consecutive bowl appearance, and its first in the Outback Bowl since the 1988 season. A win would give the three-time national champion Tigers their fourth straight season with at least 10 wins.

LSU's victories against BCS Championship-bound Auburn and Texas A&M are impressive, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron admits. But the sum of all their wins, not to mention hitting a program benchmark, means more than individual victories.

"Any time, at any level, if you can win double-digit times, that speaks volumes to your current program," Cameron said, "and equally as important, if not more, to where you're program is headed."

Comments
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

After four full weekends of college football, here's what I know:There is one great team (Alabama). There are three very good teams (Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson).After that? There are a lot of flawed teams with messy results that seem bunched tog...
Updated: 9 hours ago
UF morning after: Gators answering opportunity’s knock

UF morning after: Gators answering opportunity’s knock

For all the positive vibes they gleaned Saturday night before a gradually disappearing audience, the Gators know they still must conquer their consistency issues.Still too many three-and-outs and muffed progressions. Too few running lanes."The consis...
Published: 09/23/18
Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

For all their defensive opportunism Saturday, make no mistake: The Gators probably remain a year or two away from seriously contending again in the SEC East Division. Still, it beats the Vols, who appear a light-year or two away.Jeremy Pruitt confirm...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Gator fans have spent the better part of September wondering if junior LB David Reese ever would get on the field.They spent the better part of Saturday hoping he'd never come off.Reese, whose 2018 debut was postponed by a hi...
Published: 09/22/18
Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On an evening in which Tennessee honored its 1998 national championship squad, the current crop of Vols managed to offset the whole nostalgic shindig.By making the 2018 Gators resemble a national championship-caliber club.A o...
Published: 09/22/18
Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has been seeking improvement on offense after managing just 10 combined points in its two FBS losses. The Seminoles found some reasons to be optimistic for a turnaround on Saturday. Deondre Francois threw for a season-high...
Published: 09/22/18
A win for what ails the Seminoles

A win for what ails the Seminoles

TALLAHASSEE — For a moment early Saturday evening, it looked as if Willie Taggart was up to old tricks, running it up as he was wont to do when he had USF on the rise and feeling it.Here we go again?Northern Illinois was beaten for sure. The Hu...
Published: 09/22/18
N’Kosi Perry sparks No. 21 Miami past FIU, 31-17

N’Kosi Perry sparks No. 21 Miami past FIU, 31-17

MIAMI — Miami coach Mark Richt’s decision to send quarterback N’Kosi Perry into the game on the Hurricanes’ third possession Saturday was easy. His next decision might be tougher. Perry came off the bench to throw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, ...
Published: 09/22/18
Years later, head ball coach still makes Vols bristle

Years later, head ball coach still makes Vols bristle

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The head ball coach remains the most reviled Gators figure in Knoxville, according to a random fan poll conducted Saturday afternoon outside Neyland Stadium.But one of the runners-up may surprise you. Like the head ball coach...
Published: 09/22/18
Examining Florida-Tennessee, FSU-NIU and the other state college football matchups

Examining Florida-Tennessee, FSU-NIU and the other state college football matchups

  Eye on the NFL draft At 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, Northern Illinois DE Sutton Smith doesn't have NFL size, but he does have next-level productivity. He ranked in the top four nationally last year in sacks, tackles for loss and fumbles forced/recovere...
Published: 09/21/18