Austin Appleby threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns, helping No. 20 Florida end a two-game losing streak with a 30-3 rout of No. 21 Iowa in the Outback Bowl on Monday.
Mark Thompson scored on an 85-yard pass play in the first half and Appleby, a graduate transfer who spent the past four seasons at Purdue, tossed a 6-yard TD pass to DeAndre Goolsby to break the game open late in the third quarter. Chauncey Gardner, Jr., returned the first of his two fourth-quarter interceptions 58 yards for a 24-3 lead.
Florida (9-4) rebounded from lopsided losses to archrival Florida State and No. 1 Alabama, scoring more points on Iowa (8-5) than the Hawkeyes allowed to Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska combined while ending the regular season on a three-game winning streak.
Iowa’s C.J. Beathard led an early field goal drive, and managed to get his team close to the end zone on two other occasions. Florida’s defense stiffened both times, stopping the Hawkeyes on downs at the Gator 3 in the second quarter and forcing them to settle for a 30-yard field goal that sailed wide right midway through the third quarter.
Appleby, who actually began his career at Purdue against Iowa, shrugged off throwing interceptions on Florida’s first two drives of the day to finish 14 of 25 passing.
Akrum Wadley ran for 115 yards, giving Iowa a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season for the first time.