After surrendering a 23-yard field goal by freshman Jason Elam with 1:36 left in the game, Iowa quickly drove to the Hawaii 20 yardline with 48 seconds remaining. A false start penalty pushed the Hawkeyes back five yards, then a devastating holding penalty wiped out a potential go-ahead touchdown from Chuck Hartlieb to Travis Watkins with 40 seconds left. Freshman kicker Jeff Skillett left a 44-yard field goal attempt short that would have tied the game with 17 seconds on the clock.
The Hawkeyes' 35-point victory extended the Wildcats' winless streak to 18 consecutive games. Iowa Offensive coordinator Bill Snyder would be hired as Head coach at Kansas State following the regular season.
Colorado coach Bill McCartney indicated this win over the Hawkeyes was a major win for the Colorado football program. The Buffaloes finished the 1988 season with an 8-4 record before consecutive 11-win seasons in 1989 and 1990, the latter capped by an AP National Championship.
A 17-17 tie at Kinnick Stadium was the lone blemish on an otherwise perfect Big Ten season for the Wolverines. After opening the season with consecutive losses, 19-17 at eventual National Champion Notre Dame and 31-30 at home to the team that would finish #2 in the final polls, Miami (a game Michigan led 30-14 in the 4th quarter), Michigan went 9-0-1 the rest of the season including a Rose Bowl victory to finish with a #4 ranking.
Peebles 75-yard pass from Montgomery (Hartman kick)
NC State 14–3
Jackson 2-yard run (Hartman kick)
NC State 21–3
Jackson 30-yard run (Hartman kick)
NC State 28–3
Harberts 8-yard pass from Hartlieb (Murphy kick)
NC State 28-10
Harberts 22-yard pass from Hartlieb (Murphy kick)
NC State 28-17
Smith 7-yard pass from Hartlieb (pass failed)
NC State 28–23
In a game played through a steady rain, the teams combined for 14 turnovers (7 each) and 12 fumbles (8 lost). NC State opened up a 28-3 second quarter lead by converting three Hawkeye fumbles into touchdowns. Iowa fought until the end behind Chuck Hartlieb's 428 passing yards.