Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes, two set up by turnovers, and Iowa knocked off No. 18 Mississippi State 27-22 in the Outback Bowl on Tuesday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Iowa (9-4) receiver Nick Easley was named MVP after catching eight passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns, a 75-yard bomb and then what proved to be a game-winning 8-yarder.
Stanley was 21-for-31 passing for 214 yards and an interception. A strip-sack forced by A.J. Epenesa and recovered by Chauncey Golston set up one TD, and Golston's interception off a tipped pass from Anthony Nelson led to Easley's second.
MSU (8-5) quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was also picked off by Jake Gervase in the end zone when a potential go-ahead TD was dropped by Stephen Guidry in the fourth quarter. Gervase broke up Fitzgerald's fourth-and-5 pass at the Iowa 31 with less than a minute left to seal the win.
Fitzgerald rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown as MSU also converted two Iowa turnovers into touchdowns within a minute near the start of the third quarter. But the QB was only 14-of-32 through the air for 152 yards and a score.
Iowa finished with minus-15 yards rushing, but took advantage of the Bulldogs' turnovers and eight penalties. The Hawkeyes weren't penalized.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak against SEC opponents for Iowa and was its second straight bowl victory.
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Iowa 27, No. 18 Mississippi State 22
MSU — Jace Christmann 44 field goal (0-3, 6:37 1st)
MSU — Christmann 42 field goal (0-6, 0:45 1st)
IOWA — Miguel Recinos 44 field goal (3-6, 10:02 2nd)
IOWA — Nick Easley 75 pass from Nate Stanley; Recinos kick (10-6, 7:55 2nd)
IOWA — Ihmir Smith-Marsette 15 pass from Stanley; Recinos kick (17-6, 6:18 2nd)
MSU — Kylin Hill 1 pass from Nick Fitzgerald; pass failed (17-12, 11:26 3rd)
MSU — Fitzgerald 33 run; Christmann kick (17-19, 11:08 3rd)
IOWA — Easley 8 pass from Stanley; Recinos kick (24-19, 1:55 3rd)
MSU — Christmann 20 field goal (24-22, 12:04 4th)
IOWA — Recinos 40 field goal (27-22, 5:51 4th)