Tennessee quarterbacks Nathan Peterman, left, and Joshua Dobbs, center, participate in drills during practice in Florida. AP photo
By The Associated Press
Iowa (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6), at Jacksonville, Florida, 3:20 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN)
Line: Tennessee by 3 ½
Series Record: Tied 1-1
WHAT'S AT STAKE Iowa is looking for its first bowl victory since 2010. Tennessee, seeking its first bowl win since 2008, is trying to avoid a sixth consecutive losing season.
KEY MATCHUP Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff vs. Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett. A finalist for the Outland Trophy and the most decorated player on the team, Scherff is widely considered a first-round pick in April's NFL draft. Barnett set a school record for true freshmen with 10 sacks and 20 ½ tackles for a loss.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Iowa: QBs Jake Rudock and C.J. Beathard will play in the first quarter. The Hawkeyes haven't revealed who will start, but the decision could set the stage for 2015. Rudock is a junior with 16 touchdown passes and five interceptions this season. Beathard is a sophomore with seemingly more natural ability.
Tennessee: Sophomore QB Josh Dobbs is 3-1 since taking over the starting job, and the Vols are averaging 35 points and 424 yards with him at the helm. He has 1,470 yards of total offense and 14 touchdowns (eight passing, six rushing).
FACTS & FIGURES Teams playing for the first time since the 1987 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where Tennessee won 23-22. ... Iowa is 11-12 all-time against Southeastern Conference teams, including 4-3 in bowl games. ... Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was an assistant with the Hawkeyes the last time they played in Jacksonville (1983). ... Tennessee making its sixth appearance in the TaxSlayer Bowl, formerly called the Gator Bowl. The Vols are 3-2 in Jacksonville, with their last appearance being a 45-23 victory over Virginia Tech in 1994. ... Vols are 18-11 all-time against teams from the Big Ten. ... Officials expecting about 60,000 for the game, with the majority Tennessee fans.