Here is a closer look at both Iowa and Stanford, including seven players to watch from both teams, followed by a look back at Iowa’s historical 2015 season.
Rose Bowl Notes
Fifth-ranked Iowa (12-1) vs. No. 6 Stanford (11-2) in the 2016 Rose Bowl
When: 4:10 p.m., Jan 1, 2016
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Series: First meeting
Head coaches: Kirk Ferentz is in his 17th season as the Iowa head coach and is tied for first in coaching longevity with Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops now that Frank Beamer has retired at Virginia Tech. Ferentz was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career this season and the American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year. He has led Iowa to five double-digit win seasons, two Big Ten titles and to 13 bowl games.
David Shaw is nearing the end of his fifth season as the Stanford head coach with an impressive 53-14 record, including 36-9 in conference play. He was Stanford’s offensive coordinator during Jim Harbaugh’s entire tenure as head coach from 2007-10. Shaw played wide receiver for Stanford from 1991-94 and was an assistant coach for three different NFL teams.
Iowa is appearing in its 28th bowl game, including its sixth Rose Bowl. Iowa is 2-3 in Rose Bowl games:
Jan. 1, 1957, Iowa 35, Oregon State 19
Jan. 1, 1959, Iowa 38, California 12
Jan. 1, 1982, Washington 28, Iowa 0
Jan. 1, 1986, UCLA 45, Iowa 28
Jan. 1, 1991, Washington 46, Iowa 34
Stanford is appearing in its 15th Rose Bowl. The Cardinal are 6-7-1 in 14 previous appearances.
Seven players to watch from each team
Christian McCaffrey, So., RB, 6-1, 201, Castle Rock, Colo. – The runner-up for the 2015 Heisman Trophy is the epitome of a do-everything back. He gains his yards by running, catching passes and returning punts and kicks, and is a big play waiting to happen who never seems to get tired. He set an NCAA single-season all-purpose yards record (3,496) and was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, Pac-12 Championship game MVP, Hornung Award finalist, Maxwell Award finalist, Doak Walker Award finalist, Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist, Chic Harley Award winner, All-Pac-12 first team (running back) and All-Pac 12 first team (return specialist).
Kevin Hogan, Sr., QB, 6-4, 218, Mclean, Va. – He has a 35-10 record as Stanford’s starting quarterback and is Stanford’s career record holder for wins as a starting quarterback. He began his career as a starter with 10 consecutive wins. He enters the Rose Bowl with 9,162 career passing yards and 72 touchdowns.
Joshua Garnett, Sr., OG, 6-5, 321, Puyallup, Wash. – His interior dominance has been one of the keys to McCaffery’s success as a runner. It also earned Garnett the 2015 Outland Trophy Award, which goes to nation’s top collegiate offensive lineman.
Austin Hooper, Jr., TE, 6-4, 248, San Ramon, Calif. – The first-team all-Pac-12 honoree is the latest in a long line of tight ends who have excelled for Cardinal. He has 31 catches for 415 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Aziz Shittu, Sr., DL, 6-3, 279, Atwater, Calif., – First-team all-Pac-12 honoree.
Blake Martinez, Sr. LB, 6-2, 245, Tuscon, Ariz., – Third-team all-America selection by the Associated Press and a first-team all-Pac-12 choice.
Ronnie Harris, Sr., DB, 5-10, 172, Atlanta, Ga., – Team captain as a fifth-year senior and a second-team all-Pac 12 selection.
C.J. Beathard, Jr. QB, 6-2, 209, Franklin, Tenn. – Earned second-team all-Big Ten after leading Iowa to its first 12-0 regular-season record. Enters the Rose Bowl completing 61.4 percent of his passes and with 2,840 total yards, including 270 rushing yards.
Jordan Walsh, Sr. OG, 6-4, 290, Glendale Heights, Ill. – The soft-spoken senior has saved his best for last, going from being an average offensive lineman in his first three seasons to a first-team all-Big Ten selection as a senior.
Austin Blythe, Sr. C, 6-3, 290, Williamsburg – The team’s only player who is married has started 44 consecutive games and has 48 starts in 49 games as a Hawkeye. He earned second-team all-Big Ten accolades in each of the past two seasons.
Jordan Canzeri, Sr., RB, 5-9, 192, Troy, N.Y. – He leads Iowa with 976 rushing and 12 touchdowns despite missing nearly three games because of ankle injuries. He is the 14th player in school history to surpass 2,000 career rushing yards with 2,065 yards on 385 attempts. He set a school record with 43 rushing attempts against Illinois.
George Kittle, Jr., TE, 6-4, 235, Norman, Okla. – He only has 20 receptions on the season, but six have resulted in touchdowns. He has replaced the injured Jake Duzey as Iowa’s big-play tight end.
Desmond King, Jr., DB/RS, 5-11, 200, Detroit, Mich. – Already ranks as one of the greatest defensive backs in school history as a junior. A three-year starter, he is tied this season with Nile Kinnick and Lou King (no relation) for the most interceptions by a Hawkeye in a single season with eight.
