Iowa scores twenty-one points in the second quarter, including two pick sixes
NASHVILLE – December 31, 2022 – David Leveridge- Bluegrass Sports Nation
Kentucky entered the 2022 TransPerfect Music City Bowl battling the Iowa Hawkeyes from the Big Ten Conference. Today’s game was a rematch of last year’s Citrus Bowl in Orlando Florida that resulted in Kentucky defeating Iowa 20-17. Today’s game had many questions as Kentucky’s two premier offensive weapons Will Levis and Chris Rodriguez did not compete in today’s game, as both are projected to get drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, with Levis projected to go in the first round. Freshmen Destin Wade got the start for Kentucky at QB, and today’s game was Wade’s first career start. Kentucky’s starting defensive back Carrington Valentine, also chose to skip today’s contest and has also declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. Iowa also had a depleted roster with Hawkeye Starting QB Spencer Petras not playing due to injury, third string QB Freshman Joe Labas started in his place.
In today’s game Kentucky struggled to move the ball only completing ten first downs in the game and punted the ball ten times out of twelve possible possessions. With Levis not playing in the game Kentucky relied on Freshmen QB Destin Wade to manage the offense and Wade struggled to move the ball against a solid Iowa defense. Wade passed for ninety- eight yards on 16-30 passing with two interceptions and was sacked four times in today’s contest. Iowa scored twenty-one unanswered points in the second quarter for the games only scores. Iowa scored on a fifteen-yard QB pass from Labas to Lichey to open the scoring. On Kentucky’s next offensive possession Wade threw a costly interception resulting in a fifty-two-yard interception return for a pick six returned by Xavier Nwankpa. Iowa scored again late in the game with another pick six off the Wade interception when Cooper DeJean scored on a fourteen- yard interception.
Kentucky received the ball to open the first half and was ineffective moving the ball. Kentucky had the ball on three possessions in the first quarter with each possession resulting in a punt. Iowa also struggled to move the ball in the opening quarter only gaining fifty- five yards of offense in the quarter. Iowa had three possessions in the first quarter with two ending with a punt and one ending with the Hawkeyes going for it on fourth end but was unable to convert. The Bright spot for Kentucky was the play of the defense in particular Jordan Lovett who broke up a pass play on fourth down and prevented Iowa from retaining possession. At the end of the first quarter Iowa and Kentucky remained scoreless.
Iowa had three unanswered scoring possessions in the second quarter resulting in the game’s only scores. Iowa’s offense had the ball to open the second quarter and was explosive scoring on two play forty-two-yard drive. Kentucky’s defense was gashed by a third string QB Labas who completed the drive passing for a fourteen-yard passing Touchdown to WR Luke Lachey.
Iowa led Kentucky 7-0. On Kentucky’s ensuing possession Wade threw a costly interception on the first play of the drive, resulting in a forty-five yard interception for a pick six returned by Xavier Nwankpa. Iowa’s defense forced another turnover later in the quarter resulting in another interception for a pick six and led Kentucky 21-0. Iowa’s DB Cooper Dejean scored on a fourteen-yard interception resulting in a pick six. At intermission Iowa led Kentucky 21-0.
Both offenses stalled in the third quarter with both team’s struggling to move the ball. Iowa had the ball on three possessions with each possession going three and out resulting in a punt. Kentucky had the ball on two possessions and both possessions resulted in punts. The game was hard to watch at this point of the game, as both offenses become stagnant. At the end of the third quarter the score remained Iowa 21- Kentucky 0.
Neither team was able to score in the quarter, and the game ended with Iowa prevailing with a comfortable twenty- point victory. Kentucky had three drives in the quarter resulting in a punt or loss of downs. Kentucky was only able to produce forty- yards of offense in the quarter, while Iowa wasn’t much better, only totaling sixty- eight yards of offense in the quarter. Iowa wins the 25th Music City Bowl defeating Kentucky 21-0.
Kentucky’s season is now over as Kentucky drops on the season to seven wins and six losses. Kentucky is now 12- 10 all time in Bowl Games, Kentucky is now 3-3 all time competing in the Music City Bowl. Kentucky being held scoreless sets records for both the Bowl game and team as whole. The Music City Bowl has now been played twenty-five times, and today’s contest is the first time a team has been held scoreless in the event’s history. Kentucky has now competed in twenty- two bowl games dating back to 1947, and today’s game is the first time in the program’s history that Kentucky has been held scoreless.
Stats: Team Stats
- Kentucky 0 / Iowa 21
- First Downs 10 / 10
- Passing Yards 117 / 139
- Rushing Yards 67 / 68
- Total Yards 185 / 206
- Turnovers 2 / 0
- Penalties 3- 35 / 2-10
Player Stats: Kentucky
- QB Destin Wade 16 completions, 30 attempts, passing for 98 yards, 2 interceptions, sacked four times.
- RB JuTahn McClain 10 attempts, gaining forty yards, long run 12 yards, Average yards per carry 4.
- WR Dane Key 6 catches, gaining forty- seven yards, long reception 15 yards, Average receptions 7.8
- WR Tayvion Robinson 5 catches, gaining twenty-seven yards, long reception 11 yards.
Player Stats: Iowa
- QB Joey Labas 14 completions, 24 attempts, passing for 139 yards, long pass 27 yards. 1 sack.
- RB Lashaun Patterson 4 attempts, gaining 23 yards, long run 17 yards,
- WR Sam LaPorta five catches, gaining 56 yards, long reception 27 yards.
- WR Luke Lachey 3 receptions gaining 36 yards, 1TD, long reception 15 yards.