PASADENA, Calif. – Reporters had to wait for nearly an hour to interview Iowa defensive back Desmond King after Friday’s 45-16 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Now the question is, will it be King’s last interview as a Hawkeye?
The Detroit native said before the Rose Bowl that he was 50/50 about skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. King’s mother said that she wants him to earn his degree, but the NFL offers a rare chance for fortune and fame.
Reporters were told before interviewing King that they couldn’t ask him any questions about his future. If they did, the interview would end immediately.
King just finished a junior season in which he tied the school single-season record for interceptions with eight.
He also was the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back.
There was little for King to celebrate after Friday’s loss to Stanford, however. He was overshadowed by the performance of Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, who finished runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
“He’s a very dangerous running back,” King said of McCaffrey, who finished with 368 all-purpose yards. “Just getting him in open field, that was their plan. Just getting him in open field and letting him do what he does best.”
King said McCaffrey was better than he looked on film.
“I didn’t think he was that fast,” King said. “But he’s a great athlete and that’s what he’s going to do. Give credit to him.”
King would be among eight starters returning on defense if he did come back for his senior season.
“I just feel like it’s something to learn from,” King said of Friday’s loss. “We all felt like we were ready. It was nothing like last year (in the TaxSlayer Bowl) at all.”
King was referring to Iowa’s 45-28 loss to Tennessee in the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl. Iowa also trailed 28-0 in that game just like it did against Stanford on Friday.
TRICK PLAY: Stanford probably didn’t need to use any trick plays to win Friday’s game, but it executed one to perfection anyway.
It happened when Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan appeared to fumble the snap while lined up in shotgun formation in the second quarter.
However, it was a designed play to fool the Iowa defense, which it did when Hogan picked up the football and threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to receiver Michael Rector.
“I didn’t know that was a trick play at all,” King said. “I thought it was an actual fumble. They outsmarted us on that play and made a big play out of it.”
Stanford coach David Shaw said after the game that he had been waiting for a while to use that trick play.
“I tell you what, that’s been in the works probably for about six years,” Shaw said. “I first saw Boise State do it with Chris Petersen there and always liked it and was always looking for the right situation to do it.
“We’ve worked on it on and off at different times. But then for this game, it was kind of a group effort. Try not to give any one person credit, but it’s one of those things when you talk about it everybody says, no, we can’t do that, then we look at it again and say, gosh, that could be really good. It could be really good.”
LOYAL FANS: Despite losing by 29 points, the Iowa players left the field to a rousing ovation from nearly 50,000 fans who attended Friday’s Rose Bowl.
Junior receiver Matt VandeBerg thanked the fans for their unwavering support after the game.
“We have the best support in college football, hands down,” VandeBerg said.