Gators Are Gearing Up For Iowa
There were high hopes for both the Florida Gators and Iowa Hawkeyes heading in to this football season, but still both teams have a chance to prove something in this year’s Outback Bowl. For the Gators it’s a chance to show that they are more than just a defensive juggernaut. The Gators at times have relied too heavily on their defense to win games this year. Now don’t get me wrong, the Gators defense have several potential first round picks on defense, they just can’t be one dimensional if they want to beat Iowa. Leading the way for Florida’s D is cornerback Jalen Tabor, followed by linebacker Jarrad Davis, Defensive Tackle Caleb Brantley, as well as safety Marcus Maye.
On offense there is not much to get excited about from the Gators, who rank 13 out 14 SEC teams in total offense. Florida features a one two punch of Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine at running back. The duo is pretty even as they both average 4.8 yards a carry. Through the air the Gators have Austin Appleby, who happens to have faced Iowa 3 times before during his time at Purdue. The Gators are hoping that Appleby’s familiarity with the Hawkeyes will give them an edge in the Outback Bowl.
For the Hawkeyes to have success they will have to they will need a strong showing from QB C.J. Beathard. The Iowa gunslinger has been known to be either red hot or completely off his game. There does not seem to be much middle ground for Beathard. With that said, Beathard should have his hands full facing a Florida secondary that features two of the top cornerbacks in the nation in Tabor and Wilson. Beathard will also need to take care of the ball as this game may ultimately come down to the team that wins the turnover battle.
Come Monday these two 8-4 teams will look to ring in the new year on a high note so that they can at least build some momentum heading into the off season. For Iowa it will be a chance to prove they are among the Big Ten’s elite teams and for Florida it will be an opportunity to show that they are at least headed in the right direction as they chase Alabama.