5 Things: Iowa vs Florida in the Outback Bowl

Dec 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain looks on during the second quarter of the SEC Championship college football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports OK, you’re full from holiday leftovers, surely. You’re probably admiring your favorite gift — or whatever you exchanged your worst gift for at Best Buy today. But hey, it’s time to look at a few of the most interesting things surrounding the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2.

Iowa finished the 2016 season about as well as anyone could’ve expected. Florida got shellacked by the prohibitive favorite to win the national championship. That means the Hawkeyes and Gators have had a very different last few weeks. Regardless, it’s the fourth time Iowa and Florida will have faced off in a bowl game, and the third in the Outback Bowl.

Let’s look at 5 Things: Iowa vs Florida. 1. Rubber match

Iowa has a pretty long history in the Outback Bowl, and much of that — the majority, now, in fact — involves the Florida football team. As any Hawkeye fan with a pulse is aware, Jan. 2 will mark the third time the two teams face off in the Outback Bowl and the first time since Jan. 2006 and the 2005 season.

Next Tuesday’s game in Tampa, Fla. is the rubber match for these two teams, which also met in the Jan. 2004 edition of the Outback Bowl. The entirety of both current Hawkeye and Gator football teams was somewhere between Kindergarten and fifth grade the last time the two programs played, which means if they watched the game it very well could’ve been while someone from their family yelled at the TV screen and they played with a toy they got for Christmas.

Last time they played: Chris Leak went 25 of 40 for 278 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-24 Florida win. Tim Tebow was a year away from joining the team. Drew Tate was 32 of 55 for 346 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Ed Hinkel caught nine passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Abdul Hodge had 19 tackles; Chad Greenway had nine. It also has a reputation for how (poorly) it was officiated – not that any of you remember that .

Before that? Nathan Chandler, Fred Russell, Sean Considine, Bob Sanders and Nate Kaeding helped lead Iowa to a 37-17 Iowa victory. Channing Crowder — who would go on to play for Nick Saban and the Miami Dolphins — led Florida with eight tackles.

All that to say: it’s been a while, even if 10 years has flown by for everyone who watched or played in those games. Most of the players involved who went to the NFL have already ended said careers — save for notables like Greenway and Marshall Yanda. 2. A kingdom for a bowl win

Iowa has not won a bowl game since Dec. 28, 2010 in the Insight Bowl — a 27-24 win […]