Physical Teams Will Vie In Rose Bowl Game
December 31, 2015
By Myke Williams
The 2016 Rose bowl game will showcase two physical teams that are almost identical. Stanford and Iowa rely on their running games and efficient play from their quarterbacks and both teams look to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes.
What sets No. 5 Iowa (12-1) and No. 6 Stanford (11-2) apart is Christian McCaffrey of the Stanford Cardinal. On Friday January 1 at 2 p.m. in the Rose Bowl the nation will get the opportunity to see what the west coast has witnessed this year. They will see why he was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2015.
The all-purpose back combines speed, toughness, intelligence and Barry Sanders Sr. moves to be a threat to score every time he touches the ball. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year had a college record of 3,496 all-purpose yards which included 1,847 yards rushing this year.
If Iowa can stop McCaffrey the game will be won in the trenches. “It’s pretty straight forward,” said Stanford’s head coach David Shaw at Lawry’s Beef Bowl last Monday. “It’s going to be a physical game. It’s going to be an old fashion college football game.
“Both teams love to run the ball. Both teams have athletic players and efficient quarterbacks. Both teams have defenses that don’t give up a lot of points and both teams have special teams that try to establish good field position.”
Iowa will feature a balanced offense that ran for 2,496 yards and passed for 2,623 yards that included 35 touchdowns on the ground. The Hawkeyes had two different running backs run for over 200 yards in two consecutive games. Akrum Wadley ran for 204 yards against Northwestern and Jordan Canzeri rushed for 256 yards on a school record 43 carries against Illinois.
“It’s like any big game,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz at Lawry’s Beef Bowl on Sunday. “It all starts with ball security and forcing turnovers. We are playing an outstanding team and if we are going to beat Stanford we will have to play our best game.”