How Stanford vs Iowa match up for the Rose Bowl 2016

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna examines how Stanford and Iowa match up in advance of Friday’s Rose Bowl game in Pasadena:

How Stanford and Iowa match up for the Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl 2016 Game Details
When: Friday January 1, at 5 p.m. ET
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Television: ESPN
Live Stream: ➡  Click Here to Watch Online

Stanford run game vs. Iowa defense
Stanford employs a balanced pro-style offense that reminds Iowa players and coaches of the good Wisconsin teams they’ve played in recent years. Of course, it makes sense to run the ball when you have the most dynamic back in the country in sophomore Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,847 yards and eight touchdowns, and an experienced line that averages 301 pounds and is anchored by Outland Trophy winner Joshua Garnett, a 6-foot-5, 321-pound left guard. The Cardinal ranks 19th in the nation with an average of 225.1 yards rushing a game, and short-yardage specialist Remound Wright, who has only 209 yards on the season but has scored 13 touchdowns, is one of the reasons Stanford ranks third in third-down efficiency (51%). The Hawkeyes are not pushovers. They rank 10th in rushing defense, giving up an average of 114.9 yards a game and have a strong linebacking corps led by Cole Fisher and Josey Jewell. “It’s going to start with our D-line,” Iowa safety Jordan Lomax said of stopping McCaffrey. “They’re going to have to penetrate the offensive line. Then it comes down to the linebackers and secondary filling the right alleys in support and making the tackle. It’s going to take all 11 guys doing their job to stop the run.”

Edge: Stanford

Stanford passing vs. Iowa secondary
The Cardinal has talented receivers in Devon Cajuste, Michael Rector and Bryce Love. Tight end Austin Hooper has 31 catches for 415 yards and six touchdowns, and McCaffrey has a team-leading 41 receptions for 540 yards and four scores. The Hawkeyes rank ninth in interceptions (18) and 10th in pass-efficiency defense (106.5) and have the nation’s top defensive back in Desmond King, a junior corner who is projected as a first-round pick if he enters the NFL draft. “He’s very physical — he’s not afraid to get up and press, and then he does a good job of sticking to the player downfield,” Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan said of King, who has eight interceptions. “He’s someone they can count on to make a play in crunch time and in big-game situations.” So is Hogan, who completed 194 of 283 passes for 2,644 yards and 24 touchdowns and had one of his best games against Notre Dame, which stacked defenders near scrimmage to defend the run. The Irish held McCaffrey to 94 yards in 27 carries, but Hogan completed 17 of 21 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns. “You have to try to contain McCaffrey,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said, “but if you load up too heavy, they’ve got other ways to hurt you.”

Edge: Stanford

Iowa run game vs. Stanford defense
The Hawkeyes have what Stanford defensive end Brennan Scarlett calls “one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines we’ve faced,” a unit that has cleared the way for backs Jordan Canzeri, LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley to combine for 2,048 yards and 27 touchdowns. “They’re not trying to disguise what they’re doing,” Scarlett said. “They’re coming straight at us, and they’re going to do what they do regardless. Anybody who’s watched them this season knows what’s coming.” As good as the backs are, it’s the line, led by center Austin Blythe and guard Jordan Walsh, both NFL prospects, that most impresses Cardinal defensive end Aziz Shittu. “They’re probably one of the best-coached teams we’ve seen on film, the way the line works so well together,” Shittu said. “They’re coming off the ball in unison, they stick to their blocks and move guys off the ball.” Quarterback C.J. Beathard is a running threat but was slowed late in the season by a groin injury.

Edge: Iowa

Iowa passing vs. Stanford defense
Like Hogan, Beathard, who completed 202 of 329 passes for 2,570 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions, has been called a good “game manager” for his ability to make smart decisions, run the offense with more precision than flash, and limit mistakes. Stanford defensive back Ronnie Harris said the label “is a little bit disrespectful” to Beathard, who took over as starter this season. “He’s more elusive and a lot more athletic than people give him credit for,” Harris said. “I think he has a great arm. I’ve seen him make every throw and turn a bad play into a great play. I’ve seen him scramble and buy time for his receivers to get downfield. He’s taken his team to 12-1 and does exactly what he’s asked to do within the system.” Beathard’s favorite target is 6-1, 185-pound junior receiver Matt VandeBerg, who is fearless on over-the-middle routes and led the team with 61 catches for 639 yards. His biggest target is 6-4, 250-pound tight end Henry Krieger Coble (32 catches for 385 yards). Beathard, the grandson of former NFL executive Bobby Beathard, shouldn’t be bothered by bowl-game pressure. He had one of his best games in the Big Ten championship game against Michigan State, completing 18 of 26 passes for 216 yards.
Edge: Iowa

