Iowa and LSU captains shake hands before the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida, on Jan. 1, 2014. The Hawkeyes fell, 21-14. (The Daily Iowan/File Photo)

Outback loss and found for Hawkeyes

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By Blake Dowson

blake-dowson@uiowa.edu

This spring has been a bit more exciting than those in the past for the Iowa football team.

Different coaches hold positions at offensive and special-team coordinator, as well as positional coaches at quarterbacks, offensive line, running backs, and wide receivers. There also appears to be a full-fledged competition at quarterback between Nathan Stanley and Tyler Wiegers, which hasn’t happened often at Iowa.

The football program made a number of other announcements on Tuesday, two focused on the past and one on the future.

Iowa comes out ahead after Outback Bowl

The Hawkeyes came out of the Outback Bowl with a bad loss to Florida, but it also had a surplus of $6,025. The Big Ten gave Iowa $2.05 million to cover expenses, and the leftover money was what Iowa did not end up using.

“While we would have liked to have a different outcome of the Outback Bowl game, it is rewarding to see that all parties involved traveled with the overall budget in mind,” Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a release. “It is always a challenging and expensive undertaking to move such a large number of people for a bowl event. To be able to provide a great experience for our student-athletes, Marching Band, and staff, and to come in under budget, speaks well of the dedication of our staff in being mindful of the budget we were working with.”

Hawkeyes 20th in attendance in 2016

Iowa had an impressive jump in attendance last season, which was likely because of the 2015 Rose Bowl season.

The Hawkeyes averaged 69,656 fans per home game, according to an Athletics Department’s release, an increase of more than 6,000 fans per game. The jump in attendance was the eighth-most nationally.

There were four sellouts in 2016, including both night games, Iowa State and Michigan. Both were Iowa wins.

“We are proud to rank among the top programs in the nation in home football attendance, but it certainly isn’t something we take for granted,” Barta said in the release. “Coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff have maintained a level of excellence in the product on the field of play. We will continue to make home events in Kinnick Stadium enjoyable and exciting, while providing a fun, family atmosphere.”

Middle-Tennessee State to play at Iowa in 2019

Iowa’s 2019 schedule is now set after adding Middle-Tennessee State from Conference-USA. The Hawkeyes will play the Blue Raiders on Sept. 28, 2019, after contests against Miami (Ohio), Rutgers, and Iowa State.

Although Middle-Tennessee isn’t the marquee matchup many Iowa fans hoped for, the Blue Raiders did beat Missouri last season, scoring 51 points. They were 8-5 in 2016.

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