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Iowa History Daily: January 1 - Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl

Iowa History Daily: On January 1, 1957, the Iowa Hawkeyes made the school’s first ever bowl appearance to play in the Rose Bowl. Part of a stretch where Forest Evashevski’s Hawkeyes won the ‘granddaddy of them all’ in back-to-back years, the  Rose Bowl appearance stood as the first of six in Hawkeye history.

Led by Quarterback Ken Ploen from Lost Nation, the Hawkeyes opened the season on the road in Bloomington, Indiana by shutting out the Hoosiers 27-0. Oregon State, the team Iowa would later again see in the Rose Bowl, came into Iowa City during week two. All the Beavers dominated early, the Hawkeyes earned a thrilling come-from-behind victory when Ploen threw two fourth quarter touchdowns to win the game 14-13.

Wins over Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Purdue set up a match-up between the no. 7 Hawkeyes and the no. 17 Michigan Wolverines. Although Iowa fell to Michigan 14-17, the Hawks bounced back to beat no. 6 Minnesota on the road the following week before beating a top-ten ranked Ohio State team.

The first conference loss for the Buckeyes in 17 games, Iowa fans responded to the 6-0 win by tearing down the goalposts and parading them through Iowa City to celebrate capturing the Big 10 Championship. A blowout win over Notre Dame followed before Iowa headed west for a rematch with Oregon State in Pasadena. 

In the Rose Bowl, Ploen captured MVP honors by completing 9-10 passes for 107 yards while also scampering for a 49-yard rushing touchdown. Nowhere as close of a contest as the early match-up in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes blasted the Beavers 35-19 in front of 100,000 fans to capture the school’s first bowl victory. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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