Late-Game Heroics Lift Iowa Past LSU, 30-25

Nick Saban waves to the crowd after his final game as head coach of the Tigers.
Nick Saban waves to the crowd after his final game as head coach of the Tigers. (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Just when it looked as though coach Nick Saban would go out a winner at LSU, the Iowa Hawkeyes came up with a miracle finish.

Drew Tate threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Warren Holloway on the final play Saturday, and Iowa (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) stunned Louisiana State (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) 30-25 in the Capital One Bowl.

Saban, who will become the Miami Dolphins' coach next week, threw up his arms in frustration and then watched as the entire Iowa team mobbed Holloway in the end zone.

The score capped a wild fourth quarter and spoiled a comeback by the Tigers, who overcame a 12-point deficit with 81/2 minutes left.

LSU freshman JaMarcus Russell came off the bench to spark the rally by throwing two touchdown passes. When he hit Skyler Green for a 3-yard score, the Tigers led 25-24 with 46 seconds to go.

After Tate completed two passes, a penalty pushed Iowa back to its 44 with 14 seconds left. Tate wound up and threw long to an open Holloway, who caught the pass in stride at the 10 and dashed to the end zone as time expired.

Iowa (10-2) won its eighth game in a row to reach double digits in victories for the third consecutive year under coach Kirk Ferentz.

Aside from their fourth-quarter rally, the Tigers (9-3) struggled on offense and special teams one week after Saban announced his resignation. He finished 48-16 in five years with the Tigers, leading them to a bowl game every season and to the BCS national championship in 2003.

LSU, which rallied in fourth quarter to win four times during the regular season, came back again after Iowa took a 24-12 lead with 12:48 left.

Russell -- Saban's third quarterback of the game -- capped a 74-yard drive by hitting Green with a 22-yard scoring pass. The Tigers quickly forced a punt, and this time Russell moved them 69 yards for a one-point lead that lasted until the final play.

While Tate was the hero, special teams were the difference. LSU had two punts blocked, missed a 40-yard extra-point kick after committing two penalties, and came up short when Saban faked a 39-yard field-goal attempt.

The late fireworks came after both offenses sputtered for much of the game.

Aside from a 74-yard touchdown run by Alley Broussard, the Hawkeyes bottled up LSU's potent running attack. And Iowa totaled just three first downs in the opening first half but led 14-12 thanks to two big plays.

The Hawkeyes scored on their first possession by burning a blitz. Clinton Solomon caught a short pass over the middle from Tate, shook off a defender and sprinted to the end zone for a 57-yard score.

Iowa struck again 64 seconds before halftime on Miguel Merrick's blocked punt. Sean Considine scooped up the ball at the 7 and scored for a 14-6 lead.

LSU answered on the next play with Broussard's long run. He swept right, cut back, found an opening and scored on the Tigers' biggest gain of the season.

Iowa mounted scoring marches of 60 and 72 yards in the second half. The first drive ended with a 19-yard field goal by Kyle Schlicher, and Marques Simmons' 4-yard touchdown run made it 24-12.

LSU vs. Iowa -- Jan. 1, 2005 -- Capital One Bowl ? Orlando, Fla.
Game Notes

Team notes
1. LSU's game captains are 12 Marcus Randall, 55 Ben Wilkerson, 76 Andrew Whitworth and 84 Marcus Spears.
2. Iowa won the toss and will receive to open the game.
3. Tigers extending their consecutive starts streak today were: OT Andrew Whitworth (39), DE Marcus Spears (31), LB Lionel Turner (27), CB Travis Daniels (26), FS LaRon Landry (21) and DT Kyle Williams (20).
4. LSU's sack of Iowa's QB Drew Tate with 13:40 left in the second quarter (sack by LB Ken Hollis) extended the Tigers streak of recording at least one sack in a game to 37 straight.
5. LSU has collected at least two sacks in 10 of the 12 games this season.
6. LSU under Nick Saban ... LSU is now 44-4 when scoring 20 points of more ... LSU is 21-1 when a player rushes for at least 100 yards.

Individual notes
1. WR Craig Davis pulled in a pass with 4:18 left in the first quarter to extend his consecutive games streak to 12 games (every game of this season).
2. DE Melvin Oliver recorded his first career interception with 3:36 left in the first quarter. He became the eighth different player this season to record an interception.
3. FS LaRon Landry intercepted a pass with 1:46 left in the first quarter. It was the sophomore's fourth of the season and sixth of his career.
4. RB Alley Broussard's 74-yard touchdown run with 0:38 left in the second quarter was the sophomore's longest run of his career.
a. Broussard's touchdown run late in the second quarter was his 10th of the season and the 14th of his career.
b. Broussard's 109 yards rushing today gives him his second 100-yard rushing game of this season and the fourth of his career.
5. Skyler Green moved into 5th-place on LSU's career punt return yards with a 16-yard return late in the third quarter. Green passed Joe Labruzzo to move up one spot. He finished the game with 5 returns for 45 yards and ended the season with 708 career yards.
6. Skyler Green's 3-yard TD with 46 seconds remaining in the game was his third of the season and 10th of his career. His first TD reception of 22-yards came with 8:21 remaining in the fourth quarter.
7. QB JaMarcus Russell threw two TD passes giving him nine for the season. The first was.22-yard TD pass to Skyler Green with 8:21 in the fourth quarter. The second was a 3-yard TD pass to Green again with 46 seconds remaining..
8. WR Dwayne Bowe's 122 yards receiving on 8 catches was his 2nd career 100-yard receiving game.



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