ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) - Iowa spoiled Nick Saban's farewell party with one of the most dramatic plays in bowl history.
Drew Tate tossed a 56-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Warren Holloway as time expired, lifting the 13th-ranked Hawkeyes to a stunning 30-25 victory over No. 11 Louisiana State in the Capital One Bowl.
"I have never been a part of anything like this before in my life," said Tate, who completed 20-of-32 passes for 287 yards and two TDs.
It was the final game at LSU for the 53-year-old Saban, who signed a five-year contract with the Miami Dolphins last month. He led the Tigers to a share of the national championship last season.
"This has probably been the greatest experience I've ever had as a coach, the five years that I've spent at LSU," Saban said. "You can call them golden years for me. I hope they were good years for everybody else."
Third-string quarterback JaMarcus Russell appeared to send Saban out in style, throwing two TD passes in the final 8 1/2 minutes to Skyler Green, including a three-yard strike with 46 seconds left, as LSU rallied from a 24-12 deficit.
Russell completed 12-of-15 passes for 128 yards after taking over for Marcus Randall, who was knocked out of the game late in the first half with a rib injury.
But four plays later, Tate took advantage of a huge lapse by LSU's secondary as Holloway inexplicably got free several yards behind the defense.
"I don't know if you could write a better script," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Nobody would believe it if you did."
"I think we were prepared for it," LSU defensive end Marcus Spears added. "We just made a mental error. Sometimes you can be prepared but these things just happen. They made a great play. They took advantage and they scored a touchdown."
Tate hit Holloway in stride at the 15 and the receiver danced into the end zone, completing one of the most memorable plays in school history and overcoming a fourth-quarter collapse. A senior wide receiver, Holloway scored his only TD at Iowa on the final play of his career.
"I was scared I overthrew him but he did an unbelievable job not going down," Tate added.
Iowa gained only 77 yards in the first half, but held a 14-12 lead at the intermission. Tate tossed a 57-yard TD pass to Clinton Solomon in the first quarter and Sean Considine returned a blocked punt seven yards for a score late in the second quarter.
"We obviously didn't play one of our best games today," Saban said. "But I will say that I am proud of our players for the way they fought back in this game."
The Hawkeyes appeared to grab control in the second half, taking a 24-12 lead on Marques Simmons' four-yard TD run just over two minutes into the fourth quarter.
But Russell, who started four games in the regular season, began LSU's comeback with a 22-yard TD pass to Skyler with 8:21 remaining.
"A lot of credit goes to LSU for coming back like the way they did," Tate said. "They played with a lot of character with coach Saban leaving. I just thought they played an unbelievable game."
Randall, who had trouble breathing in the second half, completed 10-of-15 passes for 89 yards before being forced to leave.
Alley Broussard rushed for 109 yards on 13 carries for the Tigers, including a 74-yard TD with 38 seconds left in the first half.