Special teams
Iowa’s Marshall Koehn might have a little more leg than Stanford’s Conrad Ukropina — Koehn kicked a 57-yard field goal as time expired to beat Pittsburgh on Sept. 19 — but Ukropina is a little more accurate, having converted 17 of 19 attempts, including a 45-yarder to beat Notre Dame. Koehn has made 15 of 19. King volunteered to return kickoffs and punts last spring and has upgraded the Hawkeyes in those areas. Iowa ranked in the top five in the Big Ten in kickoff (25.6 yards) and punt (12.7) returns. But McCaffrey, who racked up 461 all-purpose yards in the Pac-12 championship game against USC, ranked eighth nationally in kickoff returns with a 28.9-yard average. Stanford’s Alex Robinson averaged 42.9 yards a punt, and Iowa’s Dillon Kidd averaged 40.4 yards a punt.

Edge: Stanford

A huge roar went up in Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 5 when, in the second quarter of the season opener against Illinois State, the Hawkeyes faked a field goal attempt. The play failed to net a first down, but the fans applauded the usually conservative Ferentz for his creativity. After another fake field goal attempt in the second game at Iowa State, Ferentz told reporters they were witnessing “the new Kirk.” Ferentz’s willingness to move away from his predictable nature helped the Hawkeyes go from 7-6 last season to the brink of the College Football Playoff. And Ferentz, in his 17th season, was named Eddie Robinson coach of the year. Stanford Coach David Shaw, a former wide receiver and assistant coach at the school, has guided the Cardinal to three Pac-12 titles and three Rose Bowl berths – Stanford beat Wisconsin in 2012 but lost to Michigan State in 2013 – in five years and has established himself as one of college football’s most innovative minds.

Edge: Even
Final score: Stanford 27, Iowa 20

Iowa vs Stanford: Rose Bowl Preview

Iowa vs Stanford

Do you love old-school, hard-nosed, smashmouth football? Do you long for the days of three yards and a cloud of dust? Then this is the non-playoff bowl for you. (And how fitting that it’s the oldest bowl game of them all!) Two programs known for defense—Hawkeyes cornerback Desmond King, an All-America, has picked off eight passes this year—will show a smidge more offense than you’re anticipating … but still, because both these teams give off a vintage football vibe, “more offense” is a relative term. A veteran quarterback (Stanford’s Kevin Hogan) and seasoned offensive line (Iowa, led by All-America center Austin Blythe) will make for an entertaining game.

iowa vs stanford

Points of interest
1. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford running back and all-purpose star
The 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up, McCaffrey has already racked up 3,496 all-purpose yards this year (1,847 rushing, 540 receiving, 1,109 returning), and his last output was staggering: 461 all-purpose yards in a Pac-12 title game win over USC. His ability to cut and spin out of defenders’ grasps in the open field has drawn comparisons to Reggie Bush.

McCaffrey is just a sophomore, so consider this game the beginning of his 2016 Heisman campaign—and don’t be surprised if he returns a kick for a touchdown, just for flair.

2. The Hawkeyes ground attack
All hail the Iowa offensive line, which did its job blocking and opening up lanes for basically the entire team this season. Iowa has gone through its share of running backs this season—Jordan Canzeri, a 5’9”, 192-pound senior leads the Hawkeyes with 976 yards and 12 touchdowns, playing in 11 of 13 games because of injury—but continues to run through and run over opposing defenses. Iowa has 35 rushing touchdowns, ranking first in the Big Ten (tied with Ohio State) and seventh nationally.

It boasts one of the most balanced attacks in the country with 2,496 rushing yards compared to 2,623 passing yards, but if things get tough, the Hawkeyes will turn to the ground game. LeShun Daniels (609 total yards, eight touchdowns) and Akrum Wadley (463 yards, seven scores) can help Canzeri.

