1959 Rose Bowl

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1959 Rose Bowl
45th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Iowa 713126 38
California 0066 12
DateJanuary 1, 1959
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPBob Jeter (Iowa HB)
FavoriteIowa by 18 points[1]
RefereeJack Sprenger (Pacific Coast;
split crew: Pacific Coast, Big Ten)
Halftime showHawkeye Marching Band, University of California Marching Band
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersMel Allen and Chick Hearn
Rose Bowl
 < 1958  1960

The 1959 Rose Bowl was the 45th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Thursday, January 1. The heavily-favored and second-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten Conference defeated the #16 California Golden Bears of the Pacific Coast Conference, 38–12. Iowa's star halfback Bob Jeter was named the Player of the Game.[2][3] Iowa improved to 8–1–1 and California fell to 7–4 for the season.

Iowa, 7–1–1, was behind undefeated LSU in the two major polls. LSU was ranked number one in both major polls since week 6 of the season. LSU's Sugar Bowl win over higher ranked #12 Clemson was convincing and was awarded the national championship by the Associated Press and the Coaches' Poll (UPI), as well as by 37 other selectors. Iowa finished first in the football writers poll.

Future Berkeley, California city mayor Tom Bates was a member of the California Golden Bears team.

It was the sixth straight Rose Bowl win for the Big Ten, and the twelfth of the last thirteen.[3] The PCC disbanded in the spring and five of its members formed the new AAWU (Big Five), while the other four competed as independents for several years. It is the last time Cal has appeared in the Rose Bowl.


Iowa Hawkeyes[edit]

Second-ranked Iowa were the Big Ten champions, entered the game with a record of 7–1–1 (5–1 Big Ten), and were favored by eighteen points.[1]

California Golden Bears[edit]

Sixteenth-ranked California, led by quarterback Joe Kapp, entered the game as Pacific Coast Conference champions with a record of 7–3 (6–1 PCC).[4]

Game summary[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6]


First quarter[edit]

Second quarter[edit]

  • Iowa - Jeff Langston 7 pass from Duncan (Prescott kick) (14–0, Iowa)
  • Iowa - Don Horn 4 run (kick failed) (20–0, Iowa)

Third quarter[edit]

  • Cal - Jack Hart 1 run (pass failed) (20–6, Iowa)
  • Iowa - Willie Fleming 37 run (pass failed) (26–6, Iowa)
  • Iowa - Bob Jeter 81 run* (pass failed) (32–6, Iowa)

Fourth quarter[edit]

  • Iowa - Fleming 7 run (pass failed) (38–6, Iowa)
  • Cal - Hart 17 pass from Joe Kapp (run failed) (38–12, Iowa)


  1. ^ a b Sargis, Joe (January 1, 1959). "Iowa picked by 18 in Rose Bowl". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). UPI. p. 19.
  2. ^ "Hawkeyes humble Bears, 38–12, in Rose Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1959. p. 3B.
  3. ^ a b Missildine, Harry (January 2, 1959). "Jeter flies as Hawkeyes crush Bears". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 16.
  4. ^ "Remembering 1959: Cal runs to the Rose Bowl". San Jose Mercury News. January 3, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Rose Bowl Game Timeline, Tournament of Roses Archived February 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Top 10 Rose Bowl performances". Los Angeles Daily News. December 31, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2017.