The Iowa Hawkeye football team (7-5) is headed to Jacksonville, Florida. This afternoon, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta along with head coach Kirk Ferentz, accepted a bowl invitation to play the Tennessee Volunteers (6-6) in TaxSlayer Bowl on January 2nd at 2:30pm central time at EverBank Field. “It’s a thrill for us to be going to the TaxSlayer Bowl,” Barta said. “This is a great opportunity for our students, and for our seniors to have another opportunity to go out and play and play against a historic program.”
Iowa’s name got thrown around in the mix for a couple of other bowl games as well. Many thought Iowa could end up in Nashville at the Music City Bowl or in San Francisco at the Foster Farms Bowl. The Music City Bowl ended up inviting Notre Dame and the Foster Farms Bowl selected Maryland, who beat Iowa earlier this year.
Iowa was one of the last teams to find out where they would be headed for the holidays, and like the fans, they were waiting patiently as well. “ It wasn’t until late last night that we were able to get a clearer picture and it truly wasn’t until late this afternoon that I had an absolute idea of where we where headed,” Barta said.
Now that the waiting process is over, and Iowa knows who they are playing, it’s time for the Hawkeyes to start preparing. “We’re just anxious to get back to work, obviously those last two losses left a bad taste in our mouth” senior linebacker Quinton Alston said, referring to Iowa dropping it’s final two games of the season. “We just want to get back on the field and prepare as hard as we can for this bowl game.”
For Outland Trophy finalist Brandon Scherff, and the other seniors on the Hawkeye football team, this will be their last game in the program, and for Scherff it’s starting to sink in, “I’ve just been thinking about all the good times we’ve had. I’ve had a great time here, and I just want to go out with a W,” Scherff said.
The last few weeks haven’t been pretty for the Hawkeyes but the season isn’t over. “Our goal is to get after it in bowl prep over these next three –plus weeks and go out and beat Tennessee,” Ferentz said.