TAMPA, Fla. — Performances in second-tier bowl games often relate to motivation and preparation. The result often dictates the offseason tone.
Iowa (8-4) and Florida (8-4) enter Monday’s Outback Bowl matchup (1 p.m. ET, ABC) from different late-season directions. The Hawkeyes won their final three games, including victories over ranked foes Michigan and Nebraska. The Gators claimed their second straight SEC East Division title but then lost 31-13 to nonconference rival Florida State and 54-16 to top-ranked Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
This is the fourth time Florida and Iowa have battled in a bowl game and third in the Outback Bowl. The teams split their 2004 (Iowa 37-17) and 2006 (31-24 Florida) meetings in Tampa. The Gators also beat the Hawkeyes 14-6 in the 1983 Gator Bowl.