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How Tennessee Has Fared in Previous Encounters With Iowa

How Tennessee Has Fared in Previous Encounters With Iowa
Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee football is gearing up to face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes on January 1 in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.

While the Vols don’t play Iowa frequently, this won’t be the first time the two teams have gone toe-to-toe, and it’s not the first time it’s happened in the post-season, either.

Let’s take a look at how Tennessee has fared in its three previous encounters with Iowa.

December 31, 1982

Iowa 28, Tennessee 22

The first of three battles between the Vols and Hawkeyes and first of two post-season battles occurred in the 1982 Peach Bowl.

Tennessee fell to the Hawkeyes in Atlanta despite outscoring Iowa 15-7 in the second half, as a 21-7 halftime deficit was too much to overcome.

Alan Cockrell was the starting quarterback for Johnny Majors’ squad and threw for 221 yards on 22/41 passing along with a touchdown. 1982 was one year before Johnnie Jones rushed for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, so Chuck Coleman was the lead rusher for Tennessee in the 1982 Peach Bowl with 103 yards and a score on 11 carries.


August 30, 1987

Tennessee 23, Iowa 22

The second meeting between Tennessee and Iowa went the Vols’ way in the 1987 season opener that was played in MetLife Stadium.

Tennessee won off the leg of Phil Reich, who kicked the game-winning field goal to give the Vols the upset win.

The play of the game, however, came on a pick six by linebacker Darrin Miller, who intercepted an option pitch and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown.

Here’s Keith Jackson’s call of the incredible play:

Running back Reggie Cobb was the MVP of the game, as the Knoxville native freshman racked up 133 yards, 100 of which came in the second half to help Tennessee pull off the comeback victory.


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January 2, 2015

Tennessee 45, Iowa 28

The meeting most Vol fans will remember between Tennessee and Iowa came about nine years ago in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl.

Tennessee dominated the Hawkeyes in Jacksonville, and the score was closer than the game actually was. Tennessee led 21-0 after the first quarter then 35-7 at halftime. However, Iowa scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to lessen the blowout.

Butch Jones’ Vols were led by Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd. Dobbs completed 16 of 21 passes for 129 yards, a touchdown and an interception while also rushing for 76 yards and two more scores.

Hurd joined Dobbs in scoring twice on the ground and added 122 yards of his own on 16 carries. Von Pearson was Tennessee’s leading receiver and the only player to catch more than two passes, recording seven receptions for 75 yards and a score.

Dobbs won Gator Bowl MVP for his performance that helped Tennessee earn their first postseason victory since the 2008 Outback Bowl. Additionally, Tennessee finished 7-6 on the season, the first time the Vols had finished with a winning record since 2009 with Lane Kiffin.


So, how will Tennessee’s fourth meeting against the Iowa Hawkeyes go? The 8-4 Vols will certainly have the advantage on offense against the 10-3 Hawkeyes, but there’s no denying Iowa’s defense is among the best in the country.

Currently, most sports betting services have Tennessee as more than a touchdown favorite, with the majority of numbers being -8 or -8.5 for the Vols.

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