Jeremy Hill, voted the game's MVP, finished the contest with 28 carries for 216 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first time a Tiger rushed for more than 200 yards in a game since Alley Broussard ran for a school-record 250 yards versus Ole Miss in 2004.
"It goes to show a lot about Coach Frank (Wilson), how he coaches those guys," receiver Jarvis Landry reflected following the game. "The whole game he was just telling him [Hill], 'Get your shoulders down and run downhill.' The grass was kind of slick and he saw guys slipping. He was just telling him to run through arm tackles. That's all Jeremy did.
"He was the player of the game for us."
Hill and the rushing attack set the tone on New Year's Day as LSU ran on all eight plays of the team's opening drive, spanning 77 yards and ending in a two-yard touchdown plunge by freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings on an option keeper.
The Tigers went up 14-0 when Hill scored from 14 yards away midway through the second quarter.
The game, though, was far from over as the Tiger offense began to stall, punting on five of the team's next seven possessions (with a Jennings interception coming on one of the other two drives).
Iowa brought it back to a one-score game when running back Mark Weisman found pay dirt with five minutes, 52 seconds to play in the third quarter.
LSU was able to stay afloat during the barren offensive stretch, thanks in large part to a fantastic defensive effort and stellar special teams play.
The Tigers held the Hawkeyes to just 233 yards of total offense, including 76 yards rushing and a 2.1 yard-per-rush average. Punter Jamie Keehn also had his best day in purple and gold, averaging 46.9 yards per boot and downing four of his 10 efforts inside the 20.
"I don't think it was anything magical," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said postgame on the LSU defense. "They played us a little bit differently than maybe we had seen, and that's a creit to them. We adjusted a little bit, but they're a tough defensive ball club ... They just made it tough for us to move the ball consistently."
LSU was able to effectively put the game out of reach when Hill scored for the second time, from 37 yards away, with two minutes and two seconds remaining.
Iowa did threaten again, scoring on a four-yard pass from backup quarterback C.J. Beathard to Kevonte Martin-Manley after a 96-yard Jordan Cotton kickoff return put the Hawkeyes in business. But the Big Ten team couldn't collect the ensuing onside kick, one LSU fullback Connor Neighbors squeezed away to secure victory.
Jennings finished his debut start under center 7-of-19 passing for 82 yards and an interception to go with his rushing score. He was also sacked four times for a combined loss of 33 yards.
TSD's full coverage of the Tigers' bowl game, including pregame personnel and weather reports, live in-game updates and discussion and postgame reports and interviews, is housed below.
Click on the link and join in on the discussion with TSD's Ben Love, live in Tampa.
LIVE GAME THREAD: LSU beats Iowa