Hawkeyes to Return to the Desert
Dec. 5, 2010
Go Bowling with the Hawkeyes!
As always, friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes are invited to follow the Hawkeyes to the Valley of the Sun for their game against the Missouri Tigers in the 2010 Insight Bowl.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Outback? Gator? Insight? The speculation is over. The Hawkeyes will be making a return trip to the desert on Dec. 28 to take on No. 14 Missouri in the Insight Bowl.
"We're absolutely thrilled, very appreciative of John Junker and his board, everybody involved at the Insight Bowl for their selection of Iowa," said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. "We're just really excited about playing a first class opponent in Missouri in a great venue."
"One of the things that exciting for our players, our student-athletes and our fans and coaches and the athletic director is to take on a great opponent," said UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta. "Missouri of all the bowls of all the opponents that were selected in those three bowls, Missouri certainly is ranked the highest.
"That makes it exciting. It makes it exciting leading up to the game, makes it exciting when your fans go to purchase tickets and the television audience gets excited. So I think it's terrific. And there's positive in everything, and that's certainly one in this case."
The Hawkeyes will look to make it a positive experience for all parties involved after suffering through a three-game losing streak to close out the season. Iowa lost three consecutive games -- at Northwestern (21-17), vs. No. 7 Ohio State (20-17) and at Minnesota (27-24).
"It's been a tough month for us," said Ferentz,. "Certainly the next game is really important to us. It would have been anyway, but to finish up like we did certainly left a real bad taste in everybody's mouth, and we're anxious to get back on the field and have a chance to compete again."
The Hawkeyes will have a chance to face a border state opponent for the first time in 100 years. Iowa last faced Mizzou in 1910 - a 5-0 Tiger win in Columbia. The current Missouri squad posted a 10-2 overall record and finished No. 12 in the final Bowl Championship Season standings.
"They're a 10-2 football team," said Ferentz when talking about Missouri. "Gary Pinkel has done a great job ever since he got to Missouri, and they've had a lot of good football teams in recent history. This looks like another good version. I know they've got an outstanding quarterback and a lot of good football players."
The Hawkeyes, who will be making their first ever appearance in the Insight Bowl, have a chance to become the first Iowa team to win three consecutive bowl games. Iowa won the 2009 Outback Bowl over South Carolina and the Orange Bowl over Georgia Tech last year.
Despite not playing on New Year's Day for the third straight year, the Hawkeyes will be the center of the college football universe on Dec. 28. Iowa will be the only game televised on ESPN that evening.
"One thing I like about the 28th and the time slot is we'll be the only game that night at that time," said Barta. "In between Christmas and New Year's, an evening game, a night game during prime time should be a great audience with those two opponents."
Nearly 2,000 tickets have already been sold to the Hawkeye faithful. Both Iowa and Missouri are allocated 11,000 tickets each, so tickets are available by contacting the Iowa Ticket Office.