3. But what about the passing game?
So much talk about both teams’ ground games—can’t the receivers get any love? It’s possible that each defense will be so fixated on stopping the other team’s best runner that someone from the air will emerge to be the hero.

For Stanford, keep an eye on Devon Cajuste. McCaffrey is the team’s leading receiver, but Stanford has four guys who average between 31 and 41 receiving yards per game. Cajuste has big playmaking ability, even though he’s recorded only 375 yards this year. He went for 125 vs. Notre Dame and was huge in that win.

For Iowa, it’ll be Tevaun Smith. Like Stanford, the Hawkeyes are balanced in the receiving game, with four players who average 22 yards or more. Smith chips in with 45.5 receiving yards per game, but he’s the only player to go for more than 100 yards in two different games this season. Of course, good receiving games come because good quarterbacks, so watch for Iowa’s C.J. Beathard (202 of 329 for 2,570 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions).

The Hawkeyes’ run this season has been admirable, and Iowa fans are sure to show up in droves to celebrate. But Stanford has been here before—fifth-year Cardinal coach David Shaw led the team to a Rose Bowl win in 2013—and its offense is rolling lately behind McCaffrey and Hogan. In their last two games, the Cardinal gritted out a nail-biter over Notre Dame and then crushed USC 41–22. Stanford ranks third nationally in third- and fourth-down conversion rate. Expect Hogan to be the difference on Jan. 1.

The pick: Stanford 20, Iowa 9 read more about Iowa vs Stanford

Iowa vs Stanford: Rose Bowl will be played Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena


Iowa vs Stanford

Iowa vs Stanford

Fifth-ranked Iowa (12-1, 8-0) will meet No. 6 Stanford (11-2, 8-1) of the Pacific 12 Conference (Pac 12) in the 2016 Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual. The game will be played Jan. 1, at 4:10 p.m. (CT) at the Rose Bowl (89,105) in Pasadena, California. Stanford finished the 2015 season with an 11-2 overall record and a win over USC in the Pac 12 Championship game. The Cardinal’s two losses were at Northwestern (16-6) and at home to Oregon (38-36). Iowa is making its sixth Rose Bowl appearance (2-3). The Hawkeyes have played in the Rose Bowl more than any other bowl. Stanford is appearing in its 15th Rose Bowl. The Cardinal are 6-7-1 in 14 previous appearances.

The game will be televised by ESPN. Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer, and Maria Taylor have the call. Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak, along with sideline reporter Rob Brooks, will call the action on Learfield Communications, a Hawkeye network of over 40 stations. The game will also be carried on ESPN radio, with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese on the call.

Iowa is appearing in its 28th Bowl game (14-13-1). The Hawkeyes have competed in the Rose (six times), Outback (four), Alamo (four), Holiday (three), Orange (two), Peach (two), Sun (two), Insight (two), Gator/TaxSlayer (two), and the Capital One, and Freedom bowls once.
• Iowa is making its sixth Rose Bowl appearance (2-3). The Hawkeyes’ last appearance in the Rose Bowl was 25 years ago in 1991 (L, 46-34 to Washington).
• Iowa has played 12 bowl games under Kirk Ferentz (6-6).
• Iowa has been bowl eligible 14 of the last 15 seasons under head coach Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes have played in 13 bowl games since 2001, only 10 other schools have appeared in more.
• Iowa ranks third in Big Ten bowl appearances. Ohio State has received a conference-best 46 bowl bids, followed by Michigan (44), Iowa (29), and Wisconsin (27).
• During the BCS bowl era (1998-2013), the Big Ten qualified 27 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. Eight different Big Ten programs played in BCS bowl games, including two appearances by Iowa (1-1).
• For the second year in a row, 10 Big Ten Conference teams are competing in bowl games. Three schools, Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State are competing in College Football Playoff (CFP) bowls. No other conference has three teams playing in CFP bowls.

Iowa and Stanford are meeting for the first time. Iowa has played football since 1889. Stanford started playing college football in 1892.

