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Iowa Hawkeyes ranked among CBS Sports’ worst bowl performances this year

The display that the Iowa Hawkeyes put on against the Tennessee Volunteers in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl is one that many would like to flush. The 35-0 drubbing handed to the Hawkeyes was a thorough embarrassment and sends this team into the offseason with a ton of questions.

The game was never going to be easy for Iowa offensively, but they made the day even harder on themselves with abysmal quarterback play that simply can’t continue in Iowa City if this team wants to be a true contender.

This performance has Iowa ranked among the worst in all of the bowl games. The Citrus Bowl is ranked No. 38 out of 41 in bowl games by CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli.

No. 21 Tennessee 35, No. 17 Iowa 0: To get something, you have to give something. It’s a rule of life. So the price we all had to pay to watch star freshman QB Nico Iamaleava make his first career start with the Volunteers was watching Deacon Hill make another start for Iowa. Was it worth the trade-off? It certainly was for Tennessee fans! Iamaleava wasn’t incredible with his arm; he only threw for 151 yards and a touchdown. He did, however, rush for three touchdowns and validated why the Vols are excited about the future.

As for Iowa … well, yeah, it was Iowa. It looked like the Hawkeyes had a chance early, but Hill threw a horrific interception — his first of three turnovers in the game — in the end zone to end a scoring threat. It was the kind of game that needed an edible mascot to salvage it, but the giant Cheez-It was a coward. Pregame ranking: 11 – Fornelli, CBS Sports

In his farewell tour, or what should be, sophomore quarterback Deacon Hill struggled mightily and had his worst game of the year. Hill was just 7-of-18 passing for 56 yards (a measly 3.1 yards per attempt) with two interceptions—one of which was returned for a Vols pick-six—and another fumble that set up Tennessee for a touchdown. Iowa needs to turn the page and get the quarterback position straightened out.

On the ground, Iowa did not find success either. Removing freshman quarterback Marco Lainez’s 51 yards that came late in the game when things were well out of hand, Iowa ran for just 62 yards on 30 carries for roughly two yards per rush. That won’t win games. The offensive line is not without fault in this game, either.

From top to bottom, the Citrus Bowl is one the Iowa Hawkeyes are looking to flush the memory of and turn the page to 2024. That page turn needs to include a new offensive coordinator, a new quarterback, and a new way of Kirk Ferentz being hands-off with the offense and letting it have some room to work.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire