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 announces the 1991 Royal Court on Tuesday, October 17, 1990 all leading up to the Rose Queen selection ceremony the following week. On Tuesday, October 23, all seven young women are on the historic steps of Tournament House in Pasadena when the 1990-91 Tournament of Roses President Roy L. Coats being accompanied by outgoing Queen Yasmine Delawari with a bouquet of roses will be placed on the hands of a successor. The top honor goes to 17-year-old Cara Payton Rullman, a senior at San Marino High School & a resident of San Marino, California becomes the 73rd Rose Queen to reign over the 102nd Rose Parade and the 77th Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day.
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.