The Iowa Hawkeyes beat Kentucky 21-0 on Saturday to record their first Music City Bowl shutout in 24 years.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Joe Lavas pitched for 139 yards and a touchdown in his first start as the Iowa Hawkeyes beat Kentucky 21-0 on Saturday to seal their first Music City Bowl shutout in 24 years. Recorded.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferencz also closed out his 24th season, joining the late Joe Paterno for the most bowl wins of any Big Ten coach, his 10th season.
Iowa State (8-5) got a little payoff after a late comeback by the Wildcats, ending last season with a loss to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. The Hawkeyes defense outperformed the offense and in the second quarter he returned his two interceptions to a TD. The Hawkeyes finished the season with their fifth win in six games.
Kentucky (7-6) lost for the third time in four games, but this time quarterback Will Levis and running back Chris Rodriguez both opted out of preparing for the NFL Draft. It ended the Wildcats school record for four consecutive bowl wins.
The Hawkeyes took control in the second quarter with all points, scoring twice 11 seconds apart early in the quarter.
In a college game in which Spencer Petras came out with an upper-body injury, Lavas hit Sam Laporta with a short pass that the tight end pushed past a defender for 27 yards. Lavas then found a short pass from Luke Lachey and the tight end finished with a 15-yard touchdown with 12:08 remaining.
Drew Stevens pushed the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, setting Kentucky at 35. Freshman Destin Wade also made his college debut, being selected by Iowa safety Xavier Nuwankpa for 52 yards to take a 14–0 lead.
Bowl MVP Cooper Dejan picks Wade 3rd and 10th from the Kentucky 7 and ran easily 14 yards for a 21–0 lead.
The Hawkeyes didn’t miss All-American defensive back Kavon Merriweather, who opted out of preparing for the NFL Draft. They recorded their second shutout of the season, holding Kentucky to 185 yards, sacking Wade his fourth, and letting the Wildcats turn it around on his two downs.
Iowa has to improve its offense, especially with the Hawkeyes losing All-American linebacker Jack Campbell. This was his sixth game of the season for the Hawkeyes, with total offensive yards below his 222.
Kentucky: The Wildcats even brought Wade from nearby Spring Hill the experience of Devin Leary coming to the transfer portal to replace Levis. Wade finished with 98 yards passing and 29 yards rushing as Kentucky was shut out for the first time since October 19, 2019, in a loss to Georgia.
Iowa: Host Utah State University on Sept. 2 to start 2023 season
Kentucky: Ball State kicks off 2023 season on September 2
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