TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The first battle of the Outback Bowl didn't happen on the football field. The University of Iowa and Mississippi State had a battle of the bands at Busch Gardens.
"We do a really good job of showing it is fun to be in marching band," said Analisa Iole, the drum major for the University of Iowa. "There is nothing really on the line at this point; you are here to have a good time."
Mississippi State drum major Jacob Baker led his squad in their showdown against the Hawkeyes.
"We do lots of horn flashes, lot of movement in there. While we are playing, we like to make it visual."
The Iowa band has about 260 members, while the Mississippi State band has almost twice as many, at 409.
"It is an amazing powerful feeling, you are part of something bigger and you are doing something that is special," said Baker.
The two squads used their Busch Gardens battle of the bands -- at which no winner was officially declared -- as a dress rehearsal for tomorrow's big game, where nose tackles matter just as much as notes.
"They were having a good time and they were feeding off onto me and so it was enjoyable for me," said Iole. "I really do enjoy being in front of the Hawkeye marching band and their work is what gets noticed. I just facilitate everything."