Tennessee vs Iowa, 2024 Citrus Bowl.

Poor, poor Iowa. The Brian Ferentz Era of offensive futility was on display one more time in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl as the Hawkeyes were shut out 35-0 against the Tennessee Volunteers. Things were so bad for Iowa that ESPN analyst Brock Osweiler was pleading for mercy at the end of the game.

Leading by those 35 points and with backups in the game, Tennessee was still trying to go for the endzone, running a play from the shotgun on 4th and 5 inside the 10 with just 38 seconds to play. After Iowa jumped offside, Tennessee went for the endzone again, this time with a run up the middle. After the play registered a first down but not a touchdown, the Vols finally let the clock hit triple zeros to end the game.

Osweiler called out Tennessee for what he believed to be unsporting behavior and running up the score.

“I don’t love this move here by the Vols right now. They had an opportunity to run out the clock, I get it, you got some backups in there. They’ve worked hard, they’ve earned reps. But there is also a sportsmanship element to this game well within hand, 35-0,” Osweiler said.

Football doesn’t have near the tiresome tropes with unwritten rules that baseball does and it’s the Iowa defense’s job to stop Tennessee no matter the time and score of the game. If you’re a Vols fan, you’re probably arguing that those players deserve the right to have a moment in a bowl game and to not just go out and take a knee. But admittedly, throwing for the endzone at 35-0 in the final minute would probably be frowned upon by most people in the sport.

Even play-by-play man Dave Flemming also pleaded with Tennessee to take the knee and get to the celebratory Cheez-It bath after the final play. And in all seriousness, the Cheez-It mascot had a way better day than anyone associated with Iowa did on Monday.