LSU true freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings struggled throwing the ball, but running back Jeremy Hill chewed up more than 200 yards and scored twice as the Tigers beat Iowa 21-14 in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.
Hill finished the day with 216 total yards on 28 carries. In his first collegiate football start, Jennings finished 7 of 19 passing for 82 yards and one interception. He did run for a 2-yard touchdown on LSU's opening drive. The Iowa defense sacked him four times. LSU's defense also had four sacks in the game.
Iowa turned the ball over on two consecutive drives in the second quarter. First, LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White picked off a long pass by Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock. And after the defense held LSU, Iowa's kick returner muffed the punt and the Tigers recovered.
That led to a 93-yard scoring drive, ending in a 14-yard touchdown run by Hill in which he carried defenders into the end zone with him. LSU went up 14-0 in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Iowa cut LSU's lead in half when defensive back John Lowdermilk intercepted Jennings and returned it 71 yards to the half-yard line. Running back Mark Weisman then punched it in from two yards out to make it 14-7.
At the top of the fourth quarter, Iowa backup quarterback C.J. Beathard replaced Rudock, who was seen limping after a hit by LSU defensive lineman Anthony "Freak" Johnson near the end of the third quarter.
Later in the fourth quarter, LSU forced Iowa to punt but the Hawkeyes were given the ball back for a first down after LSU was called for illegal substitution. Johnson and linebacker Lamin Barrow walked off the field after being looked at by trainers. The extent of their injuries is unknown.
The Hawkeyes came close to getting a tying touchdown but LSU senior safety Craig Loston intercepted Beathard. The Tigers got the ball at their own 8-yard line after a penalty for a low block.
Hill had two good runs up the middle for gains of 28 and 20 yards respectively before scoring from 37 yards out. LSU led Iowa 21-7 with a little over 2:00 left in the game, but the Hawkeyes did not lie down quietly.
Iowa quickly answered back with a 96-yard kickoff return by Jordan Cotton, which put the Hawkeyes in scoring range. LSU cornerback Jalen Mills stopped the ball just before the end zone.
LSU almost got the ball back after Beathard was sacked and lost control of the ball and Quentin Thomas recovered. However, the play was ruled an incomplete pass after review. Iowa took advantage of the good fortune and closed LSU's lead to 21-14 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Beathard to Kevonte Martin-Manley.
The Hawkeyes then tried an onside kick, but it was recovered by LSU's Connor Neighbors at the Iowa 44-yard line. Jennings took a knee on several plays to run down the clock and in the end, LSU won 21-14.
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