Georgia Tech's offense had been unstoppable, averaging 307.2 rushing yards and running all the way to the school's first Orange Bowl game in 43 years.
But the ninth-ranked Yellow Jackets were about to run into No. 10 Iowa and defensive coordinator Norm Parker. Iowa's 24-14 Orange Bowl victory on Jan. 5, 2010, was the program's first triumph in an elite bowl since the 1959 Rose Bowl.
Georgia Tech ran for just 143 yards and passed for 12 against the Parker-designed defense.
"It's disappointing because we haven't played many games like that," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said.
The Yellow Jackets were never able to neutralize Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who had nine tackles and two sacks and was named the game's most outstanding player.
"Our defense was tremendous," Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi said. "They made our job a lot easier."
Stanzi got the Hawkeyes off to a quick start, marching his team on touchdown drives of 80 and 83 yards. Stanzi completed his first eight passes.
His ninth was caught, too — Georgia Tech's Jerrard Tarrant returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
But the Iowa defense had the Yellow Jackets' offense spinning in neutral for the most part.
Iowa finished the season seventh in the AP poll, it's fourth top-10 showing in eight seasons.