Prior to the game, LSU head coachNick Saban announced that he was leaving LSU to become the head coach for the Miami Dolphins. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz also drew attention from NFL teams, but ultimately signed a contract extension through 2012. The Hawkeyes were co-Big Ten champions with Michigan; however, the Wolverines were granted the Big Ten's automatic BCS bid due to their 30–17 victory over Iowa on September 25, 2004.
LSU became the first defending BCS national champion to lose a non-BCS bowl the following year by losing this game.
3rd Down Conversions
4th Down Conversions
Time of Possession
In total yardage, the teams were fairly equal; LSU had 346 yards to Iowa's 334. The Tigers held advantages many statistical categories, such as first downs, rushing yards, turnovers and time of possession. The Hawkeyes held the advantage in passing yards, 287–228.
Tate was the game's leading passer, throwing for all 287 of Iowa's passing yards. JaMarcus Russell was LSU's leading passer, throwing for 128 yards and two touchdowns, both to Skyler Green. Iowa's Jonathan Babineaux led the game in sacks, with three. Babineaux also led the game in tackles for loss, with 4.5. LSU intercepted Tate twice during the game;Marcus Randall was intercepted once by the Hawkeyes. Both teams fumbled the ball once, though neither time was the ball recovered by the other team.
In special teams play, Iowa's David Bradley punted the ball six times for 295 yards, a 49.2-yard average. LSU's Chris Jackson punted the ball four times for 181 yards, a 45.2-yard average. Jackson was also two-for-two in field goal kicking; Iowa's Kyle Schlicher was one-for-one in that regard. Green had the game's longest return of any kind, taking a kickoff return 58 yards.