IOWA CITY, Iowa – By now you probably know the narrative: SEC speed and SEC power has dominated the Big Ten Conference throughout the past decade.
The Hawkeyes have played into that, losing the past three bowl games against Southeastern Conference schools, something they’d like to change on New Year’s Day against Mississippi State.
Jake Gervase, Iowa senior safety: “It’d be big for us, big for our program and good for the Big Ten. We know we’re going up against a really tough opponent, a tough team and it’s gonna be a battle. We’re going to have to play our best football game of the year to come out on top, so if we can kind of shift that perspective in favor of the Big Ten, in favor of us, that’s something we’re trying to do.”
Nate Stanley, Iowa junior quarterback: “There’s no doubt, you know, that they’re one of the best conferences in the country, but at the same time, we just wanna go out and play the best that we can, play for each other and try to get a win.”
Nick Easley, Iowa senior wide receiver: “You know anytime you can go represent the Big Ten in a positive way and show everybody around the nation what a good conference it is, that’s what we want to do. But we’re just more focused moreso on what we need to do to win this game.”
Parker Hesse, Iowa senior defensive lineman: “Certainly you take pride in our school and representing our conference well, but you know there’s not really anything in terms of extra motivation just because of the conference our opponent comes from.”
The Hawks have been offensively challenged in each of the past two Outback Bowls. It won’t get any easier against the Bulldogs, who rank inside the top three in the entire country in both scoring and total defense.