Hawkeyes return home after big Orange Bowl win - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawkeyes return home after big Orange Bowl win

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - They're home! The Iowa Hawkeyes returned Wednesday afternoon, fresh off their Orange Bowl win Tuesday night over Georgia Tech.

Herky cutout in-hand, Alex Wolfert of West Branch was one of the few fans braving the cold, to welcome the Hawkeyes home.

"You know, they've been an inspiration, I guess, through this tough economy, and for the whole state of Iowa, a source of great pride," Wolfert told us. "I just want to show them my appreciation."

Moments after the plane landed, head coach Kirk Ferentz stepped out.

"Last night was a special night, no question about it, mainly just because of our players," he told reporters.

But he said he's also grateful for the astounding fan support he saw in Florida.

"That's one of the reasons I think we do so well when it comes to bowl selection. The bowls all know our fan following: very enthusiastic, and it's a big help to us, and we really appreciate that."

The players were whisked onto waiting buses as soon as they stepped off the plane, but Rose Mitchell filled us in on the trip.

"The experience was wonderful from the day we got there. It seemed like the entire town was taken over with Hawkeyes," said Mitchell, who came back wearing the same gold vest she wore on game night, which was held in record low temperatures.

"It was a heartwarming victory, so we didn't mind."

And, because of Tuesday's win, Mitchell didn't mind coming back to even lower temperatures in Iowa.

"We were prepared for it. We left in the weather and we're coming back with the same thing, but with a victory. It doesn't get any better."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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