Tennessee Volunteers Bowl Recap: Vols Shut Down Iowa

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The Tennessee Volunteers opened up a year’s worth of frustration and gridiron rage against the Iowa Hawkeyes on New Year’s Day, shellacking the Big Ten stalwart, 35-0 in Orlando.  The victory over a woebegone Hawkeyes offense put a strong caper across Tennessee sports betting on what was an up-and-down campaign in Knoxville, with Tennessee wrapping up the year with a 9-4 record and getting a taste of what five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava could do under center. 

The freshman finished the day with 151 passing yards and a touchdown, while gashing Iowa’s vaunted defense with his legs, with three scores on the ground to pace Tennessee’s offense. Overall, the Vols’ 35-point rout of Iowa saw the team’s youthful skill position players like Iamaleava and sophomore running back Dylan Sampson pave the way for what comes next, giving UT fans reason to be hopeful about 2024 and beyond.  

Sampson was a star in the making on Monday, with 133 yards on 20 carries, while receiver Ramel Keyton had a team-high 51 receiving yards on three catches and two Vols had an interception apiece in the shutout win. As Tennessee heads into the offseason, BetTennessee.com looks forward to what comes next as a program under coach Josh Heupel. 

Volunteers vs. Hawkeyes Citrus Bowl Game Details

Date/Time/Stadium Matchup Result
Jan. 1st; 1pm ET (ABC); Camping World StadiumNo. 17 Iowa vs. No. 21 TennesseeTennessee 35, Iowa 0

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Where Tennessee Goes From Here

At the moment, the Vols’ have the 13th-ranked recruiting class in the nation and the No. 7 class in the SEC, per 247 Sports, which should help Heupel build around Iamaleava and the team’s skill position talent. Throw in a 2024 football schedule that is light on non-conference competition (with games against Chattanooga, North Carolina State, Kent State and UTEP) and you have the right ingredients for a turnaround season in Knoxville next fall. Look for a ESPN BET Tennessee promo code before the season kicks off, as well.  

One of the biggest questions surrounding Heupel’s program in 2024 is how UT holds up against an SEC schedule that includes home games against Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi State, to go with road clashes against Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia and Vanderbilt.  

For now, Tennessee fans can rest soundly knowing the Vols’ are off to a high-flying start to 2024, with months to go before Heupel and company take the field for good and the grind of football season resumes once more in the late summer months.  

Keep tabs on this page for more in the leadup to the 2025 college football season and Tennessee's future bowl projections, plus the best Tennessee betting apps.

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Christopher Boan writes for BetTennessee.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.