1956 Iowa Hawkeyes football team
|1956 Iowa Hawkeyes football|
Big Ten champion
Rose Bowl champion
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|1956 record||9–1 (5–1 Big Ten)|
|Head coach||Forest Evashevski (5th year)|
|Home stadium||Iowa Stadium|
|1956 Big Ten football standings|
|#3 Iowa $||5||–||1||–||0||9||–||1||–||0|
|#9 Michigan State||4||–||2||–||0||7||–||2||–||0|
|#15 Ohio State||4||–||2||–||0||6||–||3||–||0|
The 1956 Iowa Hawkeyes football team was an American football team that represented the University of Iowa in the 1956 Big Ten Conference football season. The Hawkeyes were champions of the Big Ten Conference and beat the Oregon State Beavers in the 1957 Rose Bowl, a rematch of a regular season game.
The team's statistical leaders included quarterback Ken Ploen with 386 passing yards, Ploen with 487 rushing yards, Ploen with 873 total yards, and Jim Gibbons with 255 receiving yards. Tackle Alex Karras was selected as a first-team All-American.
|September 29||at Indiana||Memorial Stadium • Bloomington, IN||W 27–0||25,000|
|October 6||Oregon State*||No. 20||Iowa Stadium • Iowa City, IA||W 14–13||41,027|
|October 13||Wisconsin||Iowa Stadium • Iowa City, IA||W 13–7||53,273|
|October 20||Hawaii*||No. 12||Iowa Stadium • Iowa City, IA||W 34–0||40,000|
|October 27||at Purdue||No. 12||Ross-Ade Stadium • West Lafayette, IN||W 21–20||41,415|
|November 3||No. 17 Michigan||No. 7||Iowa Stadium • Iowa City, IA||L 14–17||55,896|
|November 10||at No. 6 Minnesota||No. 15||Memorial Stadium • Minneapolis, MN||W 7–0||64,235|
|November 17||No. 6 Ohio State||No. 7||Iowa Stadium • Iowa City, IA||W 6–0||57,732|
|November 24||Notre Dame*||No. 3||Iowa Stadium • Iowa City, IA||W 48–8||56,632|
|January 1||vs. No. 10 Oregon State*||No. 3||Rose Bowl • Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl)||NBC||W 35–19||100,000|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.|
On September 29, 1956, Iowa defeated Indiana, 27–0, before a crowd of 25,000 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. Iowa scored two touchdowns in the first quarter off an Indiana fumble and an interception. Iowa rushed for 242 yards to 76 yards for Indiana.
On October 6, Iowa (ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll) defeated Oregon State, 14–13, before a crowd of 41,027 at Iowa Stadium in Iowa City. The game matched the same teams that met again in the 1957 Rose Bowl. Oregon State scored on its second play from scrimmage on a 30-yard pass, but the extra point attempt was blocked. Oregon State scored again in the third quarter on a 49-yard run by Paul Lowe and led, 13–0, at the start of the fourth quarter. Iowa threw two touchdown passes in a span of six minutes in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
On October 13, Iowa defeated Wisconsin, 13–7, before a crowd of 53,273 at Iowa Stadium. With only a minute remaining in the first half, Iowa drove 84 yards, running eight plays in 59 seconds and scoring on a pitchout from Ken Ploen to Mike Hagler. Iowa scored again on the first drive of the second half on a short run by Ploen, taking a 13–0 lead.
On October 20, Iowa defeated Hawaii, 34–0, at Iowa Stadium in Iowa City. Iowa led, 14–0, at halftime and played second, third and fourth-string players in the second half, with a total of 42 Hawkeyes seeing game action. Iowa rushed for 266 yards and held Hawaii to 67 rushing yards.
On October 27, Iowa (ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll) defeated Purdue, 21–20, before a crowd of 41,415 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette. Purdue quarterback Len Dawson threw two touchdown passes, and Mel Dillard ran for a third. Iowa also scored three touchdowns, with the difference being a missed extra point. Purdue drove into Iowa territory late in the game, but Purdue fumbled at the 25-yard line with a minute and a half remaining in the game.
On November 3, Michigan (ranked No. 17 in the AP Poll) defeated Iowa (ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll) by a 17–14 score before a crowd of 58,137 at Iowa Stadium in Iowa City. The loss was the only one of the year for Iowa. Iowa had not beaten Michigan since 1924. Michigan took a 3–0 lead in the first quarter on a field goal by Ron Kramer. Iowa then scored two touchdowns and led, 14–3, at halftime. One of the Iowa touchdowns was set up when Michigan's quarterback was sacked and fumbled with Alex Karras recovering the ball for Iowa. Michigan's third-string halfback, Mike Shatusky, scored two touchdowns in the second half, a three-yard run in the third quarter and a two-yard plunge with one minute and six seconds remaining in the game.
