By Tyler Devine
TAMPA, Fla. – Iowa and Florida will meet in a familiar place on Monday in the 2017 Outback Bowl, but also for the first time in nearly a decade.
A lot has happened since they last faced each other in the 2006 Outback Bowl, including the Will Muschamp coaching at Florida, which lasted from 2011-14.
Here are 10 things to know about the current Florida team heading into Monday's game, which starts at noon and will be televised by ABC from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
1. Familiar faces: This is the third time Iowa and Florida will have played in the Outback Bowl and the fourth time overall in a bowl game dating back to the 1983 Gator Bowl in which Florida prevailed 14-6 in sub-freezing temperatures in Jacksonville. Iowa defeated Florida 37-17 in the 2004 Outback Bowl, but then Florida avenged that loss just two years later with a 31-24 victory in the 2006 Outback Bowl. This is the fifth appearance in the Outback Bowl for both teams.
2. Sustaining success: Florida finished 8-4 during the regular season and was the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division champion with a 6-2 record in conference play. Florida has won two consecutive division championships for the first time since 2008 and 2009 and appeared in its league-record 12th SEC Championship Game last month.
3. Transfer time: Florida is expected to use two quarterbacks against Iowa, with each having transferred into the program. Purdue transfer Austin Appleby and former Massachusetts quarterback Luke Del Rio, who is the son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, have combined for 2,583 psssing yards and 16 touchdowns this season. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Appleby started Florida's final six games in the regular season.
4. You shall not pass: Points will be at a premium during the Outback Bowl. Despite Florida's 54-16 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, its defense still ranks sixth nationally in total defense, allowing 298.3 yards per game. Florida also features the third-best pass defense in the country, allowing opponents to tally just 156.3 yards per game through the air. Iowa ranks 24th and 28th, resepctively in those categories.
5. McElwain making history: Florida head coach Jim McElwain became the first coach in SEC history to reach the conference championship in each of his first two seasons. The only other two to reach the title game in their first season are former Louisiana State coach Les Miles in 2005 and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn in 2013. Prior to being named the head coach at Florida, McElwain was the head coach at Colorado State from 2012-14.
6. Friends turn to foes: Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers and Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis coached together at Texas A&M from 1982-84, when Summers served as an offensive line graduate assistant and Davis as quarterbacks coach.
7. Next men in: Florida will be without three of its front seven against Iowa. Linebackers Jarrad Davis, Alex Anzalone and David Reese will sit out the Outback Bowl due to injury. Roughly 30 percent of Florida's roster is injured. Through the regular season, the Gators averaged more than five starters missing ffor each game due to injury. That total doubled during its last four games.
8. Jack-of-all-trades: Sophomore receiver Antonio Callaway is a jack of all trades for Florida. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound speedster is the first player in school history to score a touchdown by rushing, receiving, passing and by returning a punt and a kick for a touchdown in a career.
9. Fresh faces: Florida has played 14 true freshmen and 22 newcomers this season. It has the third-fewest seniors in the country with just 15 on the current roster.
10. Scoring streak: Florida has scored in 360 consecutive games. The streak ranks third on the NCAA's all-time list, trailing only Michigan, 365 from 1984-04, and Brigham Young, 361 from 1975 2003. It is also the longest active streak in the country.