Preview: Stanford at Iowa

When: 5:00 PM ET, Friday, January 1, 2016
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California


1. Two teams that barely missed out on a spot in the College Football Playoff meet Jan. 1 as Iowa takes on Stanford in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual in Pasadena, Calif.  “If the Rose Bowl is the consolation prize, what a deal for both of us,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters. The Hawkeyes suffered their first loss with a 16-13 defeat to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, while Stanford earned its third Rose Bowl berth in the last four years with a 41-22 win over USC in the Pac-12 title game.

2. Iowa began the season unranked after finishing 7-6 a year ago but improved every week to earn its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1991. The Big Ten West Division champions rely heavily on their run defense, which ranks 10th in the nation at fewer than 115 yards per game. The impressive unit will be tested by a powerful Stanford offensive attack led by sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy race after breaking Barry Sanders' single-season all-purpose yards record with 3,496.

3. Stanford struggled in its only other meeting against a Big Ten opponent this season as the Cardinal scored their fewest points since 2007 and lost their opener 16-6 at Northwestern. Following that low point, however, coach David Shaw’s squad strung together eight straight wins before losing 38-36 to Oregon on Nov. 14. In addition to McCaffrey, the Cardinal boast a steady hand at quarterback in senior Kevin Hogan, who has thrown for 2,644 yards and 24 touchdowns against seven interceptions while completing 68.6 percent of his passes.

TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Stanford -6.5

ABOUT STANFORD (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12): The Hawkeyes can expect a heavy dose of McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,847 yards and eight touchdowns while adding  540 receiving yards and four more scores through the air. “He’s the best player in the nation," coach David Shaw told reporters after McCaffrey recorded 461 yards in total offense in the Pac-12 title game. “I don't know if that's even a question. There's nobody in the nation doing what he's been doing. It's not even a debate.” Linebacker Blake Martinez averages a Pac-12-high 10.2 tackles per game to lead the defense, which benefits from a Stanford offense that leads the nation in time of possession.

ABOUT IOWA (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten): For the Hawkeyes to win their school-record 13th game and their first Rose Bowl since beating Cal in 1959, they’ll need another solid outing from quarterback C.J. Beathard, who threw 15 touchdowns against three interceptions and rushed for six scores. Beathard could be without the services of leading rusher Jordan Canzeri, who ran for 12 touchdowns but left the Big Ten championship game with a sprained right ankle and is listed as questionable for the Rose Bowl. Iowa’s secondary is led by first team All-American Desmond King, who received the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back after recording eight interceptions while averaging 25.6 yards per kickoff return and 12.7 yards on punts.

PREDICTION: Stanford 27, Iowa 21

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Stanford 11-2 W3 37.2 23.1 6-1 5-1 9-2 0-0 9-1
Iowa 12-1 L1 32.1 18.5 7-1 5-0 2-0 0-0 8-1

Last Meeting

Stanford Iowa
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No Previous Meeting.

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TDs Player TD
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
STAN K. Hogan 68.6 2644 24 7
IOWA C. Beathard 61.4 2570 15 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
STAN C. McCaffrey 319 1847 5.8 8
IOWA J. Canzeri 178 976 5.5 12
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
STAN C. McCaffrey 41 540 13.2 4
IOWA M. VandeBerg 61 639 10.5 3
TDs Player TD
STAN R. Wright 15
IOWA J. Canzeri 13

Quickchart Matchup

Stanford Off vs  Iowa Def
435.8 yards
334.2 yards
5.1 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
9.2 yards/attempt
6 yards/attempt
Iowa Off vs  Stanford Def
393.8 yards
374.5 yards
4.7 yards/rush
4.6 yards/rush
7.8 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Stanford Overall Iowa
11-2-0 W/L 12-1-0
9-4-0 ATS 7-5-1
7-6-0 O/U 7-5-1
37.2 Pts For 32.1
23.1 Pts Against 18.5
Stanford A/H Iowa
5-1 W/L 7-1
4-2-0 ATS 2-5-1
3-3-0 O/U 5-3-0
33.7 Pts For 34.1
21.8 Pts Against 20.0
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