(Thursday, January 1st)
Final Score: Iowa 31, South Carolina 10
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Shonn Greene capped his Doak Walker Award-winning campaign with a 121-yard, three-touchdown performance in Iowa's 31-10 drubbing of the South Carolina Gamecocks, in the 23rd annual Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.
Greene, who had 29 carries and was awarded the game's MVP, announced after his heroics that he was forgoing his senior season and entering the NFL Draft.
Iowa's defense caused five turnovers and held the Gamecocks to 43 yards rushing, while Ricky Stanzi threw for 147 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on 13-of-19 passing for the Hawkeyes (9-4), whose four losses this season came by a combined 12 points.
The blowout victory helped Iowa finish the campaign on a four-game winning streak, highlighted by a one-point upset over then-undefeated Penn State.
"I'm certainly very, very proud of our football team," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "The credit goes to our players, they've done a fantastic job. The staff did a good job getting our guys prepared. We hoped we could execute and we did. The defense played hard and we were sound fundamentally."
On the opposite end of the spectrum, South Carolina (7-6) lost its last three bouts by a combined 118-30 margin. Stephen Garcia had a horrific first half, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble before being pulled for Chris Smelley, who tossed for 179 yards on 16-of-31 efficiency and the Gamecocks' only touchdown, to Jared Cook.
The first four Gamecocks possessions ended in turnovers and Iowa jumped out to a commanding 21-0 lead at the break.
"We threw it right to them, then we fumbled right to them and got behind early," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said. "I like the way Iowa plays. They're a good team. Coach Ferentz and his guys did a good job. Give Iowa credit for kicking our tails today. We didn't want to get behind early, which we did."
Hawkeyes tight end Brandon Myers caught passes for three third-down conversions in a time-consuming opening drive, as Iowa went ahead 7-0 when Trey Stross hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass from Stanzi to cap a 13-play, 64-yard march.
Tyler Sash picked off Garcia on his first pass from scrimmage, and a little later in the first, Greene barreled into the end zone on 3rd-and-goal from the one. The score gave the junior 18 TDs on the year, a new single-season school record.
Garcia turned the ball over on South Carolina's next two drives. While Daniel Murray missed a 45-yard field goal after the first giveaway, Greene added another one-yard plunge, in the second quarter, for a three-touchdown advantage that remained until halftime.
Little changed for the Gamecocks coming out of the break, as Moe Brown fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and Iowa took over in enemy territory. Iowa's Jewel Hampton appeared to fumble at the goal line on the ensuing drive, but a replay reversal gave the ball back to the Hawkeyes, and Murray booted an 18- yarder nearly six minutes into the half.
It only got worse for the SEC program. Ryan Succop appeared to get the Gamecocks on the board after booting a 46-yard field goal, but an illegal procedure penalty moved the try back five yards and Succop's 51-yarder was well short.
Greene's third score of the day, an 11-yard scamper, just before the third quarter ended, finalized a nine-play, 66-yard drive and pushed the lead to a dominating 31-0.
Smelley's 10-yard toss to Cook in the end zone ended Iowa's shutout bid early in the fourth quarter and Succop added a 48-yard boot with two minutes to go, as the Hawkeyes had more than enough breathing room to pick up the Big Ten's first postseason victory this year.
This was the first-ever meeting between the programs...South Carolina is now 4-9 all-time in bowl games and 1-2 under head coach Steve Spurrier in the postseason...Iowa snapped a two-game slide in postseason affairs...Greene had over 100 yards rushing in all 13 games this season...Garcia, who led the Gamecocks with 25 yards rushing, passed for 79 yards on 9-of-18 attempts... South Carolina's Kenny McKinley finished with a game-high six receptions for 86 yards...Myers compiled four grabs for 49 yards to lead the Iowa receiving corps...Iowa recorded its first nine-win season since recording 10 in 2004.
01/01 18:16:30 ET