Iowa is 28-36-1 against current members of the Pac 12 conference, including a 3-6 record in bowl games, and a 2-3 record in the Rose Bowl. The following are Iowa’s bowl results against Pac 12 opponents:

Year Site Opponent Result
2003 Orange Bowl USC L, 17-38
1997 Sun Bowl Arizona State L, 7-17
1995 Sun Bowl Washington W, 38-18
1993 Alamo Bowl California L, 3-37
1991 Rose Bowl Washington L, 34-46
1986 Rose Bowl UCLA L, 28-45
1982 Rose Bowl Washington L, 0-28
1959 Rose Bowl California W, 38-12
1957 Rose Bowl Oregon State W, 35-19

• The 102nd Rose Bowl Game will mark the first-ever meeting between the Hawkeyes and the Cardinal. Stanford started playing college football in 1892. Iowa’s first year of college football was 1889.
• Iowa is making its first appearance in the state of California since tying Brigham Young, 13-13, at the 1991 Holiday Bowl.
• Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Stanford head coach David Shaw were named American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year winners. The five FBS winners include Ferentz (Region 3), Shaw (Region 5), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (Region 1), Florida’s Jim McElwain (Region 2), and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (Region 4).
• Kirk Ferentz was Iowa’s offensive line coach at the 1982 and 1986 Rose Bowls.
• Iowa offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Davis has coached in three Rose Bowls. Davis won a BCS national title as Texas’ offensive coordinator at the 2006 Rose Bowl. The Longhorns lost the BCS title game at the 2010 Rose Bowl, and defeated Michigan at the 2005 Rose Bowl.
• Iowa wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy held the same position on three Texas teams that played in the Rose Bowl. Texas won the national title at the 2006 Rose Bowl, lost in the BCS title game at the 2010 Rose Bowl, and defeated Michigan at the 2005 Rose Bowl.
• Stanford is the fourth team Iowa has played that has at least 10 wins this season (Illinois State, Northwestern, Michigan State).
• Iowa and Stanford have one common opponent. The Cardinal lost 16-6 at Northwestern in the 2015 season opener. The Hawkeyes defeated Northwestern, 40-10, on Oct. 17. Northwestern is 10-2 and ranked No. 13 in the CFP Poll.
• Stanford sophomore RB Christian McCaffrey leads the country averaging 268.9 all-purpose yards per game. McCaffrey averages 142 rushing yards per game (fifth in FBS). The Hawkeyes have allowed 100 yards to a running back once this season (Indiana’s Jordan Howard, 22-174. Howard ranks ninth in FBS ypg).
• Iowa leads the Big Ten with 18 interceptions. Stanford threw only seven interceptions this season; second fewest in the Pac-12.
• Iowa has thrown just four interceptions, its lowest total since 2002. Stanford ranks last in the Pac-12 with seven interceptions.
• Iowa is plus-12 in turnover margin; No. 9 in the country. Stanford is even, 12 takeaways, 12 giveaways (65th in the country).

Head coach Kirk Ferentz was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career (2002, 2004, 2009, 2015). Only Michigan’s Bo Schembechler (6) has more conference coach of the year awards. Iowa’s Hayden Fry and Penn State’s Joe Paterno both won the award three times. Ferentz led Iowa to a school record 12 wins to start the season. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division title (8-0) and advanced to the Big Ten title game for the first time in the game’s five-year history. The Hawkeye are ranked sixth in the AP poll and seventh in the coaches poll. The Hawkeyes also reclaimed all four of their rivalry trophies in 2015. Fifteen Hawkeyes were recognized with 2015 All-Big Ten honors. DB Desmond King was named Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year. King and OL Jordan Walsh earned first team honors, and QB C.J. Beathard, C Austin Blythe, LB Josey Jewell, and K Marshall Koehn were named to the second team. RB Jordan Canzeri, FS Jordan Lomax, and DE Nate Meier earned third team honors. Six more Hawkeyes earned honorable mention, including LB Cole Fisher, DT Jaleel Johnson, P Dillon Kidd, LB Ben Niemann, WR Matt VandeBerg, and OL Sean Welsh.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz was named Woody Hayes Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus and the Eddie Robinson National of the Year by the FWAA. He was named American Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year, and is a finalist for three national coach of the year awards: Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year, George Munger Coach of the Year, and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year awards. Ferentz was one of five recipients of the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year. The others include Stanford’s David Shaw (Region 5), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (Region 1), Florida’s Jim McElwain (Region 2), and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (Region 4). The George Munger finalists include Ferentz, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, and Swinney. The Dodd Trophy finalist include Ferentz, Dantonio, Shaw, Swinney, Florida’s Jim McElwain, and Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo. Ferentz led Iowa to a school record 12 wins to start the season. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division title (8-0) and advanced to the Big Ten title game for the first time in the game’s five-year history. The Hawkeye are ranked sixth in the AP poll and seventh in the coaches poll. The Hawkeyes also reclaimed all four of their rivalry trophies in 2015.

