Pasadena, Ca – At the Grand Daddy of them All, the 102nd Rose Bowl saw Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey put on a clinic. The Stanford Cardinals comes away smelling like roses in 45-16 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes. McCaffrey ran away with the game offensive MVP and broke the all-purpose yards record set by Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis in 2012 with 368 all purpose yards of his own.
Today you just saw what an amazing player can do for a great team, even when you have the scouting report. You had to chuckle when it’s 3rd down and crowd is yelling, “Get #5” and defense still can’t stop him. Some fans who were stuck trying to get to their seats missed McCaffrey first touchdown on first play of the opening drive which was a 75 yard catch and run from quarterback Kevin Hogan. From that point on everybody had the sense ooh this game could get ugly. By the end of the quarter the Cardinals led 21-0 and the Hawkseyes were frustrated.
Stanford coach David Shaw spoke about his best player in the country, “I think he was the best player in America before this game, so I think it’s just the icing on the cake for us.” The East Coast even had the opportunity to see McCaffrey greatness before bedtime. You could tell he was just a college kid having fun and said, “it’s so fun when a team can come together and gel as a unit to try to make plays.”
The Hawkeyes did show some fight in the second half putting their first points on the board a 31 yard field goal. The Iowa fans went crazy for those three points, it was loud too from at least 3/4 of 94,268 fans in attendance to the game. Before clocked ticked zero they had added 13 more points in fourth quarter all for pride.
This Stanford team showed it belonged in top teams of college football by their all around dominating performance. The game will be a building block for Stanford going into the off season for the underclassman and yes McCaffrey will be back! The defense who held Iowa to a season low 48 yards rushing will also be back to brink havoc on the Pac-12.
This Rose Bowl win now bring the Pac-12 bowl record this football season to 6-2, with Oregon and Arizona State left to play tomorrow.