2017 Outback Bowl Preview

The Florida Gators are taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2016 Outback Bowl.

Florida Gators

The Gators lost four games this season, all to bowl teams, to finish at 8-4. Their solid wins include victories over LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Outback Bowl

Jalen Tabor (Photo courtesy: profootballfocus.com)

Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby both have played quarterback for the Gators, but neither has been great. Del Rio is the starter and thrown for 1,358 yards and eight touchdowns, but has been injured. Appleby has 1,225 passing yards and eight touchdowns.

Wide receiver Antonio Callaway is the best player on offense and finished the regular season with 666 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He could have better production with better quarterback play.

The leading rusher is Jordan Scarlett, who has 795 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He averages 4.9 yards per carry and isn’t much of a big play threat with a long run of 33 yards.

The defense is what makes Florida a good team. They allow just 142.3 rushing yards per game. Their pass defense is elite and gives up only 156 yards per game.

Jalen Tabor has been a great corner for Florida with four interceptions this season.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa has four losses on the season, with one coming to FCS-level, North Dakota State. They have solid wins over Miami (OH), Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska.

Outback Bowl

LeShun Daniels (Photo courtesy: globegazette.com)

C.J. Beathard had a disappointing year after getting Iowa to the Rose Bowl last season. He has 1,874 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. He has a completion percentage of just 58%, showing his accuracy issues.

Riley McCarron is the best receiver with 506 yards and four touchdowns. George Kittle also has four touchdowns to help out Beathard.

The Hawkeyes have two running backs who have had great seasons. LeShun Daniels has 1,013 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Akrum Wadley rushed for 966 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. The two each get a lot of carries and keep each other fresh.

Iowa has a good rush defense that allows 154 yards per game. The pass defense is even better allowing 200 yards per game.

Jaleel Johnson has been a great pass rusher with 7.5 sacks this season.

Prediction

Iowa’s offense won’t be able to move the ball on the Florida defense. Florida’s offense will score just enough to win.

 

Florida Gators 21 Iowa Hawkeyes 12

 

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Xavier University graduate who majored in sports management. I am a passionate sports fan who tries to follow just about every sport there is.

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