Kirk Ferentz is in his 17th season as Iowa’s head football coach and ranks second in longevity among FBS head coaches. Ferentz is first among Big Ten coaches and nationally ranks behind Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (28), who will retire at the end of the season. Ferentz is tied for second with Bob Stoops of Oklahoma.

• Iowa won all four trophy games on its schedule in 2015: Iowa State (Cy-Hawk: W, 31-17), Wisconsin (Heartland; W, 10-6), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale: W, 40-35), and Nebraska (Heroes: W, 28-20).
• The Hawkeyes finished 5-0 on the road with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa is one of only five schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2), Ole Miss (2), and UCLA (2).
• Iowa was 4-0 in the month of November for the first time since 1991.
• The Hawkeyes did not face Big Ten opponents Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers during the regular season. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan State, 16-13, in the Big Ten title game.
• Eight of Iowa’s 13 opponents are playing in the postseason. Six Big Ten schools and nonconference foe Pitt are participating in bowl competition. Illinois State is in the FBS quarterfinals.

THREE PHASES OF @HawkeyeFootball
Iowa has its best start in program history (12-1) due to excelling in all three phases of the game. OFFFENSE:
• Iowa has a balanced offense. Its 5,119 total yards are divided by 2,496 yards rushing, and 2,623 yards passing.
• Iowa has 35 rushing touchdowns, tying Ohio State for first in the Big Ten and seventh nationally.
• The Hawkeyes scored 30-plus points in five straight Big Ten games for the first time in school history.
• Iowa has six touchdown drives over 90 yards, 18 touchdown drives over 75 yards, and eight touchdown drives of two plays or fewer.

• Iowa has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns; tied for eighth in the country.
• Iowa leads the Big Ten in interceptions (18), and ranks second in takeaways (26), and turnover margin (+12).
• Limiting big plays: Iowa has allowed 12 scrimmage plays of 30-plus yards, fewest in the Big Ten.

• Marshall Koehn’s 57-yard game-winning field goal vs. Pitt is the second longest in school history and the second longest in FBS this season. Kohn is 8-of-10 on field attempts 40-plus yards.
• In 2014, Iowa averaged 5.1 yards per punt return, last in the Big Ten. In 2015, the Hawkeyes average 12.5 yards per punt return, third best in the conference.
• Desmond King ranks second in the Big Ten in kickoff returns (25.6 yards) and third in punt returns (13.3).

The Hawkeyes were 5-0 on the road with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa is one of only five schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2), Ole Miss (2), and UCLA (2). Iowa won five road games for the fourth time in school history (1982, 1991, 2002). Iowa allows 16.0 points per game on the road, No. 2 in the Big Ten and No. 5 in the country.

Iowa is 6-7 in games during the month of January. That includes a 5-4 record on Jan. 1, an 0-3 mark on Jan. 2 and a 1-0 record on Jan. 5.

Iowa was honored with six Big Ten weekly awards this season. QB C.J. Beathard earned the offensive award following Iowa’s win at Iowa State, PK Marshall Koehn was the special teams winner following Iowa’s last-second victory over Pittsburgh, DB Desmond King earned co-defensive honors for his play in Iowa’s win at Wisconsin, RB Jordan Canzeri earned the offensive honor for his play in a win over Illinois, RB Akrum Wadley earned the offensive honor following Iowa’s road win at Northwestern, and DE Parker Hesse was named Freshman of the Week in the win at Nebraska. Iowa’s three offensive award winners are the most for the program since 2002, when QB Brad Banks was recognized three times and TE Dallas Clark was honored once. The last time three different offensive players earned weekly conference honors was 1997 (Tavian Banks, Tim Dwight, and Rob Thein).

