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Cotton’s final big return gave Iowa a chance

[ 0 ] January 1, 2014 |
 Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Jordan Cotton (23) runs as LSU Tigers defensive back Rickey Jefferson (29) gives chase during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. LSU won 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Jordan Cotton (23) runs as LSU Tigers defensive back Rickey Jefferson (29) gives chase during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. LSU won 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. – Jordan Cotton thought he was going to make it to the end zone.

“Then I heard the guy behind me,” Cotton said. “He had the angle and he dove.”

Cotton’s 96-yard kickoff return, with just under 2 minutes to play, gave Iowa the ball at the LSU 4. It led to the Hawkeyes’ final touchdown in a 21-14 loss to No. 14 LSU Wednesday in the Outback Bowl.

It was the longest return of Cotton’s career, which ended Wednesday. It was also the longest non-touchdown kickoff return in Iowa football history.

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“We needed a spark,” Cotton said of the 48th and final kickoff return of his career. “The game was not over yet.”

Iowa scored two plays later to make it 21-14, but couldn’t come up with the on-side kick and LSU was able to run out the clock.

Cotton had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Penn State last season.

But he said Wednesday’s return was the most memorable of his career.

“I’m going to remember this one more,” Cotton said. “It’s the first bowl game I actually got to contribute in. Being able to go out with a huge kick return to give our team some momentum, it was great.”

Cotton, from Mount Pleasant, leaves the program with a good taste in his mouth.

“The thing I’ll remember the most about this team are all the guys I’ve met over the past five years,” Cotton said. “They’re like brothers to me. I’ll never forget this.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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