Rogers' 10* Early Monday BOWL TOTAL >> 1st NCAAF Play of '17!
Florida vs. Iowa,
01/02/2017 13:00 EDT,
Score: 30 - 3
Total: -115/+40 Over
The set-up: Florida lost 54-16 in the SEC championship game against Alabama, after losing 31-13 to Florida State in its regular season finale. The Gators take an 8-4 record into Monday's Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla, up against the 8-4 Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa was punished 41-14 at Penn State but then earned a "signature" 14-13 win over then-No.3 Michigan on Nov 12, beat Illinois 28-0 and had a regular season-ending 40-10 rout over then-No. 16 Nebraska.
Florida:The Gators were simply decimated by injuries on defense and were also without Luke Del Rio at QB for six of their 12 games in 2016. He's returned to practice but Florida head coach Jim McElwain has said Appleby, who faced Iowa last year while at Purdue, will get the nod. Appleby passed for 1,225 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions this year. However, expect Del Rio to see game action. The Florida defense allowed 14 or less points in eight of its first 10 games but then allowed a combined 85 points against rival Florida State and Alabama in its last last two. Many of those key defensive cogs are back for this one, which should infuse the team with some renewed energy The Gators, an SEC team, will own a major speed advantage over Iowa, a Big Ten opponent.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes lost their top receiver (Matt VandeBerg) to a season-ending injury early on and coach Kirk Ferentz had to do a lot of mixing and matching on the offensive line. Senior quarterback C.J. Beathard (17 touchdown passes, seven interceptions) threw for only 290 yards combined the last three weeks as the running attack took over. LeShun Daniels Jr. (1,013 yards and 10 TDs) and Akrum Wadley (966 yards and 10 TDs) could become the first pair of Iowa RBs to go over 1,000 in the same season. Iowa averages 171.9 YPC on the ground (4.5 YPC) and don't forget, the Gators allowed 483 yards rushing against FSU and Alabama to close the year.
The pick: Neither team has a 'pretty' offense but Florida averages 23.4 PPG and Iowa 26.8 PPG. Very few bowl totals have been this low. Yes, both teams have excellent defenses but Iowa and Florid have met twice before in the Outback Bowl with Iowa winning the 2004 contest 37-17 and Florida winning 31-24 in 2006 (similar finals would be just fine). Also note that Iowa was beaten 45-28 by another SEC team (Tennessee) in the Taxslayer Bowl in 2014. The Over is a 10* play.