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Iowa defeats No. 18 Mississippi State, 27-22, in Outback Bowl


This news story was published on January 1, 2019.
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TAMPA, FLORIDA – Iowa (9‐4, 5‐4) defeated No. 18 Mississippi State (8‐5, 4‐4) on Tuesday, 27‐22, at Raymond James Stadium.

WR Nick Easley was named Outback Bowl MVP.

Iowa led 17-6 at the half after a slow start. MSU kicked a pair of field goals to go ahead 6-0 but Iowa used a 17-0 scoring spurt to take the lead. MSU later went ahead 19-17 in the third quarter, but Iowa closed out the game with tough defense.

Iowa improved to 8‐8 in bowl games since 2001. Only Ohio State (9) and Wisconsin (9) have more bowl wins among Big Ten teams since 2001. The Hawkeyes are 16‐15‐1 in the program’s 32 bowl appearances.

Iowa finished the season with nine or more wins for the 15th time in school history.

QB Nate Stanley to WR Nick Easley for 75‐yard touchdown (1 play, 75 yards, 11 seconds) was the big play of the game. Easley’s 75‐yard touchdown reception in the second quarter is an Iowa bowl game record (63 yards, Drew Tate to Andy Brodell in 2006 Alamo Bowl). Stanley’s 75‐yard touchdown pass in the second quarter is an Iowa bowl game record for longest completion (66 yards, Matt Rodgers to Danan Hughes in 1991 Rose Bowl). The play was a career‐long for Stanley, a career‐long for Easley, and Iowa’s longest play of the season).

WR Nick Easley had two touchdown receptions (75, 8). It is his first career multi‐touchdown game. The eight‐yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was his 100th career reception. He is the 23rd player in program history to have 100 career receptions.

WR Nick Easley had eighth receptions for a career‐high 104 yards. It is his second career 100‐yard receiving game.

DE Chauncey Golston recovered his third fumble of the season in the second quarter, all three fumble recoveries have been forced by DE A.J. Epenesa (Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Mississippi State). The turnover set up Iowa’s second touchdown.

DE Chauncey Golston intercepted a pass in the third quarter. It is the first interception of his career, and was 19th for Iowa this season. The interception resulted in a touchdown.

FS Jake Gervase intercepted a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter. It was his fourth interception of the season and Iowa’s 20th of the year. The interception resulted in a field goal.

QB Nate Stanley threw three touchdowns today, raising his season total to 26, tied for the second highest single‐season total in school history (Stanley in 2017, Brad Banks in 2002). He has 52 career touchdown passes, fourth all‐time in school history (Chuck Long 74; Drew Tate 61; Ricky Stanzi 56). Stanley’s 52 touchdown passes over the last two seasons are the most ever in school history over a two‐year span. Long tossed 49 touchdown passes from 1984 (22) to 1985 (27).

QB Nate Stanley completed his first eight pass attempts. His first incomplete pass was at the 1:09 mark of the second quarter. Stanley had 196 yards of total offense, raising his career total to 5,240 and moving passed Jake Rudock (5,213) for ninth all‐time in program history.

K Miguel Recinos scored nine points today (three PATs, two FGs), raising his career total to 180, 14th all‐ time. He kicked two field goals (44, 40). It is the first time this season he had two field goals of 40 or more yards.

DE A.J. Epenesa had one sack, raising his season total 10.5, the highest single‐season total by a Hawkeye since Adrian Clayborn had 11.5 sacks in 2009). Epenesa finished the season with 16.5 tackles for loss, the most by a Hawkeye since James Morris had 18 in 2013).

DB Michael Ojemudia matched his career high with eight tackles. DB Matt Hankins had a game‐high nine stops. DL Anthony Nelson had 2.5 TFL.

DL Parker Hesse, DL Matt Nelson, and OL Keegan Render played their 52nd and final game as Hawkeyes today. The 52 career games played tie for fifth all‐time at Iowa.

TE T.J. Hockensen had three receptions for 43 yards, all in the fourth quarter. He finished the season with a team‐high 49 receptions for a team‐high 760 yards. The last Hawkeye tight end to lead the team in receptions in a single season was Scott Chandler in 2005 (47). The last Hawkeye tight end to lead the team in single‐season receiving yards was Alan Cross in 1992 (600).

TE T.J. Hockenson’s 49 receptions tie Marv Cook for the fourth‐most in single season history by a tight end. The top four includes Marv Cook (63 in 1988), Alan Cross (55 in 1992), and Cook in 1987.

TE T.J. Hockenson’s 760 receiving yards are the third most in single‐season history by a tight end. Marv Cook had 803 yards receiving in 1987, and 767 in 1988.

Iowa scored 27 points today. The second most Mississippi State allowed this season (Kentucky, 28). Iowa is the fourth team this season to score at least 14 points against Mississippi State (Kentucky, LSU, Alabama, and Iowa).

Mississippi State entered the game with the nation’s top scoring defense (12.0 ppg).

Iowa is the only team to score two passing touchdowns in a single game against Mississippi State this season.

Iowa scored two touchdowns in the second quarter in a span of 1 minute, 37 seconds. The first touchdown (Easley) marked the first time in 11 quarters Mississippi State had allowed a touchdown.

Iowa scored a season‐high 17 points off turnovers today.

Iowa had one sack today, raising its season total to 35, its highest single‐season total since recording 40 sacks in 2012.

Iowa led 17‐6 at half. It was Iowa’s first halftime lead in a bowl game since thee 2010 Insight Bowl (17‐10 vs. Missouri).

Iowa did not commit a penalty.

Iowa rushed for minus‐15 yards, matching the fewest rushing yards by a winning bowl team since 2000 (San Jose State in 2012 Military Bowl).

Iowa had 199 yards of total offense, one fewer than it had in its 27‐20 win in the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl.

Today’s win was Iowa’s first this season against a ranked opponent. Iowa’s last win over a ranked opponent was Nov. 4, 2017 against No. 3 Ohio State (55‐24). Iowa’s last win over a ranked opponent on a neutral field was Dec. 28, 2010 against No. 12 Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl.

Iowa has won 37 games over the last four years, the tied for the third‐best four‐year total in program history. Iowa won 38 games from 2002‐05, 38 games from 2001‐04, and 37 games from 1984‐87.

Iowa won the toss and elected to defer. The Hawkeyes have played 253 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 188 times (116‐73). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 64 times (36‐28).

Instant replay:
1) Mississippi State targeting (confirmed)
2) Mississippi State incomplete forward pass (confirmed)
3) Nick Easley touchdown reception (confirmed)

The Hawkeyes host Miami (Ohio) in the 2019 season opener on Aug. 31.

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