BEATHARD at Iowa State
• Completed 15-of-25 attempts for 215 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
• Rushed 10 times for 77 yards, including runs of 44 and 57 yards.
• Scoring strikes covered three, 14, and 25 yards, with the 25-yard score giving Iowa the lead with 2:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

KOEHN vs. Pitt
• Booted a game-winning 57-yard field goal as time expired to give Iowa a 27-24 win.
• The kick tied the Kinnick Stadium record for longest field goal (Lee Pistor, Arizona, 1977) and ranks as the second longest in Iowa history (58 yards, Tim Douglas at Illinois, 1998).
• It was the first walk-off field goal for Iowa football since Rob Houghtlin connected from 41 yards to win the 1986 Holiday Bowl.

KING at Wisconsin (also named the Jim Thorpe national Player of the Week)
• King’s first interception, and 15-yard return, led to the only touchdown of the game in 10-6 Iowa win.
• His second interception at the Iowa 11-yard line to stop Wisconsin’s opening drive of the third quarter.
• Had five solo tackles, four assists and two pass break-ups against the Badgers. On special teams, King had three kick returns for 65 yards.

CANZERI vs. Illinois
• Led Iowa’s offense with 256 rushing yards on 43 attempts. He also had two receptions for 15 yards. He scored twice, including a 17-yard reception in the second quarter and a 75-yard run in the third period.
• Established an Iowa record for rushing attempts in a game, passing the previous mark of 42, which was held by Sedrick Shaw (at Michigan State, 1995).
• The 256 rushing yards ranks third best for a single game at Iowa.

WADLEY vs. Northwestern
• Led Iowa’s offense with 204 rushing yards on 26 attempts, both career highs.
• tied a single-game Iowa record with four rushing touchdowns, becoming the seventh Hawkeye to accomplish the feat.
• The 204 rushing yards ties as the 14th best single-game total in school history.

HESSE at Nebraska
• With the scored tied in the second period, Hesse tipped a Cornhusker pass in the air, grabbed the deflection for his first career interception and ran four yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.
• Equaled his career best with six tackles in the win at Nebraska.

Iowa’s offensive line has been named a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, which honors offensive line units that display a high level of toughness, effort, teamwork, physicality, tone setting and finishing. The Joe Moore Award winner will be announced Dec. 11. Other finalists include Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Stanford. Iowa has rushed for over 200 yards in seven games. The Hawkeye offense has six touchdown drives over 90 yards and 18 touchdowns drives over 75 yards. Iowa scored over 30 points in five straight games for the first time ever. Iowa’s offensive line includes center Austin Blythe, tackles Cole Croston, Boone Myers and Ike Boettger, and guards Sean Welsh and Jordan Walsh. Blythe and Walsh are seniors, while Myers, Boettger and Welsh are sophomores. True freshman James Daniels has rotated in at the guard positions, and filled in at right tackle vs. Illinois. The Joe Moore Award is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history, and is the only major college football award to honor a unit.

Since 1999, Kirk Ferentz’s first year as UI head coach, the Hawkeyes have had a future NFL player start on the offensive line in every season. In each of the last eight years, an eventual NFL first-round draft pick started on the offensive line. Brandon Scherff, selected by the Washington Redskins fifth overall in 2015, was Iowa’s left tackle from 2012-14. Riley Reiff, selected 23rd overall by the Detroit Lions in 2012, started at left tackle from 2010-11. Bryan Bulaga, selected 23rd overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2010, started at left guard in 2007 before moving to left tackle in 2008-09. From 2005-06, Baltimore Ravens All-Pro Marshal Yanda shared time at tackle and guard for the Hawkeyes. Mike Elgin, a seventh round selection of New England, was Iowa’s starting center in 2004. Pete McMahon, drafted by Oakland in 2005, was Iowa’s right guard in 2003. Oakland’s first round pick in 2004, Robert Gallery, was Iowa’s left tackle from 2001-03. Eric Steinbach (Cincinnati) started at guard for Iowa from 2000-02, and Bruce Nelson (Carolina) was a four-year starter from 1999-02. Both players were second round draft picks in 2003.

Iowa reclaimed possession of all four of its rivalry trophies in 2015. It is the first time in program history (the Heroes Trophy was introduced in 2011) that Iowa has owned all four trophies. The Hawkeyes won trophy games against Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Trophy), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale) Wisconsin (Heartland Trophy), and Nebraska (Heroes). Iowa is also first-time owners of the Big Ten West Division championship trophy.

