Iowa shut out again, 35-0 to Tennessee in Citrus Bowl
Iowa’s football team experienced another setback, suffering a shutout defeat of 35-0 against 21st-ranked Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl. This marked the third time this season that the 17th-ranked Hawkeyes failed to score against a ranked opponent, being outscored 92-0 in total.
Before the game began, Cheez-It, the Citrus Bowl sponsor, unveiled its mascot Ched-Z with much excitement at midfield. However, just like the rapid rise and fall of Ched-Z into a massive Cheez-It box, the Hawkeyes’ performance mirrored a quick descent after an initial glimmer of hope.
Despite an early opportunity in the red zone during the first quarter, where the game was tied 0-0, the Hawkeyes couldn’t capitalize, with quarterback Deacon Hill throwing an interception into double coverage at the Tennessee 4-yard line. Coach Kirk Ferentz expressed disappointment, highlighting the missed chance to convert good field position into points.
The Hawkeyes struggled to regain momentum, falling behind by two touchdowns in the second quarter and ultimately succumbing to the 35-0 loss, marking their largest bowl defeat in program history. Hill had a challenging game, going 7-of-18 passing for 56 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble before being replaced by true freshman Marco Lainez in the fourth quarter.
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