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.

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Christian McCaffrey did it all! Run, pass and catch, delivering a record setting performance that will place him high on the Heisman Trophy contender list as well as clinching a third Rose Bowl berth in four years. As the most renowned fantasy college football DFS site, Fanpicks.com is proud to provide the highlights of this exciting PAC-12 Championship game.

McCaffrey led the number 7th ranked Stanford to the PAC-12 Championship by rushing 207 yards and a score, throwing a touchdown pass and catching another as they trounced over USC for 42-22 win. Coach David Shaw praised McCaffrey by saying, “To my left here is the best player in the nation, there’s nobody in the nation doing what he’s been doing. It’s not even a debate.”

The Trojans (8-5; No. 20 CFP, No. 24 AP) Cody Kessler, threw for 187 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score. USC coach Helton said of the loss “Got some hurt kids in that locker room, they’ve given tremendous effort to get to this point and obviously are extremely saddened by not finishing the job.”

Stanford’s win became apparent as they took control of the game with a pair of touchdowns in a span of just over 3 minutes late in the third quarter. After blowing an early 13-point lead, the Cardinal faced a third-down in their own territory. Hogan then found McCaffrey open in the middle of the field and he ran with for a 67-yard reception down to the USC 7. Hogan ran it in on the next play to put Stanford back on top.

Playing with an injured ankle, Blake Martinez, sacked Kessler and caused a fumble on the very next possession which Thomas was able to recover and ran in for the score… making it 27-16 at that point. “The center came up on me and tried to wall me off and I just went right around him,” Martinez said. “I saw the quarterback still had the ball and I was like, ‘All right, time to make a play.’ When I saw the ball on the ground, I was like, ‘Pick it up, pick it up.’ I saw Solly pick it up and I was like, ‘Yes!’ He scored and it was amazing.”

McCaffrey, who was left completely open in the middle of the field, then caught a 27 yard pass for the touchdown. McCaffrey’s feats led him to break Sander’s 1988 record of 3,250 yards in single season, albeit it took McCaffrey two additional games to achieve it.

The Trojans were completely outplayed for the first 25 minutes into the game, yet the bounced back with three straight scoring drives. Kessler was impressive in driving a 15 play sequence the set up to a 40 yard field goal by Alex Wood cutting Stanford’s lead to 13-3. Kessler rose to the occasion once again in the opening minutes of the third quarter by throwing a 1 yard touchdown pass to Jahleel Pinner further cutting Stanford’s lead to 13-9. The on their very next possession, Ronald Jones II then scored on 27 yard rushing play giving the Trojans the lead at 16-13.

The Cardinal dominated the game early but led only 13-0 due in part to problems converting in the red zone. Stanford held a 210-9 advantage in yards gained but was unable to break the game open. A holding penalty on Rollins Stallworth negated a TD on the first drive, forcing Stanford to settle for a field goal. Stanford later was stopped at the 1-yard line, leading to another short field goal by Conrad Ukropina and Hogan got sacked on a fourth down from the 1.

The only touchdown in the first half came on McCaffrey’s trick play. Hogan pitched to Barry Sanders Jr., who then flipped it to McCaffrey, who had lined up as a receiver. McCaffrey then threw to a wide-open Hogan for his second TD pass of the season.

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