Josey Jewell, So., LB, 6-2, 230, Decorah – He leads the team with 119 tackles and made second-team all-Big Ten. He also has three interceptions and six pass break-ups.
A look back at Iowa’s record-breaking season:
Iowa 31, Illinois State 14
When: Sept. 5
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Summary: It was hard to find an Iowa fan who felt overly confident about the season opener, even with it being against an FCS opponent. The stench from the TaxSlayer Bowl debacle still was thick and with it came distrust and dissatisfaction.
Iowa began its historical season by outscoring the Redbirds 17-0 in the first half. Iowa would go on to score the game’s first 31 points and finish with 431 yards. It was dominance that nobody expected and a sign of things to come.
Junior quarterback C.J Beathard accounted for three touchdowns – two rushing and one passing – and LeShun Daniels rushed for 123 yards on 26 carries.
The Iowa defense also held star running back Marshaun Coprich to just 32 yards on 13 carries. All-Big Ten defensive end Drew Ott had two sacks for a minus-20 yards, defensive end Nate Meier had two tackles for loss, including a sack and linebacker Ben Niemann had 2.5 tackles for loss, including a sack.
Iowa 31, Iowa State 17
When: Sept. 12
Summary: Trailing 17-10 at halftime, Iowa scored 21 unanswered points to defeat Iowa State for just the second time in the last five seasons.
The score was knotted at 17-17 in the fourth quarter when Iowa scored two touchdowns in the final 2 minutes, 14 seconds of the game. Senior receiver Riley McCarron caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Beathard with 2:14 remaining.
Senior running back Jordan Canzeri then secured the victory with an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left to play. Canzeri led Iowa with 124 rushing yards, while Beathard added 77 rushing yards on 10 carries, including a career-long 57 yard scamper that shifted field position.
Beathard also passed for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the Co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and the Manning Quarterback of the Week for his performance against Iowa State.
The Iowa defense proved tough to run against for the second consecutive game, holding the Cyclones to 63 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Iowa 27, Pittsburgh 24
When: Sept. 19
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Summary: Solon native and former walk-on Marshall Koehn became a part of Hawkeye legend and lore by drilling a 57-yard field goal as time expired. He also scored the first three points of the game on a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The Hawkeyes drove 31 yards in the final 52 seconds to help setup Koehn’s game-winning kick. It marked the second consecutive week that Beathard had led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
The Iowa defense for a third consecutive game was dominant against the run, holding the Panthers to 55 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Iowa 62, North Texas 16
When: Sept. 26
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Summary: Iowa ruined Dan McCarney’s homecoming in overpowering fashion. The 62 points were the most by a Hawkeye team in 13 seasons.
McCarney, who grew up in Iowa City and played football at Iowa, had a knack for defeating his college alma mater while coaching the Iowa State Cyclones.
But he didn’t have an answer for Iowa’s dominance in this game.
Beathard completed his first 15 pass attempts and finished 18-of-21 overall for 278 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first Big Ten quarterback to complete his first 15 passes in a game since Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson completed his first 16 pass attempts in 2011.
Iowa closed the non-conference portion of its schedule 4-0 for the fourth time in 17 seasons under Kirk Ferentz.
Iowa 10, Wisconsin 6
When: Oct. 3
Where: Madison, Wis.
Summary: The Iowa defense played the starring role, holding the Badgers without a touchdown and to just 86 rushing yards on 34 attempts. All but three of the points scored in the game came following turnovers.
Wisconsin committed four turnovers, none more costly than quarterback Joel Stave’s fumble at the Iowa 1-yard in the fourth quarter. Stave stumbled after taking the snap and getting his foot tangled, which caused him to stumble and lose the ball.
Defensive tackle Faith Ekakitie recovered the fumble, ending the scoring threat.
The Badgers drove to Iowa’s 16-yard line on their final possession, but failed to convert on fourth down with 36 seconds remaining.
Junior cornerback Desmond King continued his ascent to stardom with two interceptions, two pass break-ups and nine tackles.
Beathard probably had his worst game as a Hawkeye, completing just 9-of-21 passes for 77 yards.
Canzeri was Iowa’s primary threat against the Badgers, rushing for 125 yards on 26 carries.
Iowa 29, Illinois 20
When: Oct. 10
Where: Kinnick Stadium:
Summary: Canzeri picked up against Illinois where he had left off the previous week against Wisconsin, but was even better. He shredded the Illini for 256 rushing yards on 43 carries, both of which were career highs. The 256 rushing yards is the third best in school history.
The Iowa defense held Illinois to 46 rushing yards, but Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt compensated by passing for 317 yards. His 53-yard touchdown pass to Geronimo Allison cut the deficit to 23-20 in the fourth quarter.
Koehn made field goals from 34 and 40 yards later in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
True freshman receiver Jerminic Smith provided a spark for Iowa by catching four passes for 118 yards. The Texas native became the first Hawkeye true freshman to record 100 receiving yards in a single game.
Iowa 40, Northwestern 10
When: Oct. 17
Where: Evanston, Ill.
