Another beautiful, sunny, January 1st in Pasadena and Stanford is back in the Rose Bowl. With all of the pageantry and pregame hype out of the way Stanford won the toss and elected to receive. The Rose Bowl would start with the matchup we wanted to see, the Stanford offense against the Iowa defense.
On the very first play from the line of scrimmage Kevin Hogan, in his third start in the Rose Bowl throws a strike to Christian McCaffrey for a 75-yard touchdown. 11 seconds into the game and Stanford was up by seven. The Iowa offense took the field hoping to respond. After a each team had a false start Iowa went three and out.
On the Cardinal's second possession it took a few more plays but once again Iowa had no answer for Christian McCaffrey and the Stanford offense. After several explosive plays from McCaffrey it was Kevin Hogan who finished off the drive with an easy run as McCaffrey drew 9 Iowa defenders in the opposite direction. Only half way through the first quarter and the Cardinal was up 14-0.
On Iowa's second possession the Hawkeyes' offense began moving the ball down field against Stanford's bend but don't break defense. That was, of course, until Quenton Meeks, who has a knack for finding the ball, intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. With about four minutes left in the first quarter the Cardinal were up 21-0 to wrap up the first quarter.
Stanford's 21 first-quarter points are the most to open a quarter in Rose Bowl history— Alan George (@treeSIDjorge) January 1, 2016
Christian McCaffrey started the second quarter in much the same way he started the first. Within the first minute of the quarter Iowa punted the ball and Christian McCaffrey went 63-yards for the touchdown, his second of the game. Stanford extended their lead to 28-0. The rest of the second quarter was relatively quiet save for a bit of trickeration by Stanford when Kevin Hogan faked a fumble and threw a deep touchdown pass to Rector for a touchdown putting Stanford up 35-0. McCaffrey would go on to break the total yards record in a Rose Bowl game, as well as rush for over 2,000 yards this season.
Lost in the Stanford offensive explosion was an impressive defensive performance by the Cardinal. Aziz Shittu had a career day in his final game, Ronnie Harris recorded his first career sack, Quenton Meeks had the aforementioned pick six. In the third quarter, however, Iowa was able to add a field goal snapping the potential shutout. The Hawkeyes would also go on to score a pair of touchdowns in the 4th quarter closing the lead to 38-16.
With less than 2 minutes left in the game and a 22 point lead David Shaw dialed up a deep touchdown pass from Hogan to Rector to properly cap off Kevin Hogan's amazing career at Stanford. Stanford wins the 2016 Rose Bowl 45-16.