Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Iowa Accepts Invitation to Music City Bowl

Iowa Music City

The Iowa Hawkeyes have accepted their invitation to play in the Music City Bowl on December 31st, New Year’s Eve. For the second season in a row, their opponent will be the Kentucky Wildcats of the SEC conference. 

The Hawkeyes have never appeared in the Music City Bowl, despite having been invited after the 2020 season. They were slated to play Missouri in December of the COVID season. Unfortunately, the Tigers dealt with COVID issues within their program and had to cancel the contest. Iowa now gets its shot in Nashville against a familiar foe, Kentucky. 

Quick Look at Kentucky

Kentucky finished their SEC season with a 7-5 record overall and a 3-5 record in the conference. Their notable wins came against then-tenth-ranked Florida in Gainesville in week two, and against Mississippi State at home in October. The Bulldogs were ranked 16th at the time. Kentucky also battled top-ranked Georgia closely at home two weeks ago, falling 16-6.

The Wildcats have one of the top quarterbacks on the 2023 NFL Draft boards despite his pedestrian quarterback numbers this past season. Will Levis finished with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this past season while throwing for an average of 218 yards per game. However, his playing status for the Music City Bowl is uncertain. He is likely to leave early for the NFL Draft and opt out of what would be his second bowl game against the Hawkeye defense.

One of his backups is former Hawkeye quarterback Deuce Hogan. The sophomore transferred to the Wildcats following Iowa’s loss to Kentucky in last year’s Citrus Bowl. While he has not appeared on a Kentucky two-deep roster since week seven of this season, he may still be a viable option for the Wildcats on New Year’s Eve.

Iowa Accepts Invitation to Music City Bowl

The Hawkeyes built a three-game bowl win streak from the 2017 season through the 2019 season. Their wins came against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl, Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl, and USC in the Holiday Bowl. Last year, Iowa’s loss to Kentucky snapped the streak. That three-game win streak, however, came on the heels of a five-bowl game skid. That losing streak spanned from the 2011 season through the 2016 season including a loss in Pasadena.

Throughout Kirk Ferentz’s tenure in Iowa City, the team has played in 18 bowl games with an even 9-9 record. In what will be the ninth bowl game since 2014, the Wildcats are the fifth different SEC team that Iowa has faced in Bowl Season. The others were LSU, Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi State. The bowl location could draw thousands of the Iowa faithful given its proximity to the Midwest. The matchup, however, leaves much to be desired. Iowa has never played the same team in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons. The closest to such situations came following the 2003 and 2005 seasons. Iowa’s opponent was Florida in the Outback Bowl in January 2004 and 2006. Despite the repeat opponent, the Hawkeyes will have a chance to avenge their loss to Kentucky on the first day of 2022 with a victory on the final day of 2022.

Embed from Getty Images


More Posts

Send Us A Message