The team that felt it couldn’t get any respect all year long finally
won some in Pasadena. Yes, the Hawkeyes lost the game 46-34 to the Washington
Huskies. Yes, they played a dismal first half, stumbling as Washington
effectively snuffed out every exotic that Coach Hayden Fry tried. Yes,
the Hawks departed the field at halftime looking at a scoreboard that
But the second half was different. Early in the third quarter, quarterback
Matt Rodgers threw a lateral to tight end Michael Titley, who tossed
the ball 53 yards to Jon Filloon, leading to a 7-yard touchdown run by
The Hawkeyes played hot potato football on another occasion, too, when
Rodgers handed the ball to [Nick] Bell, who handed it to wide receiver
Danan Hughes, who hurled it 66 yards downfield and back to Bell. That
series ended with another Rodger
s touchdown, this one on a 9-yard run.
Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jim Murray, a longtime mocker of anything
coming out of the Midwest, turned eloquent when he wrote about the Hawkeyes
rolling up 375 yards and 27 points in the second half of play.
He called Bell “mastodonic.” He noted that Iowa, a team
with one foot in its grave at halftime, “came off the deathbed
snarling and spitting.”
“It wasn’t your textbook game,” Iowa’s old nemesis
wrote. “…It was football as it’s supposed to be, not
the roboticized, sterile, mistake-free stuff we’ve become accustomed
to. This wasn’t a take-no-chances game. This was a take-no-prisoners
In the 77th Rose Bowl game played, the Hawkeyes made
blocked punt and five turnovers made a complete recovery for the win
possible. But it was exciting football.
By game’s end, running back Tony Stewart had accumulated enough
yards to surpass Owen Gill as Iowa’s all-time leading rusher. Together,
the Huskies and the Hawkeyes racked up more points than any two foes
had ever managed in the “Granddaddy of Them All.”
It was a great, gutsy show. No one left the stadium early.
At home against the Hawaii Rainbows, the Hawks scored 14 points in the
opening three minutes on their way to a 53-10 victory.
Starting fast again at Ames a week later, Iowa scored on its first
three drives. Though the Cyclones looked better as the game went
29-10 victory was convincing.
Iowa’s 80th Homecoming game was a nail-biter. After the Illini scored
on three of their first four possessions, the Iowa defense had its work
to do. In the second half, the defense held Illinois to 80 yards and sacked
their quarterback six times. The Hawkeyes danced the hokey-pokey after
this 24-21 victory—and the fans tore down both goalposts.
Less than 24 hours after learning of a shooting rampage on the UI campus
that left six dead and one critically wounded, the Hawks swarmed into
Ohio Stadium with their helmets stripped of decals. Offensively, quarterback
Matt Rodgers completed 20 of 27 passes for 258 yards before he was
sidelined with a knee injury. On the defensive side, Iowa held the
Buckeyes to 124 yards rushing. Defensive end Leroy Smith totaled 14
tackles, including five quarterback sacks—a new Iowa record.
With the eyes of the world on them, Iowa won the game, 16-9.
A foot of snow fell the night before Iowa welcomed the Minnesota Gophers
into Kinnick Stadium, where 32,000 faithful defied the wintry weather
and shivered in their thinsulate. Despite wretched conditions on the field,
Hawkeye quarterback Matt Rodgers managed to throw for 390 yards and three
touchdowns in the 23-8 victory that gave Iowa ten wins and another trip
to the Holiday Bowl. Danan Hughes celebrated after making one of those
touchdown receptions by making a snow angel in the south end zone. Not
only did the Hawkeyes retrieve Floyd of Rosedale, but Hayden Fry marked
his 100th victory at Iowa.
The Hawkeyes amassed ten wins for only the third
time in Iowa football history and Coach Fry was smiling pretty after
two years of dental work
at the UI College of Dentistry. “I don’t know if I’ve
ever made a more beneficial decision in my life,” said Fry, who
had become accustomed to the chipped and missing teeth he earned from
early sports injuries. “They saved my teeth.”
1991 Holiday Bowl
Facing Brigham Young in San Diego for its second bowl game of the calendar
year, Iowa put 13 points on the scoreboard before BYU quarterback and
1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer rallied the Cougars. The final
score was a disappointment for everyone: 13-13, all tied up.