Summary: A game that looked scary on paper proved to be a mismatch as an injury-riddled Hawkeye squad pounded the Wildcats into submission.
Iowa already was depleted on both sides of the ball when Canzeri left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury and didn’t return. Canzeri was starting for the injured LeShun Daniels. So when Canzeri limped off the field late in the first quarter, Iowa was down to Akrum Wadley and Derrick Mitchell Jr., at running back.
They provided more than enough firepower, combining for 326 rushing yards, including 204 yards and four touchdowns by Wadley.
Iowa needed its rushing attack to be productive because Beathard was hobbled by injuries during the Northwestern game. He barely could scramble from the pocket, but it didn’t matter as Wadley and Mitchell carved up the Wildcats.
Iowa’s defense held Northwestern scoreless in the second half and to just 51 rushing yards overall. It was dominance when we least expected it.
Iowa 31, Maryland 15
When: Oct. 31
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Summary: Much like the Wisconsin game, the Iowa defense played the starring role by forcing four turnovers and holding Maryland to just 74 passing yards. Four different Hawkyes scored touchdowns during the 16-point victory, which spoiled Maryland’s first game at Kinnick Stadium.
Desmond King provided one of the game biggest highlights by returning his seventh interception of the season 88 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Iowa 35, Indiana 27
When: Nov. 7
Where: Bloomington, Ind.
Summary: Iowa equaled its best start in school history at 9-0 with a hard-fought victory over the Hoosiers, who finished with 407 total yards.
C.J. Beathard passed for 271 yards and one touchdowns and also scored on a 7-yard run in second quarter, giving Iowa a 21-17 lead at halftime.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter. Indiana trimmed the deficit to 21-20 on a 28-yard field goal by Griffin Oakes early in the fourth quarter.
Iowa scored back-to-back touchdowns on a 1-yard run by LeShun Daniels and a 10-yard reception by George Kittle, expanding the lead to 35-20. Indiana scored a late touchdown, but then failed on an onside kick attempt. Iowa tight end Henry Krieger Coble recovered the onside kick with 2:24 remaining to secure the victory.
Iowa 40, Minnesota 35
When: Nov. 14
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Summary: The Iowa offense came to the rescue during this rare night game at Kinnick Stadium by amassing 516 yards – 272 rushing and 234 passing.
Iowa scored on six of its first seven possessions and improved to 10-0 for the first time in school history. Junior LeShun Daniels led the Iowa ground attack with a career-high 195 rushing yards on 26 carries. His 51-yard touchdown run gave Iowa a 40-28 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Linebacker Josey Jewell led the Iowa defense with 13 tackles and a sack. It marked the fourth time in the last six games that Jewell had double-digit tackles.
Minnesota refused to wilt, though, and scored a late touchdown to pull with five points. The Gophers tried an onside kick, but it sailed out of bounds.
Iowa 40, Purdue 20
When: Nov. 21
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Summary: Iowa clinched the Big Ten West Division and an undefeated record at home (7-0) by doubling up the Boilermakers.
C.J. Beathard equaled a career-high with three touchdown passes and Jordan Canzeri rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown. LeShun Daniels complemented Canzeri with 31 rushing yards and also scored the first two touchdowns in the game on runs of 2 and 13 yards in the first quarter.
Iowa 28, Nebraska 20
When: Nov. 27
Where: Lincoln, Neb.
Summary: Iowa’s defense intercepted a season-high four touchdown passes, while Jordan Canzeri rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns as the Hawkeyes completed a 12-0 regular season.
Leading 14-10 at halftime, Iowa scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the third quarter, both on runs by Canzeri. His second touchdown came on a 68-yard run that expanded Iowa’s lead to 28-17.
Iowa prevailed despite going 0-for-9 on third down and despite Beathard only passing for 97 yards in frigid conditions.
Michigan State 16, Iowa 13
When: Dec. 5
Where: Indianapolis (Big Ten Championship game)
Summary: Iowa fell one yard short of making the four-team college playoff as Michigan State running back L.J. Scott bulled into the end zone from 1 yard with 27 seconds remaining.
Both teams had traded field goals through the first three quarters, which ended with the Spartans clinging to a 9-6 lead.
Iowa scored the game’s first touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter when Beathard completed an 85-yard pass to senior receiver Tevaun Smith.
Two possessions later, the Spartans drove 82 yards on 22 plays for the game-winning touchdown. The Spartans only attempted one pass during the game-winning drive and drained 9:09 off the game clock.
Stanford’s 2015 results/schedule
Sept.5 Northwestern L 16-6
Sept. 12 Central Florida W 31-7
Sept. 19 USC W 41-31
Sept. 25 Oregon State W 42-24
Oct. 3 Arizona W 55-17
Oct. 15 UCLA W 56-35
Oct. 24 Washington W 31-14
Oct. 31 Washington State W 30-28
Nov. 7 Colorado W 42-10
Nov. 14 Oregon L 38-36
Nov. 21 California W 35-22
Nov. 28 Notre Dame W 38-36
Dec. 5 USC W 41-22*
* Pac-12 title game