The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 74-26 in the first quarter, and 44-6 in the final two minutes of the first half. Iowa has trailed just seven times this season, never by more than seven points. The Hawkeyes trailed by seven at Iowa State on two occasions, 10-3, 17-10. Iowa trailed 3-0 at Wisconsin, 7-6 against Illinois, and 17-14 at Indiana. Iowa had gone 14 quarters without trailing before Michigan State kicked a field goal on its first possession of the Big Ten title game. Iowa tied the game after trailing for seven minutes and 11 seconds, eventually took the lead, 13-9, in the fourth quarter, and lost the lead for good with 27 seconds left in the fourth. The Michigan State game was the first time this year Iowa trailed in the fourth quarter.

Iowa received the opening kickoff in nine games this season, and has outscored its opponents 74-26 in the first quarter. In 17 seasons as Iowa’s head coach, Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes received the opening kickoff in 172-of-213 games (104-68). Iowa has started the game on defense in 42-of-213 games under Ferentz (23-18).

QB C.J. Beathard and the Hawkeyes’ rush defense have dominated the fourth quarter in 2015. Iowa’s rush defense, the 10th best rush defense in the country, has yielded 298 total rushing yards in the fourth quarter this season (22.9 yards per game). Beathard is 35-of-52 passing for 554 yards and four touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. He has also rushed 19 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. He has engineered two game-winning drives in the fourth quarter (Iowa State and Pitt). He was 4-of-4 for 46 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State, and he rushed for 27 yards on three carries to set up K Marshall Koehn’s 57-yard game winning field goal against Pitt. Beathard threw a 85-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter in the Big Ten title game. The pass gave Iowa a 13-9 lead that held up until Michigan State scored with 27 seconds left. In Iowa’s last 14 games, including the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl, Beathard’s fourth quarter numbers include 42-of-59 passing for 649 yards and six touchdowns, and 19 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Beathard did not play in the fourth quarter against North Texas.

Iowa has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this season, the eighth lowest total in the country. The Hawkeyes yield an average of 114.9 rushing yards per game, 10th nationally. Iowa limits its opponents to 3.4 yards per carry – 16th best in the country. The Hawkeyes allowed just one rushing touchdown through the first eight weeks, but surrendered nine over the last five weeks (2 at Indiana, 3 vs. Minnesota, 1 vs. Purdue, 1 at Nebraska, 1 vs. Michigan State).

Iowa has returned four interceptions for touchdowns, more than any team in the Big Ten and tied for second in the nation. Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the country with 18 interceptions. Iowa’s four interceptions returned for touchdowns belong to Josey Jewell, 34; Bo Bower, 88; Desmond King, 88, and Parker Hesse, 4. The 88-yard interception returns by Bower and King tie for the seventh longest interception returns in school history. Iowa has at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last eight seasons, and 13 of the last 15 seasons.

Three Hawkeyes (Jordan Canzeri, 256, Akrum Wadley, 204; LeShun Daniels, 195) have combined for nine 100-yard rushing games this season: Canzeri (5x), Wadley (twice), and Daniels (twice). The last time the Hawkeyes had three different players rush for over 100 yards in a game in the same season was 2005: Albert Young (8x), and Shonn Greene and Damian Sims once each. The Hawkeyes also have three receivers with 100-yard receiving games: Matt VandeBerg (1), Tevaun Smith (2), and Jerminic Smith (1). It is the first time since 1995 three different Hawkeyes recorded 100-yard receiving games: Tim Dwight (2x), Demo Odems (1), Scott Slutzker (1).

For the first time in school history, Iowa had a different running back rush for 200 yards in consecutive games (Akrum Wadley at Northwestern and Jordan Canzeri vs. Illinois). Wadley recorded career highs in carries (26), rushing yards (204), and touchdowns (4) against the Wildcats on Oct. 17. Canzeri amassed 256 yards rushing on a school-record 43 attempts against the Fighting Illini on Oct. 10. The feat is the first time an FBS school had two different running backs eclipse 200 yards rushing in a game since 1996. News Source [Hawkeye Sports] adhere with us for latest info about Iowa vs Stanford