The 1959 Rose Bowl was a college footballbowl game played on January 1, 1959. It was the 45th Rose Bowl Game. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the California Golden Bears, 38–12. Bob Jeter, Iowa's star halfback, was named the Rose Bowl Player Of The Game. Iowa split the national championship with LSU in the polls taken prior to the bowl games that year, but was named national champion outright in the only poll (Football Writers) taken after the bowl games.
The #2 Iowa Hawkeyes (7–1–1, 5–1 Big Ten) and the #16 California Golden Bears (7–3, 6–1 Pacific Coast) met in the forty-fifth Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 1959, in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Hawkeyes were favored by 18½ points. Randy Duncan helped Iowa take a 14–0 lead with a touchdown run in the first quarter and a touchdown pass to Jeff Langston in the second quarter. The Hawkeye backfield carried Iowa the rest of the way, as Willie Fleming ran for two touchdowns and Bob Jeter, the Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player, and Don Horn each ran for one touchdown. Iowa attempted a Rose Bowl record three two-point conversions and failed on all three, while Bob Prescott made one of two extra points. End Jack Hart scored all of California's twelve points, running for a touchdown in the third quarter and catching a touchdown in the fourth quarter, both of which were followed by failed two-point conversion attempts. Iowa broke four Rose Bowl records: longest run (Jeter 81), team rushing yards (429), team total yards (516) and individual rushing yards (Jeter 194); and tied another Rose Bowl record set by Georgia in 1943: first downs (24). The attendance was 98,297.
Four Rose Bowl game records were set: Jeter's 81-yard run, his 194 yards of rushing offense, the 429 yards gained on the ground and the 516 yards of total offense.