Outback Bowl 2014 Iowa vs. LSU: Live Game Grades, Analysis for Tigers

Bryan ManningFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2014

Anthony Jennings
Anthony JenningsChris Graythen/Getty Images

LSU 21, Iowa 14—FINAL

No. 14 LSU (10-3) defeated Iowa (8-5) in the Outback Bowl behind a strong game by running back Jeremy Hill and an outstanding defensive performance. 

You can find today's box score at NCAA.com.

LSU Tigers Grades
Position Unit1st Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseB-C-
Run OffenseAA+
Pass DefenseA-A
Run DefenseA+A
Special TeamsAB+
vs. Iowa in the Outback Bowl

Final analysis for the Tigers

Pass Offense: Anthony Jennings wasn't very good; his interception set up the Hawkeyes' first score. But other than that, he didn't hurt the Tigers. It was a good experience for a freshman making his first start.

Run Offense: Jeremy Hill was outstanding. He ran for 216 yards, two touchdowns and often got many of his yards after contact. The Tigers could have won with anyone at quarterback with the way Hill played. 

Pass Defense: Three different Hawkeyes attempted passes and the results were the same: Iowa could not move the ball through air. LSU knocked out starter Jake Rudock, intercepted two passes and allowed just 156 passing yards. 

Run Defense: LSU surrendered just 77 yards on 36 attempts. Iowa's offensive philosophy is to build everything around the running game. With the Tigers shutting down the run, Iowa could never get its offense going. 

Special Teams: Outside of one long return late, LSU was solid on special teams. Jamie Keehn did a good job pinning the Hawkeyes back with several of his punts.

Coaching: The coaches did a good job of keeping Jennings in manageable situations. His one turnover was just a bad throw. The defense was suffocating and the special teams was solid. A good effort.  

Jeremy Hill
Jeremy HillSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

First-half analysis for the Tigers

Pass Offense: The Tigers have attempted 15 first-half passes for just 68 yards. They haven't really needed to pass, though. Jennings is doing a very nice job of managing the offense and taking care of the ball.

Run Offense: Jeremy Hill is beast. But, of course, you already know that. Hill has 102 of the Tigers' 119 rushing yards in the first half. The Tigers need to continue to feed Hill. 

Pass Defense: LSU has allowed just 57 passing yards and picked off one Jake Rudock pass. Rudock is completing less than 50 percent of his passes, too. 

Run Defense: Mark Weisman leads Iowa in rushing in the first half—with 14 yards. Yes, the Tigers are dominating up front. 

Special Teams: To go along with their outstanding defense, punter Jamie Keehn is having a nice half himself. He is averaging just under 47 yards per punt on six punts. 

Coaching: Cam Cameron is doing a nice job with his freshman quarterback, using the run often and not forcing Jennings to make low-percentage throws. John Chavis has his defense playing LSU-quality defense.