The 1991 Rose Bowl was the 77th Rose Bowl Game, played on January 1, 1991. The #8 Washington Huskies built a 33-7 halftime lead and defeated the #17 Iowa Hawkeyes 46-34. Washington sophomore quarterbackMark Brunell was named the Player of the Game. The 80 points scored in the game broke the previous Rose Bowl record of 79, which had stood for nearly thirty years (set in the 1963 Rose Bowl). This record, in turn, stood for more than twenty years until it was broken in the 2012 Rose Bowl. This was Iowa's 5th and, to date, most recent Rose Bowl appearance. An ESPN Classic poll of the top 20 Rose Bowls named this game #20.[when?]
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced the 1991 Royal Court on Monday, October 15, 1990 and the Rose Queen on Tuesday, October 23, 1990 at Tournament House in Pasadena. The game was presiding over the 1991 Rose Queen Cara Rullman, San Marino High School, the Royal Court (Dawn Gray, Tisha Mei-Lin Kong, Harini Reddy, Jessica Roegler, Wendy Schnee and Andrea Uyeda). Tournament of Roses President Roy L. Coats and Rose Parade Grand Marshal Bob Newhart.
Washington scored 23 points in the second quarter and built a sizable 33-7 lead at halftime. The teams each scored a touchdown in the third quarter, taking the score to 39-14. With a 25-point lead, Washington substituted reserves early in the fourth quarter, and the Hawkeyes quickly scored two touchdowns. UW responded with a touchdown to put the score at 46-26; Iowa followed with the final score of the game, a touchdown and two-point conversion to bring the final score to 46-34, the closest Iowa had been since the middle of the second quarter. Washington (10-2) was elevated to #5 in both polls and Iowa (8-4) dropped one notch to finish eighteenth in both polls.