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Iowa defeats No. 18 Mississippi State 27-22 in Outback Bowl

The Bulldogs finish the season 8-5.

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 5:50 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Iowa Hawkeyes lost a yard on the last play of the Outback Bowl, pushing their final rushing total to minus 15 yards, and didn't mind a bit.

They ran the play from victory formation.

Safety Jake Gervase's interception in the end zone helped preserve a late lead, and a ball-hawking defense compensated for a sputtering offense as Iowa beat No. 18 Mississippi State 27-22 on Tuesday.

Gervase also batted down an errant fourth-down pass to end the Bulldogs' final drive at the Iowa 32 with 25 seconds left. Two earlier Mississippi State threats in the fourth quarter led to only three points.

The Hawkeyes totaled just 199 yards, with 75 coming on a touchdown pass from Nathan Stanley to Nick Easley , but they converted three takeaways into 17 points.

The Hawkeyes won despite losing 27 inches per rush. Their three running backs totaled 4 yards in 15 carries.

"We had a hard time blocking their front," coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Defense really bailed us out."

Iowa (9-4) earned its biggest postseason victory since an Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech to cap the 2009 season. Mississippi State (8-5) lost to a team outside the top 15 for the first time.

Trailing 24-19, the Bulldogs had a first down at the Iowa 1 early in the fourth quarter, but three quarterback draws lost 2 yards and they settled for a field goal.

They were again on the verge of taking the lead with nine minutes left, but receiver Stephen Guidry bobbled a tipped pass in the end zone, and Gervase snatched it away.

"Sometimes you get lucky," Gervase said.

The Hawkeyes then drove 50 yards for a field goal, the game's final score.

"Bowl games are a lot like early season games, where turnovers and penalties really factor in," Ferentz said. "If you aren't on top of that part of your game because you haven't played in a while, it can be a really tough thing. Obviously it helped us today being a little bit more opportunistic."

Iowa had no penalties, while Mississippi State was penalized 90 yards, including a holding call that negated a 51-yard completion.

"Too many missed opportunities, too many penalties," Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead said. "Can't turn the ball, can't give up explosive plays, can't have penalties take scores off the board. We didn't do enough to earn the right to win."

Mississippi State receiver Osirus Mitchell put it another way.

"We definitely beat ourselves," he said. "They weren't better than us."

A takeaway helped Iowa score two touchdowns in 97 seconds for a 17-6 lead -- especially impressive against a team that allowed only 12 TDs during the regular season.

Mississippi State rallied with two touchdowns in 18 seconds to go up 19-17. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald gave the Bulldogs the advantage on a nifty 33-yard touchdown run , his 100th career score rushing or passing.

But on their next possession, Fitzgerald's tipped pass was intercepted by defensive lineman Chauncey Golston. Stanley then scrambled to convert a fourth and 1, and on the next play he hit Easley with an 8-yard score to put Iowa ahead to stay, 24-19.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 116617

Reported Deaths: 3283
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8011179
DeSoto721079
Harrison539884
Jackson469387
Rankin401686
Madison384394
Lee364082
Forrest309478
Jones296184
Washington260399
Lafayette253143
Lauderdale2499135
Lamar229138
Oktibbeha203755
Bolivar202877
Neshoba1861111
Lowndes181262
Panola170640
Leflore169188
Sunflower164049
Warren156056
Monroe153073
Pontotoc149020
Marshall147330
Lincoln142959
Pike140456
Copiah138736
Scott126229
Coahoma125537
Yazoo122734
Grenada122639
Simpson122349
Union119725
Tate119339
Itawamba115926
Leake115842
Pearl River115060
Holmes114960
Adams109344
Prentiss108320
Wayne102722
Alcorn102112
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Marion95443
Tippah93123
Newton86827
Chickasaw86226
Hancock85928
Tallahatchie84626
Winston84621
Tishomingo82241
Attala80526
Clarke76353
Clay70522
Jasper69217
Walthall64127
Calhoun62713
Noxubee60117
Smith59816
Yalobusha55614
Montgomery55423
Claiborne53916
Tunica53617
Lawrence53414
Perry51223
Carroll49712
Stone48614
Greene47918
Humphreys44916
Amite42713
Quitman4216
Jefferson Davis41711
Webster37813
Benton3608
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27710
Franklin2483
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23573377
Mobile16994316
Tuscaloosa10462140
Montgomery10352198
Madison942298
Shelby750465
Baldwin671269
Lee657165
Calhoun464761
Marshall442651
Etowah434151
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Houston419334
DeKalb349228
Elmore324653
St. Clair304042
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Walker283793
Talladega271437
Cullman255725
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Jackson219417
Autauga208231
Franklin206432
Colbert206032
Blount197225
Russell19603
Chilton190432
Dallas188127
Coffee180711
Dale178952
Covington175929
Escambia174931
Chambers136847
Clarke136617
Pike134514
Tallapoosa133987
Marion110331
Barbour10429
Marengo102622
Butler101241
Winston94013
Geneva9217
Lawrence86933
Pickens86918
Bibb85015
Randolph83516
Hale77730
Cherokee75614
Clay75312
Washington75112
Henry7236
Lowndes71628
Monroe65510
Bullock65017
Crenshaw60930
Perry5956
Fayette58913
Cleburne5739
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56513
Macon53920
Lamar5085
Sumter47421
Choctaw39312
Greene34616
Coosa2093
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