By the Numbers | Statistics that stand out for Iowa ahead of the Citrus Bowl

No. 15 Iowa (10-3 overall, 7-3 Big Ten) faces No. 22 Kentucky (9-3 overall, 5-3 SEC) in the Citrus Bowl on Saturday.


Grace Smith

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum watches Young attendee Airbella Rivera as she rides a teacup ride during the Vrbo Citrus Bowl Day for Kids at Fun Spot America Theme Park in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. Citrus Bowl Day for Kids is a 2022 Vrbo Citrus Bowl sponsored event that hosts both Iowa and Kentucky. Players from both teams grouped up with children and participated in rides and various activities around the theme park.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. — Iowa is close to playing in its first bowl game since 2019.

The Hawkeyes were scheduled to play in the Music City Bowl in 2020, but the game was canceled when Missouri, Iowa’s opponent, pulled out of the game because of positive COVID-19 tests within its program. A year later, No. 15 Iowa (10-3 overall, 7-3 Big Ten) faces No. 22 Kentucky (9-3 overall, 5-3 SEC) in the Citrus Bowl on Saturday. The game is scheduled to kick off at noon CT inside Camping World Stadium and will air on ABC.

With a New Year’s game day approaching, take a look at some of the numbers that stand out for the Hawkeyes.

10 — Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, in his 23rd year leading the Hawkeyes, is one win away from history. Ferentz is one bowl win shy of tying former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno (10) for most bowl wins as a member of the Big Ten. Ferentz is 9-8 in bowl games as Iowa’s head coach. Those nine bowl wins are currently tied with former Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarex for second in Big Ten history.

The Hawkeyes have been bowl-eligible in 20 of the last 21 seasons. Seventeen coaches have won 10 or more bowl games all-time. Nick Saban (16), Mack Brown (14), Kyle Whiƫ ngham (11), Mike Gundy (10) and Dabo Swinney (10) have more bowl wins than Ferentz among active coaches. Since the 2001 season, only Ohio State (11) and Wisconsin (10) have more bowl wins than Iowa.

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15 — The Hawkeyes have won 15 straight games against nonconference opponents, including 12 regular season victories and three bowl wins (against Boston College, Mississippi State, and USC). That streak is the longest in the country. The last time Iowa lost to a team that isn’t in the Big Ten was in the 2017 Outback Bowl against Florida (Iowa lost, 30-3).

Iowa has won its last three bowl games since then. Iowa defeated Boston College, 27-20, at the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl; No. 18 Mississippi State, 27-22, at the 2019 Outback Bowl; and No. 22 USC, 49-24, at the 2019 Holiday Bowl. It is the second time in program history the Hawkeyes have won three straight bowl games. Iowa has never won four straight bowl games.

Iowa is making its 34th appearance in a bowl game on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are 17-15-1 all-time in bowl games.  Iowa is 6-5 all-time in bowl games against current SEC opponents, although the Hawkeyes have never played the Wildcats.

SLIDESHOW: Photos: 2022 Vrbo Citrus Bowl Day for Kids

6 — Iowa is playing for a trophy for a sixth time this season. The Hawkeyes are 3-2 in trophy games this season, defeating Iowa State, Minnesota, and Nebraska, while losing to Wisconsin in the regular season and Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game. Iowa is 25-6 in their last 31 trophy games (including bowl games and the conference title game).

12 — Center Tyler Linderbaum is the 12th Hawkeyes to earn unanimous consensus All-American status and 28th Hawkeye to earn consensus All-American status. The Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and Rimington Award winner could be making his final appearance as a Hawkeye on Saturday. The junior is projected to be a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft if he declares.