Fanpicks.com College Football Bowl Game Preview
ROSE BOWL GAME
Stanford vs. Iowa
Fanpicks.com is proud to bring you grandest of the all the college playoffs – The Rose Bowl game preview featuring Stanford against Iowa. This will prove to be an exciting game for all fans. We predict that this year’s Rose Bowl will be won by Stanford with a 27-21 score. Play the best fantasy college football contests at Fanpicks.com.
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.
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.
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.
STANFORD Season Overview (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.
IOWA Season Overview (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.