Marty: Hawkeye Bowl Game Stats and Trivia

In a couple of weeks, Iowa will play in its 19th bowl game. The Hawkeye football team has a 9-8-1 record in postseason games heading into the battle with Florida in the Outback Bowl on January 1. Here are some other stats and trivia regarding Iowa's proud bowl history, as put together by Columnist Marty Gallagher.

  • Chuck Long threw for 1,251 yards in the four bowl games he started (he played in five) for the Hawkeyes, an average of 313 passing yards per bowl game. Once again, someone needs to explain to me why uniform #16 is NOT retired.

  • Iowa quarterbacks have thrown for 300+ yards four times in bowl games. Long did it three times: 304 yards against Tennessee in the 1982 Peach Bowl, 461 yards against Texas in the 1984 Freedom Bowl and 319 yards against UCLA in the 1986 Rose Bowl. Who was the other Hawkeye QB to break the 300-yard barrier in a postseason game? The answer is later.

  • Who holds the Iowa record for most rushing yards in a bowl game? Take your time on this one. Sedrick Shaw? No. Tavian Banks? Nope. Ronnie Harmon? Uh-uh. Nick Bell? Not even close. Phil Blatcher? Now, you're really reaching. It was Bob Jeter, who ran for 194 yards in the 1959 Rose Bowl…a 38-12 victory over California. By the way, it only took NINE carries for Jeter to amass that total. That's a 21.6-yard average per carry!

  • Which Hawkeye QB had the highest completion percentage in a bowl game (minimum of 10 passes)? Long completed something like his first 11 passes in the 1982 Peach Bowl, but he's not the answer. Brad Banks was a dismal 15 for 36 (42%) in last season's Orange Bowl, so he's not in the running. It was Kenny Ploen, who completed 9 of 10 throws for 83 yards in the 1957 Rose Bowl…a 35-19 victory over Oregon State. Ploen also ran for a 49-yard touchdown in that game.

  • The only quarterback—other than Chuck Long—to throw for 300+ yards for Iowa in a bowl game was Chuck Hartlieb. Hartlieb threw for 428 yards (second only to Long's 461 against Texas in 1984) against North Carolina State in the 1988 Peach Bowl…a 28-23 loss.

  • Which Iowa kicker made a game-winning field goal in a bowl game as time expired? Nate Kaeding in the 2001 Alamo Bowl? Nope, there were 44 seconds remaining. The correct answer is Rob Houghtlin, who drilled a 41-yarder to defeat Wyoming, 20-19, in the 1987 Holiday Bowl. Until Kaeding came along, Houghtlin was the greatest kicker in Iowa history, in my opinion…especially in the clutch. Obviously, Kaeding has a firm hold on that distinction now.

  • Iowa was shut out in one bowl game: Washington stopped the Hawks cold, 28-0, in the 1982 Rose Bowl.

  • Iowa has recorded one shut out in a bowl game: The Hawkeyes dominated Texas Tech, 27-0, in the 1996 Alamo Bowl.

  • Only one Hawkeye running back has run for 100+ yards in a bowl game twice. Can you name him? The answer is later.

  • I still can't believe that Eric Ball ran for 227 yards and four touchdowns against the Hawks in the 1986 Rose Bowl. Ball, a freshman for UCLA, looked like a Heisman Trophy winner that day. However, I believe that Larry Station was playing with a pretty serious back injury, so that's how I rationalize why that happened.

  • Owen Gill has the most career rushing yards in Iowa bowl games WITHOUT ever going for 100 yards in a game. Gill ran for 214 yards in three bowl games: 70 in the 1982 Peach Bowl, 83 in the 1983 Gator Bowl and 61 in the 1984 Freedom Bowl. The "Baby Bull" was nothing if not consistent.

  • The only Iowa running back to top 100 yards two different times in bowl games was Sedrick Shaw. Ol' #5 ran for 135 yards against Washington in the 1995 Sun Bowl (a 38-18 victory) and for 113 yards against Texas Tech in the 1996 Alamo Bowl (a 27-0 victory).

  • There have been five Hawkeyes who have rushed for 100+ yards in a bowl game. In addition to Shaw, can you name the other four? How about three of the remaining four players? The answer: Jeter (194 in the 1959 Rose Bowl), Mike Saunders (103 in the 1991 Holiday Bowl), Tavian Banks (122 in the 1995 Sun Bowl) and Aaron Greving (115 in the 2001 Alamo Bowl). Give yourself an "A" if you came up with Saunders.

  • There have been EIGHT Hawkeyes who have totaled 100+ receiving yards in a bowl game. Can you name six of them? Give it some thought…the answer is later.

  • Who led Iowa in tackles in the 1991 Holiday Bowl? I'll give you four choices: A) Leroy Smith, B) Brad Quast, C) Teddy Jo Faley or D) Paul Postler. Smith was an All-American sack artist that season as a super-quick defensive end, but it was Faley who made 14 tackles against BYU that night in the 13-13 tie.

  • Florida's best player when Iowa last played the Gators in a bowl game (1983 Gator Bowl) was Wilbur Marshall, who was a fantastic linebacker for the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl champions two years later.

  • Here are the eight Iowa receivers to top 100 yards receiving in a bowl game: Dave Moritz (168 in 1982 Peach Bowl), Robert Smith (115 in 1984 Freedom Bowl), Bill Happel (104 in 1984 Freedom Bowl), Ronnie Harmon (102 in 1986 Rose Bowl…most have forgotten this, however), Marv Cook (122 in 1988 Peach Bowl), Deven Harberts (101 in 1988 Peach Bowl), Jon Filloon (107 in 1991 Holiday Bowl) and Tim Dwight (105 in 1996 Alamo Bowl).

  • Prior to C.J. Jones' electrifying 100-yard kick return for a touchdown against USC in last season's Orange Bowl, do you remember the most significant Iowa kick return in a bowl game? I believe it was Kevin Harmon at the end of the 1986 Freedom Bowl. San Diego State had just taken a 38-36 lead with very little time remaining (less than a minute?) and Harmon returned the ensuing kickoff into SD State territory, which led to the heroics of Houghtlin as time expired. With an average return by Harmon, Iowa likely loses a heartbreaker.

  • Super Ultimate Hawkeye Bowl Trivia Question: Can you name the two Iowa players who scored touchdowns in the Hawkeyes' 20-19 victory over Wyoming in the 1987 Holiday Bowl? If you know the answer to this question, either you ARE one of these two guys…or you are an absolutely scary Hawkeye fanatic. (The answer is at the end of this column.)

  • The greatest single-game performance in Hawkeye bowl history was Chuck Long's incredible showing against Texas in the 1984 Freedom Bowl…a 55-17 victory. Long, as a junior, was 29 of 39 for 461 yards and 6 (SIX!) touchdowns. Incredible.

  • Answer to Super Ultimate Hawkeye Bowl Trivia Question: Anthony Wright and Jay Hess. Seriously. Wright, a cornerback, returned an interception 33 yards for a TD. Hess recovered a punt in the end zone that was blocked by Merton Hanks. (Marty Gallagher founded the popular web site You can e-mail him at

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