On November 10, Iowa (ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll) defeated Minnesota (ranked No. 6), 7–0, before a crowd of 64,235 at Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis. Iowa coach implemented a 6-3-2 defense to contain Minnesota's speedy Bobby Cox. After the game, Cox noted: "I couldn't go outside. They forced me to go inside and then some linebacker would nail me." The outcome put Iowa into the lead in the race for the conference's Rose Bowl bid. After the game, Iowa's players carried coach Evashevski off the field on their shoulders.
On November 17, Iowa (ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll) defeated Ohio State (ranked No. 6), 6–0, before a crowd of 57,732 at Iowa Stadium. Ohio State went into the game with the second best rushing attack in the country but were held to 147 rushing yards, their lowest rushing yardage total in two years. The result broke Ohio State's winning streak of 17 games against conference opponents and clinched for Iowa the conference championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. After time expired, Iowa fans hauled down the goal posts and paraded through Iowa City.
On November 24, Iowa (ranked No. 3) defeated Notre Dame, 48–8, before a crowd of 56,632 at Iowa Stadium. The victory, combined with Ohio State's loss, gave Iowa its first undisputed Big Ten championship since 1932. Iowa's 48 points was the fourth highest total allowed by a Notre Dame football team to that point in the program's history. Paul Hornung sprained a thumb 10 minutes into the game and did not return. Iowa rushed for 409 yards and scored on runs of 10 and 41 yards by Ken Ploen, 23 and 61 yards by Fred Harris, and 54 yards by Mike Hagler.
On January 1, 1957, Iowa defeated Oregon State, 35–19, in the 1957 Rose Bowl. Iowa scored five touchdowns, including a 49-yard touchdown run by Ken Ploen and a 66-yard touchdown run by Collins Hagler.
Rankings and awards
|Quarterback||Ken Ploen||Iowa||AP, UP|
|End||Frank Gilliam||Iowa||AP, UP|
|Tackle||Alex Karras||Iowa||AP, UP|
On December 3, 1956, both the Associated Press (AP) and United Press (UP) released their final college football polls. Both organizations ranked undefeated Oklahoma at the No. 1 spot with Iowa at No. 3.
Team players in the NFL
|Frank Gilliam||End||7||76||Green Bay Packers|
|Dan Dobrino||Back||10||117||Washington Redskins|
- "1956 Iowa Hawkeyes Stats". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Bert McGrane (September 30, 1956). "Hawkeyes Smash Indiana, 27–0". The Des Moines Register. pp. 1S, 10S – via Newspapers.com.
- "Late Passes Save Hawks, 14–13: Duncan Fires 33-Yard Toss For Clincher". The Des Moines Register. October 7, 1956. pp. 1S, 3S – via Newspapers.com.
- Bert McGrane (October 14, 1956). "Iowa Wins Again in 13–7 Thriller". The Des Moines Register. p. 1S – via Newspapers.com.
- "Iowa Batters Hawaii, 34–0, For 4th Win". Council Bluffs (IA) Nonpareil. October 21, 1956. p. 1B – via Newspapers.com.
- Bill Bryson (October 28, 1956). "It's No. 5: Iowa 21, Purdue 20!". The Des Moines Register. p. 1S – via Newspapers.com.
- Tommy Devine. "U-M Pulls One Out of the Fire, 17–14". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1D, 3D – via Newspapers.com.
- "Evy's Defensive Gamble Pays Off to Bottle Up Cox". The Des Moines Register. November 11, 1956. p. 2S – via Newspapers.com.
- Bert McGrane (November 11, 1956). "Iowa Deflates Gophers, 7–0". The Des Moines Register. p. 1S – via Newspapers.com.
- Bert McGrane (November 18, 1956). "Iowa to Rose Bowl, 6–0: Hawks Hobble Ohio, Earn at Least Tie for Big Ten Title". The Des Moines Register. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bill Bryson (November 25, 1956). "Iowa's Champs 48, Irish 8!". The Des Moines Register. p. 1S – via Newspapers.com.
- Braven Dyer (January 2, 1957). "Potent Iowa Speeds to 35–19 Win Over Oregon State in Rose Bowl: Beavers Stunned by Hawks' Speed". Los Angeles Times. pp. IV–1, IV–4 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Hawk Trio On All Big Ten". The Spencer Daily Reporter. November 30, 1956. p. 4.
- "Mel Dillard on All-Big Ten Team; Iowa Puts Men in Four Positions". Alexandria (IN) Times-Tribune. November 30, 1956. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Sooners Win: Tennessee Second in 1956 Poll". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. p. 10A – via Newspapers.com.
- "Standings". Deadwood Pioneer Times. December 4, 1956. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Hornung Surprised At Heisman Honor". Green Bay Press-Gazette. December 5, 1956. p. 25 – via Newspapers.com.
- "1956 Heisman Trophy Voting". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "Big 10 Most Valuable to Ploen". Chicago Tribune. December 16, 1956. p. 2-2 – via Newspapers.com.